Designing for veterans

August 8, 2014

A healthcare facility's built environment can help solve post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to an article on the Contract website.

When considering a space for psychotherapy, designers should aim to reduce the cognitive load, the article said. Reducing the cognitive load of an environment isn’t intended to avoid confronting issues, but to prevent the patient from becoming overwhelmed by excessive stimuli.

There are many similarities between exercising for physical and mental health, according to Dr. Edward Vega, a psychologist for the Department of Veterans Affairs.  

“Well designed fitness equipment can help focus exertion to the targeted muscles, building strength efficiently.  Similarly, a well-designed psychotherapy environment can help focus attention and energy in the right areas, with less wasted effort.” 

A reduction in the cognitive load of a space where therapy occurs, and the entire procession to this space, allows more of the patient’s energy and focus to be dedicated to the task at hand, the article said.

Read the article.


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