Many patients in mental healthcare suffer from low self esteem. Low self-esteem can increase the severity of a mental disorder and can prevent the patient from recovery. To increase the patient’s self-esteem a therapy, called Competitive Memory Training (COMET), was developed. COMET aims at increasing the patient’s self-esteem by restoring the balance between the retrieval of positive and negative autobiographical memories. The target group was people who suffer from panic disorder an the aim was to facilitate the retrieval of positive memories by designing a therapy enhancing product. Concluding from the conducted experiments on several sensory stimuli, grass is an appropriate cue for the retrieval of positive autobiographical memories and the tactile stimulus delivered the best results for the valence and vividness of the retrieved memory. As a result, the Rookie was designed. It is a piece of furniture for the bedroom covered with grass. The grass can be touched by the user when lying in bed. Panic disorder patients often have problems falling asleep or they wake up in the middle of the night with an increased bodily arousal. During those tough moments the Rookie serves as a support for panic disorder patients and helps them with the retrieval of positive memories.
V.T. Visch, M. Melles
master thesis, April 2012