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Therapeutic Landscapes: The Dynamic Between Place and Wellness

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Academics, health practitioners, and the general population increasingly recognize the importance of place as an essential element in the development of identity, health, and overall well-being. Although therapeutic landscapes have been traditionally associated with special places such as hot springs, this book expands the concept by exploring the healing applications of space from social, anthropological, and health care delivery perspectives. The essays in this collection examine a number of related topics including the health-promoting qualities of specific physical environments, the significance of place for the de-institutionalized and homeless, and the role of therapeutic landscapes in health care facilities. Drawing on their experiences in Britain, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States, the contributors offer diverse perspectives and new insights on the relationship between place and wellness. Public health practitioners, medical and health professionals, urban planners, and policy makers as well as academics studying the health and social sciences will find this book of great interest.

Author Biography: Allison Williams is Assistant Professor of Health Studies at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

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Editorial Reviews

Most of the 11 essays were first presented at a 1996 symposium in soothing Portsmith, England. They explore the healing or therapeutic effects of landscapes, whether particular places or spaces of the world or of the mind. Working within the framework of therapeutic landscape concept pioneered by Wilber Gesler, they consider such places and topics as middle England, Denali National Park, summer camp, houses for the chronically homeless, and Auckland. Most of the contributors are geographers, but some are from health fields and other social sciences. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Health and Place
The ten papers included in this collection represent an informative and innovative area of research within the geography of health. . . . 'Therapeutic Landscapes' offers valuable insights into the complex interconnections between health and place. This collection of papers has reasserted the importance of place by embracing perceptions of both material and symbolic landscapes in relation to health. This book is well worth reading. . .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761814924
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 11/3/1999
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Allison Williams is Assistant Professor of Health Studies at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Sect. 1 Therapeutic Landscapes as Healing Places
Ch. 2 Rehabilitating Middle England: Integrating Ecology, Aesthetics, and Ethics 15
Ch. 3 Accessible Wilderness as a Therapeutic Landscape: Experiencing the Nature of Denali National Park, Alaska 29
Ch. 4 Summer Camp as a Therapeutic Landscape 53
Ch. 5 Place Identity and Therapeutic Landscapes: The Case of Home Care Workers in a Medically Underserviced Area 71
Sect. 2 Therapeutic Landscapes and the "Marginalized"
Ch. 6 Compromised Space: Contests over the Provision of a Therapeutic Environment for People with Mental Illness 99
Ch. 7 Mental Health and the Therapeutic Geographies of the City: Individual and Collective Negotiations 123
Ch. 8 The Street Gives and the Street Takes: Designing Housing for the Chronically Homeless 153
Sect. 3 Symbolic Landscapes in Health Care Systems
Ch. 9 Auckland's Starship Enterprise: Placing Metaphor in a Children's Hospital 169
Ch. 10 Healing Landscapes: Revolution and Health Care in Post-Socialist Havana 201
Ch. 11 Place, Space, and Geographies of Health Care: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives 221
Index 245
About the Contributors 247
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