Creating a safe space is no cake-walk, be it tangible or intangible. Either way, we know for a fact that when one needs to set up a therapist’s office, there is a lot to work on for the healer as well as the designer.
Before we get into any more facts, let us look at the challenges and objectives to
keep in mind when considering interior designs and decor for a therapist’s office :
– Creating an office space that is both professional while also being welcoming, warm & comfortable
– Transforming a unit of space into a functional working environment fo both the therapist as well as their clients
– Fit various kinds of furniture & functions into a single ambient structure – like a fairsized sofa, comfortable chairs for the customers, manageable table units and a work environment
As clients prepare to enter into their therapist’s office, it is certainly obvious that they are looking for an open space that can help balance the rigorous mental & emotional work of therapy.
The modern therapist offices have steered into putting to use the research in human behaviour to tap into design principles that can make the herculean task of therapy more lucid and one that promotes mental health.
In essence it is all about curating a space that fosters and nurtures mentalwellbeing. Now this is where the role of a decor expertise comes into the picture.
Every decision made by the designer plays a crucial rol in ensuring that the space is a calm and refreshing place.
Environmental Psychology & Interior Design
The Australian Psychological Society defines environmental psychology as –
“The study of transactions between individuals and their physical settings. In these transactions, individuals change the environment, and their behaviour and experiences are changed by the environment.”
Since urban design & planning as well as interior design share the interdisciplinary subject – environmental psychology, we have taken a look at some of the interesting research findings that will help you decide on how you want to design a unique, personalised and orderly therapy office.
Erica London, a therapist in Vancouver, WA when asked (by the online publication Fresh Practice) what vibe she hopes her office gives to her client answered,
“Of course, I hope clients feel safe and welcome when they come to our office, but beyond that I want the vibe to feel like a breath of fresh air. By using nature as an inspiration, I hope our office gives clients a sense of hope and rejuvenation that a better and reinvigorated life is not just possible but accessible.”
Here’s a list of the characteristics of therapist office spaces in which clients were found to be the more responsive & open :
– Cozy Elements
– Comfortable Seats (Chairs, Sofas, etc)
– Colourful & Up-beat Pillows
– Paintings, Murals, Artworks
– Clean & Orderly Spaces
– Display of Expertise
– Nature : Indoor Plants, Nature-based Artwork, etc
5 Facts About Therapist Interiors & Decor
A good therapeutic design is often times ignored without considering the human tendency to seek refuge. It is important however to consider a therapist office design that is sensitive to this instinct, especially for those clients who are more are dealing with a more damage.
Here are a few facts about therapist office interiors & design to help you with you whether you’re just getting started on setting up a new one or planning to redo the good old space :
Colours that choose for you walls in your therapist office designs set the tone of your work space.
In order to promote a sense of calm and a relaxing experience, you can choose between the soothing light tones like sage green, dusty blue or even mild lavender.
Research findings point out that grained wooden surfaces show a higher preference among people.
People seem find it comforting rather than the more intimidating alternative like glass or or chrome sheet surfaces, concrete and so on.
After all we have all been experienced how we can be intimidated by the power expressed by prison design, court-house interiors, and even older schools for that matter!
THE CLIENT CHAIR
Making an intelligent choice is completely mandatory when it comes to this, for most clinical psychologists, it is the most important decision about their workspace!
Humans are control-seeking beings. Chairs that can be moved around the space, have your clients’ backs and foster a sense of control & protected can be a thoroughly lucrative investment.
The place, position and the distance at which the client chair is set us can be more important than it may seem. Also, chairs with backs at shoulder length are found to help in promoting the sense of protection according to research.
Placing small tables that can also be moved around will also help your client establish space and territory for their personal belongings and devices.
We have all experienced a quick boost in our mood as soon as natural light hits us. Including windows can be a great way to simulate positive and ambient because of the natural light they usher into the room.
Windows at eye level that offer natural, scenic views can be quite a lot effective in fusing in a calm distraction. However, if the view opens up to a chaotic and bustling road with distracting, it is best to curtain that window up.
Although, if your space doesn’t have a window with the perfect sight, its no reason to fret. You can incorporate a lot of soft lighting fixture, table lamps, floor lamps, or even lightbulbs that emit natural light and you are good to go!
Either way, it is an absolute must to light your therapy office up.
Distractions have a reputation of creating a confused state and even restlessness. However, the phenomenon of positive distractions is considered as a good relief in between hefty conversations.
Objects that create positive distractions, big or small, can be a great way to offer your clients the mini-break that they need from talking about their issues. Art works, serene landscapes, pop-art, a library, indoor plants, fish tanks are excellent examples of positive distractions used by renowned therapy clinics and offices around the world.
Final Tip : Design To Heal
A therapist office is different from other workspaces because there is also the added responsibility of creating a space for others’ well-being rather than for your business.
It is therefore important to remember that you are creating a space for your clients more than you are creating it for you. Of course, there is the aspect of work and function to each element in your therapist office, but, making sure that they do not overpower and interfere with sessions is always the priority!
We would be thrilled to hear about your insights on how to decorate a therapist office.
Please let us know in the comments section, it will be great to hear more about creating spaces that heal, after all, all spaces must be designed to do the same!