The spatial anticipation of the future in the homes of mental health service users


  • Ian Tucker University of East London



mental health, everyday life, space, process


This paper develops an approach to analysing the importance of anticipations of the future on present actions in the lives of mental health service users, for whom sensing stability in the future is important as part of the recovery process. The work of Henri Bergson and Alfred North Whitehead is drawn upon to argue that temporality is understood spatially, and that past and future experience only exist in relation to their shaping of present activity. This process is produced spatially rather than chronologically. Drawing on empirical work with community mental health service users the paper focuses on the home space as a key site for organising space in anticipation of future life. This involves analysing accounts of home making in which we see the role of anticipatory futures in the ordering of domestic space. The paper concludes by arguing that home spaces are a key site related to ongoing psychological well being, and that analysis of such spaces is important in terms of highlighting practices through which service users attempt to ‘make the future’. 

Author Biography

Ian Tucker, University of East London

Senior Lecturer in Psychology




How to Cite

Tucker, I. (2013). The spatial anticipation of the future in the homes of mental health service users. Outlines. Critical Practice Studies, 14(1), 26–40.