Exploring imagined therapeutic landscapes: trainee social care practitioners in Ireland

Frank Houghton, Sharon Houghton


The concept of therapeutic landscape, as introduced to geographers by Gesler, has had a significant impact on what has become a reformed geography (or geographies) of health. Burgeoning research in this field has developed the number and type of sites that have been characterised as therapeutic landscapes. It is notable, however, that in this expansion, little focus has been given to imagined therapeutic landscapes, perhaps indicating a dominance of positivist, masculinist approaches. Although several researchers provide suggestions as to what these mindscapes might depict, little more than anecdotes currently exist. This research explores the imagined therapeutic landscapes of 80 trainee social care professionals, based on thematic analysis influenced by Heideggerian hermeneutic phenomenological approaches. Findings indicate that although there may be widespread unity in the mindscapes of many, the diversity within each field is notable. This study also notes that, although primacy is routinely given to the visual landscape, the impact of the other senses in moulding therapeutic mindscapes must not be underestimated. Cultural and gender relationships are explored and suggestions for further research are made.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.2014/igj.v46i1.264

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:irg:ie:0000-igj.v46i1.2645

URN (PDF): http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:irg:ie:0000-igj.v46i1.264.g2207


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