FP fans, meet Laura Long, a therapist in Simpsonville, SC!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
I personally like clean lines, order, and symmetry, so I made sure to incorporate those elements into my design.
Since I primarily work with couples, I also wanted to implement both masculine and feminine features so that both partners feel comfortable.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
Like any therapist, I want my clients to feel comfortable and at ease when they come into my office.
At first, I was bummed that my office didn’t have a window. But then I had several clients tell me that they were relieved that my office was windowless, because it made them feel like it was more private.
I also believe that order and organization are very important because they help keep my clients focused on the work we’re doing together.
I don’t want them to have to think about where to sit, where to put their drinks down, what time it is, etc. so I made sure to remove any of those subtle mental barriers so that they can 100% focus on their session.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
I always offer my clients something to drink, whether it’s coffee, tea, or water. There’s just something comforting about having someone prepare a beverage for you.
I also have a super soft chenille blanket on my sofa, extra pillows, and a sound machine just outside the door.
I have two clocks in my office – one that I can easily check without having to look away from my clients (it’s also just a few minutes ahead to help me stay on time), and another one facing my clients so that they don’t have to check their phones (and possibly get distracted by a text or a missed call).
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
I feel like my office has evolved over time, just like my own design taste. When I first started out in private practice, I didn’t really have much of a budget, and it showed (think hand-me-down furniture and minimal accessories).
Now that I’ve been in private practice for a few years, I understand and appreciate the importance of investing in comfortable furniture and beautiful pieces to help my clients feel relaxed.
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?
Design your office from your clients’ perspective, not your own.
This includes having a place for them to set down their bag, a tabletop for their drink, and doing small gestures to help them feel more at ease.
Large companies do this all the time – it’s called customer experience – but it’s often overlooked by therapists.
Sit on the couch as if you’re a client and think about how you would like the room arranged. If your clients are comfortable, you’ll be able to get right to work doing what you do best.
Laura Long is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Supervisor in Simpsonville, SC...
You can learn more about her practice and coaching services by visiting: