I’m pleased to be back on the blog today to talk about the Snoezelen approach and the
Snoezelen training that I had the chance to follow at Petrarch thanks to my work as an
I will try to keep it short because there is so much to say but if you are interested, I invite
you to follow this fascinating training or to have a look at the Petrarch Snoezelen website!
I hope through this article to make you discover a little more, to transmit you my passion
and my vision of this so beneficial accompaniment!
I also hope to have succeeded in offering you an affordable article that everyone can
As a reminder, I am an educator for adults with disabilities, but this training can be useful for
I went to Evry in the 91 near Paris to do this training in the showroom of the company
Petrarque is a company that exists since 1993, it organizes professional training sessions and
has a design office to accompany Snoezelen projects within establishments.
Note that Petrarque is the only training organization in France to be OPQF qualified and
Qualiopi certified, a guarantee of quality for the trainees!
In fact, I asked for an estimate for the day care and accommodation service SAJH in which I
work! Petrarque went to the site and proposed us some very well done 3D plans!
Don’t hesitate to call on them, they are very professional, they come to you free of charge to
make estimates for your projects!
I did the 5-day Snoezelen module 1 training at Petrarque, it was extremely enriching!
Since I started working in the medical-social field 10 years ago and discovered the Snoezelen
approach, I wanted to learn more!
I was really happy that my job could offer me this!
It’s a training that uses the sensorial approach and stimulation and relaxation as a mediation
to enter in relationship! I’ll tell you more about it below!
A lot of observation, good treatment, benevolence, this Snoezelen pedagogy totally
corresponds to me, it was already anchored in me.
In addition to the mediation through clay that I do in my pottery workshops, I also wanted to
train in sensory and body mediation.
I wanted to improve my accompaniment, my way of relating, of observing non-verbal
communications and of bringing even more well-being to the public I accompany. The
training totally met my expectations.
This training was already resonating in me, it was innate and anchored in my knowledge and
my know-how, I spent 5 exciting days, I am really happy to be able to share it with you here.
The Snoezelen approach is a very beautiful philosophy of accompaniment, of approach of
the person who takes into account his sensorial needs. It is a very positive and enriching
approach as much for oneself as for what one brings to others.
The Snoezelen approach is often associated with a room in which we practice this
But the Snoezelen approach is not a room, it is a way of entering into a relationship, of
approaching the other person by using material as a mediating tool.
The Snoezelen room is only a tool for this mediation, it is a multi-sensory room in which we
propose this approach. But it is true that the material and the room give a very soothing,
reassuring and containing atmosphere that encourages letting go.
To explain the history of Snoezelen, it was initiated by two young men in the Netherlands,
Mr Ad Verheul and J. Hulsegge for their accompaniment of mentally handicapped people.
Snoezelen is a mixture of two words: « Snueffelen » which means « to sniff, to feel » which
represents an active dimension of the person who is going to be in the discovery and
« Doezelen » which means rather to doze and thus a passive dimension of the person who is
going to relax, to slacken while being in the relaxation and the pleasure
Snoezelen spaces can be found in all types of establishments that welcome the public today,
whether in a day care center, in a children’s home of a social nature, in a retirement home or
in an establishment for people with disabilities!
There are also independent rooms and people who practice it at home because Snoezelen
can be adapted to everyone, whether we have a disability or not !
During this training, we review important theoretical aspects on the physiological and
psychological development of humans! We put sense on why we work this sensory
dimension with the public, we identify the needs, the development.
The training allows us to realize and to put words on what we do, on what we bring to the
When we practice in the Snoezelen room, there is a very cocooning, reassuring and
containing atmosphere that allows us to put ourselves in a slightly regressive state, we let go
and we refocus on ourselves, our emotions and sensations. I loved being myself in the
situation and feeling my body differently, listening to it and its sensations.
The main goal of the Snoezelen approach is to enter into a relationship, it will be a mediation
that will initiate the encounter.
There should be no expectation on the part of the companion, no desire for performance, no
control, each session is an invitation, a journey.
The companion must then listen to the person and follow his or her rhythm, letting the
person explore and share.
The Snoezelen approach allows to stimulate the senses, to perhaps allow the person to
better discover and understand his body, to feel it. This approach will accompany the
construction of a psycho-corporal security of the person to help him/her to discover
Some people, especially those with disabilities, do not realize that they have a body as well
as a mind, they have not yet met themselves.
