FP fans, meet Melinda Ruppert, a therapist in Mechanicsville, MD!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
The style of my office is eclectic, comfortable and soothing. I have tried to add many interesting and unique styles and I have a mix of new and vintage furniture and accessories. It’s always fun to tell clients the “story” behind a piece of furniture or art.
The first thing people say when they walk in my office is how nice and relaxing it feels-like someone’s cozy living room.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
I hope that they feel a sense of safety, peace and comfort. The walls in my reception area are a little lighter gray/blue than my counseling office, it’s very soothing.
I spent a lot of time trying to find the right special touches so that my office wasn’t “cookie cutter.”
I wanted clients to tell others not only about me as a grief and loss therapist but to remember my office as a place that is unique and nurturing where I cater to their needs.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
Absolutely! I have a coffee bar which was actually a vintage dental cabinet that I restored, I offer Keurig coffees and teas as well as an assortment of gourmet caramels and chocolates from a local candy shop.
I have a small refrigerator fully stocked with water, iced coffee drinks, flavored waters and ginger ale. I have a cute gumball machine and a candy dish with mints.
I always buy the softest tissues (which is especially important for the clients I work with) and I never use overhead lighting, just a variety of floor and desk lamps.
I often have fresh flowers in my vintage colored glass bottles and I diffuse essential oils in a diffuser and have a white noise machine and music. At times, I also customize oil blends for my clients to take home.
I have a variety of live plants but my favorite is a colorful wall hanging succulent variety that I ordered from Etsy.
I have an antique mantel and I always change my décor to match the season or holiday. I provide a lending library for my clients too.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
My husband and I designed the office, it took us one summer to get everything ready for my grand opening in the fall. The majority of our time was spent searching for just the right unique furniture and accessories/art.
When I was finished decorating my office I invited a few friends to come and give me advice on what I needed to tweak or get rid of, that was very helpful.
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?
Never use overhead lighting (if it’s fluorescent). Don’t buy used furniture that is stained or uncomfortable to sit on. Beware of furniture (and carpet) that shows stains easily as the furniture in a therapy office gets used a lot! Get rid of clutter.?
If you have plants be sure they look healthy and alive. Beware of odors (mold, cigarette smoke, perfume etc).
Melinda Ruppert is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Mechanicsville, MD…
She specializes in grief and loss counseling.