March 20, 2007 1:49 PM   Subscribe

A snoezelen room is a multi-sensory environment that provides comfort for people with severe mental disabilities. They tend to incorporate a combination of visual, aural, and tactile stimulii, but can take many different forms. The rooms generally offer soothing, non-directive therapy, but the effects are hard to quantify. While mostly used with children, some think the snoezelen can help those with alzheimer's or dementia.
posted by jtajta (16 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Screw forts I want a snoezelen in my bedroom.
posted by fermezporte at 2:30 PM on March 20, 2007

I can't say much for their medicinal effects, but those rooms are great settings for some trippy, kick ass parties.
posted by inconsequentialist at 2:43 PM on March 20, 2007

for "people with severe mental disabilities"...or for tuckered out ravers?

on preview, inconsequentialist beat me to it.

posted by juv3nal at 2:46 PM on March 20, 2007

"Todd... ,who nearly drowned two years ago, reacts to the water column in the snoezelen"
My god, that one woman's pushing him closer to the water and the other one's just lauging at poor todd... he's obviously freaked out too much to do anything but gape in overwhelming fear. Are you sure these aren't psychological torture chambers in a fluffy disguise?
posted by wumpus at 3:07 PM on March 20, 2007

Nice. I wish I had a portable one I could crawl into whenever I feel a panic attack coming on.
posted by treepour at 3:10 PM on March 20, 2007

Heh, nice to see the dutch word 'snoezelen' is being used worldwide. However, 'snoezelen' is the verb (to snoezel?). You snoezel in the 'snoezelruimte' (snoezel room?). And yes, I've been in one... very spacy indeed.
posted by pj_rivera at 3:32 PM on March 20, 2007

In 1995, when I was in the Netherlands, I had the chance to hang out in a snoezelen room for about an hour. I was visiting a large high school for children with a variety of disabilities. It was very cool. I also had thoughts about wishing I had taken some sort of mind-altering substance before I went in, but even without tripping, it was still highly stimulated and it was an amazing experience.

I was just thinking about this the other day but I had forgotten what it was called. I have tried to explain it to people many times but no one knew what I was talking about, so they either didn't understand or thought I was crazy.

Thanks for finding this.
posted by chillmost at 3:53 PM on March 20, 2007

Awesome. Thanks for this. I'm a snoezelen fan and wonder if they could be used for other diseases. Treepour mentions the panic attacks - there could be something to the idea of a less stressful environment easing the stressors that cause panic attacks.

Some of the tents at Burning Man this year had definite elements of snoezelen decor there. I know it's cool to beat up on the concept of BM, but still - lovely decors that were very relaxing and inspiring to be in and around. I don't know if they're 'psychological torture chambers' per se - but again, depends on how you measure these things. For some people I imagine Vegas would be a psychological torture chamber...

Makes you wonder how much of our workplaces would be a little less stressful if people had a more ambient, tranquil room to relax in. No, having a foosball table is not what I'm talking about, either.
posted by rmm at 5:17 PM on March 20, 2007

Is this like the grown up version of baby mobiles and play centers?
posted by The Power Nap at 6:09 PM on March 20, 2007

I want one!
posted by dejah420 at 6:16 PM on March 20, 2007

My wife (the Lovely Karen) and her teaching partner built one of these at their school for kids with developmental disabilities a few years back. Very cool, and very effective, especially with some of the more involved kids.
posted by mmahaffie at 6:52 PM on March 20, 2007

hey, does anyone know where I can get one of those water column things?
posted by lastobelus at 10:31 PM on March 20, 2007

If anyone actually gets one of these, they are required to host a massive MeFi meetup at their home.
posted by homunculus at 10:43 PM on March 20, 2007

I had heard of the term in passing, but even as a Dutchman I wasn't aware of what the term actually meant. Thank you for posting this.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:59 AM on March 21, 2007

Yes, homunculus, yes. Massive MeFi meetup is in order :)
posted by rmm at 11:51 AM on March 24, 2007

Your place, then?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:33 PM on March 24, 2007

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