FP fans, meet Erica Faulhaber, a therapist in Lakewood, CO!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
The style of New Directions Colorado is modern chic with pops of color and airy atmosphere.
The space is utilized appropriately – not overcrowded yet incorporates basic elements (couch, therapist chair, open coffee table) to provide therapy.
The space also allows me an area to do case notes and preparation for sessions at my desk.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
The vibe of hope! So many clients come in without hope that I wanted to provide a cozy space lending the opportunity of being comfortable.
The last thing I would want is having a client enter a sterile-feeling room where they feel confined. In direct contrast to feeling confined, my office is a vibrant and love-filled space where clients can feel at home.
I want clients to be who they are without the pressures they feel in the world outside of the therapy office.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
Yes! The clients of New Directions Colorado have their own mini-fridge stocked with beverages (H20 and carbonated drinks – LaCroix and Pellegrino).
They also have a warm fuzzy fleece teal blanket and a soft textured pillow.
In the space under my coffee table, there is a basket of coping tools which includes silly-putty, aroma dough, bubbles, a smooth rock with the word “comfort”, textured balls and foam animals.
My coffee table also has a faint scented candle and a jar of peppermints (which can be used with experiential exercises such as grounding).
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
The décor and design was a compilation of my ideas with a little help from my husband. It was very exciting to put the vision into a real life design.
The goal of the design was to meet a variety of clients – not only different genders but also various ages.
My therapist’s office helped inspire the feel I wanted to recreate because it was a comfortable environment, which allowed me to process my story.
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?
Think about your ideal client along the way. What brings them comfort or what would create the inability to share with you?
Along with this, Dr. Gerald Corey posed the question on whether or not you as a therapist, could separate the professional from the personal side. I would suggest the two cannot be separated.
So with this in mind, bring in who you are, both inside and outside the office with some discretion. This allows you to be show up authentically with your clients.
Erica Faulhaber is a MA, NCC, LPCC with a practice in Lakewood, CO…
She specializes in eating disorders, trauma and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She is a solo practitioner at New Directions Colorado.