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Unformatted text preview: Healing Garden for People Suffering
from Burnout Diseases
The overall question addressed in this paper is: Why does the healing garden at Alnarp
campus look like it does? The goal of the paper is to answer this question by discussing the
design process leading to the healing garden. The method used here involves application of
the theoretical hypotheses constructed in Paper I. Work with Paper II has resulted in a
deeper and more applied hypothesis construction concerning the design of healing gardens. 21 The point of departure of the healing garden at Alnarp campus is that it should be viewed as
a full-scale laboratory. In order to conduct our research, we have been given the opportunity
to lay out a full-scale garden and to build up garden rooms on the basis of scientific findings.
This design work is the collaborative effort of several actors, primarily Associate Professor
Patrik Grahn and landscape architects Sara Lundström, Frederik Tauchnitz and myself, but
discussions have also been pursued with several other individuals with varying
competencies, primarily in the areas of horticultural therapy and physiotherapy (see Figure
6). We knew from the outset that this would be an extensive and long-term research project.
The project is planned to run for ten years and was begun in 2001. Our hope, however, is
that the project can continue to develop as long as there is a need for its activities and for the
knowledge developed through them.
This study constitutes the prerequisite for a forthcoming intervention study, in which two
groups of people with the same clinical picture – fatigue reactions – will be investigated.
One group will receive treatment in the form of horticultural therapy at the healing garden at
Alnarp campus and the other will receive more traditional rehabilitation in a completely
different environment. Yet another, third group will receive ”the usual treatment,” which
entails the most common current treatment of rest at home in combination with
antidepressants such as and Prozac. Thus, the purpose is to study the rehabilitation
model offered at Alnarp, in which horticultural therapy and the garden itself collaborate in
the rehabilitation process. Figure 6. Sketch of the healing garden at Alnarp campus, by Ulrika A. Stigsdotter. 22 The healing garden at Alnarp campus came to be Sweden’s first healing garden connected to
a university and its research and teaching, as well as the first to offer a rehabilitation
program for people suffering from fatigue reactions or burnout syndromes. Because interest
in the area is so great, there are already two additional healing gardens in Sweden that are
affiliated with a university: Sinnenas Rum (Room of the Senses), affiliated with the Sports
Medicine Unit at Umeå University, and Wijks trädgårdar (Wijk’s Gardens), affiliated with
the University of Gävle and its program in Design and Wood Technology. Over the years,
the healing garden at Alnarp campus has come to play a...
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