FP fans, meet Dr. Chad Coren, a therapist in Doylestown, PA!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
Each of my offices has its own unique personality. The smaller of the two has the bohemian look and feel of an exotic crafts shop–the kind where you walk in and see one-of-a-kind pieces that engender a sense of wonder and curiosity.
The intent was to create an aesthetically “organized clutter” of unique and interesting decor that weaves itself into a larger design tapestry. No matter where you look you’ll see something interesting. My artsier clients enjoy this room as it appeals to their aesthetic nature and creativity.
My second office, however, blends modern decor with rustic elements, utilizing natural wood, stone and plants. The thinking was to include more streamlined shapes that are softened by earthy elements (e.g., crystals, geodes, natural wood pieces).
The professionals I work with (e.g., physicians, attorneys, executives) tend to enjoy this room as everything is well placed/positioned and there is a clear, orderly look.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
I am looking to engender an immediate sense of comfort and familiarity by creating an environment consistent with my clientele’s expectations.
For example, when we walk into a hotel lobby on vacation, an Apple store, or our favorite coffee shop, the design elements provide a clear understanding of who they are and what they are looking for with a service or product. Because they feel understood and engaged with their environment—the often want to come back.
My psychology practice often involves working with high functioning, intelligent professionals, so I’ve created an engaging environment that I hoped would replicate that idea.
For example, I use a lot of metaphor in my art pieces that have symbolic meaning. Birds arranged in a family unit, geodes (rough on the outside, sophisticated within), plants representing constant growth, or abstract pictures that lend themselves to the uncertainty or connection of our thoughts. Many of my clients pick up on this and often time it becomes grist for the mill in sessions.
I also try to engage the senses by employing aroma therapy, preferring lavendar in all of my offices. Interestingly, I’ve been told by my clients that they think about our therapeutic experiences when they come across this scent in other areas of their life.
I use an air purifying, white noise machine within the offices that provide a comforting space for longer pauses in the session, as well a small table fountains that provide a single point focus of sound/movement for clients to focus on during difficult moments of exploration.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
I offer k-cup coffee, a full tea station, mints, a carefully curated Pandora music list, and lots of photography books in my waiting room for people to look through.
Waiting rooms cannot be emphasized enough. It’s our clients first impression of our practice!
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
I designed all the elements myself.
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?
Spend a lot time and money crafting your office into something your clients will wish to return to again and again.
As amazing a clinician as you are, if the milieu that houses your services is shabby, then it will deteriorate your client’s perception of your service.
Chad Coren is a Psychologist (PsyD) and Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) in Doylestown, PA…
You can learn more about his practice, Bucks County Psychological, at: