When I opened my private practice office last year, I had spent weeks considering the decor and finding ways to decorate that wouldn’t break the bank. I made a Pinterest board full of ideas and considered the items I saw in my own therapist’s office to find inspiration. I started with a color palette and style (modern rustic) and went from there.
The style of a therapist’s office should be inviting, comfortable, and promote a state of peace. I want my clients to feel welcome as soon as they enter. In order to do that, I came up with a list of five essential items for my therapy office.
In no particular order:
This was high on my list, why? Because both myself and my client sit in the seats for at least 50 minutes (typically scheduled session length) and there is nothing worse than sitting in an uncomfortable seat. I made sure to sit in the seats prior to purchasing so I could get a sense of how my client would feel. My chair has changed once since I moved into the office and I would like a larger couch to accommodate my tall clients (see this post on when I realized my couch was too small, lol. I don’t have a couch that’s long enough to lay down)
Essential oils are great for the senses and can make a space feel relaxing and calming. My favorite essential oils to use are lavender (helps to calm and reduces anxiety), eucalyptus ( helps with sinus congestion and improves breathing) and any citrus (lemon or orange) to refresh the space and promote joy. Essential oils can be distributed by using a diffuser or a hand cream infused with the oils.
Some office buildings have very thin walls and doors, making it easy for sound to pass through. It is important to maintain my client’s privacy while in session and also when I have phone meetings in the office. A sound machine (usually two or more depending on the space) helps to keep the outside noise out and keep the inside noise in. Basically, the machine is white noise that’s loud enough to talk over while helping to keep the conversation in the room.
Coffee, water or tea anyone?
I typically carry water and coffee to the office for myself, but sometimes my clients don’t have time to stop and may get parched during the session time. I find having coffee, tea, and water available has been a welcome addition.
Decor that fits your personality
What makes an office unique is the personal touch of those who occupy it. I knew I wanted a modern rustic feel with mostly neutral colors and a pop of yellows and oranges. Some therapists choose to pictures of their family or copies of their license and diplomas on the walls. I went for bold art with pops of color and inspiring quotes. I still have one section above my desk to decorate which I think I’ll do by adding shelving. *honorable mention* Lighting. The lighting in an office building can be uncomfortably dark or unreasonably bright. Adding light fixtures so you don’t have to use the overhead light can give the office a cozy feel. I’ve yet to find lighting that I like but I’ll be on the look out.
While my office is ever-evolving and I want to do some updates, I know it will never be perfect. Perfection is not what I am looking for. My true hope is to create a space where my clients feel comfortable and welcomed.
For those of you with offices, what are your must haves? For you therapists, what were your essentials when you curated your office space? Share your thoughts about my lists or any additions in the comments.
I want to keep in touch with you! You find me on Instagram at iamkrystalcj or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter where I share personal reflections and self-care tips. You can sign up here and get a free self-care worksheet.