We will then stimulate hearing, sight, touch, smell, proprioception and the internal feelings
of the person to help him/her become aware of his/her body.
On va alors stimuler l’ouïe, la vue, le toucher, l’odorat, la proprioception et les ressentis internes de la personnes pour l’aider à prendre conscience de son corps.
Snoezelen is a pedagogy based on three axes.
The sensory through stimuli, the awakening of the senses, the exploration. Relaxation
through relaxation, letting go and well-being. And finally the relational through the
interaction of the privileged relationship that will be created and the exchanges.
The Snoezelen approach can help people who are stressed, anxious, people with disabilities
who have behavioral problems to calm down, for example, to regain calm.
It can also help people who are a little apathetic to find the desire and motivation to move
around and explore.
The Snoezelen approach will also help people who are centered on themselves, in their own
bubble, with autistic traits to enter into relationships, to have exchanges of glances,
In addition to working on interaction, communication, the discovery of sensations and the
body, I find that it is a very complete mediation that can bring to all.
You can of course do it at home with your children by adapting a small cosy corner for the
During the training we were 9 professionals and 1 trainer, we were in a training room with a
space for each one for the theoretical exchanges. But also the Snoezelen space to carry out
practice times, the Petrarque showroom is extremely well equipped, the room is really
We are immersed in this soothing space, it is so pleasant, the first session we want to see
everything, to touch everything!
It was very interesting because we carried out different practical exercises each time while
being accompanied or the person accompanied.
We let ourselves be totally guided by putting ourselves in the place of the person
accompanied during the sensory immersion and then the same exercise being accompanied
this time to put ourselves in both roles.
It was very interesting and it allowed us to put ourselves in the place of the people I
accompany at work to receive ourselves and discover how we perceive our senses.
The Pétrarque showroom is really superb, very complete, it was a real pleasure to work in
such a beautiful space!
The room is equipped with a heated water mattress with speakers just underneath so that
the low sounds vibrate the mattress! It’s really nice to have that floating feeling on the
mattress combined with the heat! The best is lying on your stomach, the effects are
Above the bed, Petrarch has installed a white curtain for a cocooning cloud effect even more
pleasant on which they project green stars!
The place is very pleasant, you feel good, safe, you can let go and just enjoy, take time for
yourself far from the problems, the pressure of everyday life.
We also find in the room a space with 3 bubble columns on a podium and mirrors placed just
behind to reflect more and give an even more enveloping effect.
The bubble columns are large and really nice to look at, the effect of the bubbles rising is
quite hypnotic! Personally I find it very soothing, I spent a lot of time watching them!
The optical fibers are also very soothing, you can look at them, touch them, put them on
yourself to make weight, separate them between them, make them spin! It’s a very nice
tool, very pleasant during the sessions!
In the room, cascading fibers were placed next to the water mattress, there were also some
under the refuge hut and near the water columns.
The room also has sensory panels with different materials to touch, games that spin, make
There are so many different things in the room I won’t be able to list everything, feel free to
put a little comment if you have any questions! It’s a showroom so it’s a demonstration place
as well as a training place and the room is extremely well equipped. You have to adapt the
atmosphere according to the wishes of the person, everything is not on at the same time!
The light in the room is dimmed and can be adjusted with a dimmer switch. It is possible to
choose the color of the room but also the bubble columns, everything is controllable by
I really liked the mirror well with the long fluorescent wires! The room is equipped with a UV
light to be able to play with fluorescent accessories and work on the visual sensations of the
I have so much to tell you because it is really an exciting approach! The trainer who was with
us for 5 days was very benevolent, he was in the exchange, in the listening and really
allowed us to be actor of our training!
He had quite a background and we felt he was really passionate about his work and the Snoezelen approach, he had a lot of experience!
He asked us a lot of questions, proposed us a lot of reflection exercises to bring us the
theoretical aspects, I was not bored for a second! I learned a lot, it was very enriching!
I was also lucky enough to be with 8 other very interesting people who enriched this training
even more! We were a great and caring team, we immediately felt confident and on the
same page. I had a great week.
I will stop here for today! I know that you would also like to know how to adapt a small
Snoezelen space with your children! But this article is already quite long, I prefer to save it
for a second one!
I hope you will have as much fun reading this article as I had writing it!
Don’t hesitate to ask Pétrarque Snoezelen if you have any questions that I haven’t answered!
The team is really welcoming, available and caring!
See you soon
Yohann and Sevy
Sponsored article in partnership with Pétrarque