As we consider a return of in-person sessions, our thoughts naturally turn to our work spaces. We’ve been sprucing up at home for the past year and things are sparkling. But has your office just been collecting dust? Maybe it just feels a little… uninspiring? Or maybe it feels so cramped that it reminds you of a storage space! Either way, that’s not the setting for your best work with clients. It could be time for a redo.
Despite what you’ve seen on Instagram and Pinterest (or tackled at home!) over the past year, your office refresh need not involve knocking down walls and installing shiplap. It can be as extensive or simple as you want! Perhaps a significant overhaul — including new lighting, flooring, and furniture — is calling for you. Or maybe all you need is a little freshening with a few slight changes. We have some ideas for you, no matter what state your office is in right now.
5 Tips for Refreshing Your Therapy Practice Space
As we discuss our tips, a note to keep in the front of your mind: your practice should be a calming and inviting space for you and your clients. Ok, With that notion in focus, here are five ideas for making changes to your space.
Don’t get too bold
Yes, your space should reflect you. But, ultimately, your space should fade into the background in favor of creating an environment that's relaxing for clients.
We recommend staying away from loud, noisy prints or vivid bright colors. Think calming neutrals in blues and greens to set the tone. Along with being an inviting space for patients, your office also needs to be a calming place for you and the rigorous mental work you put into your practice.
If you do love going bold and bright orange cheers you on tough days, we aren’t suggesting you can’t have any — but perhaps a favorite framed painting in your favorite tones would be most appreciated.
Burn the cheesy motivational posters
We aren't trying to hate on inspirational quotes. Have you seen our Facebook page? But even though we love the kitten hanging on a branch with the mantra, "Hang in there," beneath, we just can't condone it in your office.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but cheesy motivational posters hanging on the walls scream, “You’re in therapy!” and can be off-putting for clients, especially newer clients who may be somewhat skeptical. For some clients, seeking therapy is an act of courage. That is to say: help them focus on the work they came to do by creating a space that's unobtrusive. A room that is a blank canvas for clients, so to speak.
If you have a tasteful framed motivational saying that helps inspire you daily, perhaps consider it in the same vein as personal items, like photographs of your family. If you feel comfortable having personal items in your office, consider hanging them at your desk, or in a more personal space within the room. Or, set it as your phone or computer background so you’re inspired every time you login!
Freshen the place up
There’s a reason why Tidying Up is a cultural phenomenon: it’s amazing what a thorough cleaning and a few small changes can do to a space.
If you have windows, clean them and open the blinds to let natural light into the room. Add some fresh greens or flowers to reduce stress and anxiety and promote a healthier work environment. And, need we say it? A plant or small bouquet could be just the cheer you need to help refocus your energy.
Pick the right furniture
Consider this your sign: it’s time to get rid of that couch with a coffee stain you strategically arrange pillows over. Or that pillow that just seems… tired. They don’t reflect you, your work, or your pride in either!
There is absolutely no need to dread this furniture purchase! And no need to go overboard and extravagant. In fact, doing so may risk alienating clients. Focus on the essentials—a comfortable therapist’s chair that allows you to comfortably sit upright and an upholstered couch for individuals and couples. Get a desk that’s large enough for you to work without overpowering the room.
Want more tips on decoration? Check out our tips in our YouTube video for The Psychotherapist Success Guide. (Or get the full free book here!)
Know when it’s time to move
Sometimes a space just can’t be saved. New furniture and plants can’t fix problems like not having a window or noisy office neighbors. If it feels like your cramped space is really cramping your sessions, you aren’t doing anyone a favor by staying.
Naturally, changing offices can be difficult for clients who rely on the consistency of seeing you in your space. But if you feel your new space will improve your work, it will improve client outcomes as well. The best practice is to let clients know well in advance of your move, highlighting the ways that your new office will improve their therapy sessions.
Your office serves you and your clients. Take a good long look at what you don’t like about your office before diving into a redo. You might be able to spruce up the place with some new furniture and decor, or you may realize the space just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Whatever you decide to do, we're here to help with practice management software that eliminates the administrative headaches from running your practice. Try TherapyAppointment free for 30 days and see how it can help your business grow!