On the affect of therapeutic spaces: an autoethnographic study within spatial disciplines

  • Saera Chun
  • Simon Twose


How does one perceive a space as therapeutic, and why? This paper investigates the link between the perceived therapeutic experience and certain affects of the space. Also, the context of therapeutic experience is closely examined to add further insight. This research is situated between subjectivism and postmodernist constructivism paradigm; it argues that the experience of a therapeutic space is subject to one’s perception where one may see and feel the space differently from one another, in which the particular underlying socio-historical conditions can be analysed and interpreted. Using autoethnography as the method, first, the researcher’s own experience of therapeutic spaces are narrated in short vignettes accompanied by visual representations. Each narrative explores the subjective elements of the (non)therapeutic experience, including and beyond sensorial qualities, as the researcher’s body relates to a space. These vignettes are then examined through narrative and contextual analyses to reveal emerging themes and how they contribute to the construction of the therapeutic experience of a space.