If you're a regular 'round these parts, chances are you're well aware of the connection between the design of a room and how you feel while in it, and who better to corroborate that notion than those who know feelings best? Photographer (and psychoanalyst) Mark Gerald's project "In the Shadow of Freud's Couch" provides a peek into the fascinating and sometimes unexpected offices of 40 psychoanalysts around the world.
The title refers to Freud's famous oriental rug-covered couch where he saw the patients who helped him formulate his theories. Gerald's work shows that analysts today occupy spaces as varied as their differing techniques.
Far from the sparse, neutral decor many imagine when they think of therapy, most spaces are inviting, full of unique details and feel homey, not clinical, which no doubt goes a long way towards making patients feel comfortable and safe.
And, according to Gerald, just as some Jungian practitioners try to symbolically re-create the womb by occupying window-less spaces, many of these offices have arrived at this state more naturally. He says, "The office has sort of grown around them, filled in organically." We'd say that's a pretty good sign, not only for the feeling of physical security, but also as simple proof that your analyst has been around long enough to accumulate all that...ahem...experience.
It's a fascinating look at the telling design choices of an industry that knows its way around the subconscious.
See the project in its entirety at Mark Gerald.