FP fans, meet Melissa Divaris Thompson, a therapist in New York, NY!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
I would describe the style of my office as fresh, uncluttered, bright, and cozy.
I also love that it has accents that are meaningful to me such as the hippo and the elephants as I am from South Africa and it reminds me of my first home.
I have a heart crystal that was my aunts, a stone from my favorite beach in San Francisco, CA, and a heart pottery piece which was a gift from a dear friend. I also have a pink salt lamp which my clients love and a few of my favorite and near and dear to my heart books.
I love that even though my space is very small, it has extremely tall ceilings and a large window with a view of the Empire State Building.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
I hope my office gives off the vibe of a clear and yet comfortable space that someone can feel safe in.
I also love the personal details that not only make me feel more grounded but also my clients. It feels like when clients walk into my space, they get to know me a little more.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
I always offer water. I have sound machines inside and outside my door so privacy is assured. Because I like my space to be more clear, I have some candy and other things stored away.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
I spent many many hours pondering over my office. I probably looked at and liked 50 couches and 30 chairs. I was on Pinterest. I asked other therapist friends.
Finally, after months of pondering, I decided to hire Betsy Helmuth at Affordable Design who is also a friend. She helped me create my vision and took into consideration all that I brought to her.
It was amazing to have someone be so clear and direct and see how everything fits. I love that I used most of her ideas but also have quite a few touches of my own.
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?
It will never be perfect. You will design it and then think, oh man, why didn’t I get something different?
Overall I love my office because it reflects me in a grounded professional open way. I want my office to reflect who I am and I certainly want to feel comfortable there as well.
Melissa Divaris Thompson is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) in New York, NY…