FP fans, meet Laurel Fay, a therapist in Silver Spring, MD!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
Clients and visitors often describe my offices as soothing, peaceful and serene. They comment that entering our space feels like walking into a welcoming friend’s home.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
The peaceful vibe is definitely one I specifically went for in designing the space…I wanted them to feel calm and reassured by the colors and atmosphere.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
I do! I have gourmet coffees available for our Keurig, along with flavored creamer and several different types of sugar and add-ins. Clients often comment on how they were looking forward to our coffee upon arrival!
In addition, I always keep plenty of what has become our “signature” treat – cookies and cream flavored Hershey’s kisses. I initially picked them because their light blue wrappers matched our decor (yes, I can get that obsessive about the details!) but so many clients share how much they love and look forward to them that I keep them in constant stock. Not easy given how popular they are!
I really believe that because our clients come to do what very well may be the hardest work of their day, they need and deserve some niceties and pampering.
That’s also why I have in every room a couple of blankets and several plushy pillows. I also purposefully never use the room-provided overhead fluorescent lights; instead there are several incandescent lamps in each therapy office, so the mood continues to be soothing and as relaxing as possible.
I take very seriously the responsibility and privilege our clients give us by letting us into their lives, often at times of crisis, and I am committed to taking excellent care of them at every stage of their work with us.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
Just me! I had such fun scouring catalogs and shops – it became a minor obsession. When I found an item that spoke to me and/or matched the decor and theme of the office, I picked it up. I furnished the bulk of the office from IKEA, simply because I could get a clean design aesthetic at great prices.
There were many different places I found my treasures, from stores like HomeGoods and Target to flea markets, yard sales, and even some of my own personal items from home.
I found one sculpture at our town’s annual international festival – it’s a marble carved couple in the shape of a heart, originating from Africa. As soon as I saw it I fell in love with it for not only how it looks but the message it sends.
5) ANY ADVICE FOR THERAPISTS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT AND DESIGNING THEIR OFFICE FOR THE FIRST TIME, OR SEASONED THERAPISTS LOOKING TO REDESIGN THEIR OFFICES?
Don’t think you have to have a penchant for design or a ton of money to set up your office beautifully, and don’t pass by bargain places like WalMart or yard sales. If something appeals to you and feels like it communicates what you’re looking for, get it.
A therapy room that is well put-together feels so because of a continuity of design, not because it only reflects expensive pieces. Above all, if you feel comfortable in the space and it reflects you, ultimately your clients will feel comfortable there too!
Make sure it’s a space you love to be in – that will help you also do your best work there.
© Fresh Practice
Laurel Fay is a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist (LCMFT) in downtown Silver Spring, MD…
She has been in private practice since 2002. She has five fantastic therapist associates working for her, and is proud to say that her practice is staffed exclusively by marriage/couple and family therapists – the best-trained therapists for relationship issues.
Laurel Fay & Associates is celebrating its 15 year anniversary in 2017, and are moving into a larger therapy space in the spring. They are located in the Metropolitan Building in downtown Silver Spring, and will continue to be so (just up a couple floors!).
In addition, they have a satellite office in Bowie, MD.
And watch for LFA’s new podcast, Psychobabble, in 2017!