FP fans, meet Amanda Atkins, a therapist in Chicago, IL!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
Textured, colorful, mix-matched, warm, and soothing. From my navy velvet couch to the french country arm chairs, I love mixing different styles and textures to create a warm and welcoming environment.
My husband made the industrial pipe desk I use. My dad is an electrician, so I’ve always noticed lighting in spaces and how it effects the mood. I have a number of lamps in the room that create a soft ambiance.
I’m keen on first impressions, so I’ve spent a lot of energy making the street-view of my space inviting as well – with a sign and pretty red flower boxes that I plan on updating seasonally.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
I want my office to provide instant comfort. Going to therapy can be intimidating and I think it’s essential that your space puts clients at ease.
No one wants a sterile, clinical feel when they’re in a position of vulnerability. so I aim to make my office warm and safe.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
Occasionally you will find my Boston Terrier, Pearl, in my office. You will always have access to my tea cart, which I’ve put a lot of energy into making varied and delicious!
The couch is full of cozy pillows and there’s a bright yellow blanket nearby. I also have coloring books and kinetic sand if people prefer tactile things while they’re talking.
I almost always have fresh flowers to brighten the room. I like to have meaningful items around the room – one of my sons found a heart-shaped rock at the beach a few years back and I have it on a shelf. A client managing anxiety brought me a worry doll from her honeymoon and I have it out as well.
I have an oil diffuser in the office that I occasionally diffuse lavender in if the client is open to it. Even if I’m not diffusing an oil I like to turn the diffuser on with just water in it because the lights are quite soothing.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
I have a couple of close friends who are much cooler than I will ever be who helped organize my office and arrange the furniture.
Before I took the leap into private practice I created a vision board of things that inspired me and then started searching for the perfect items. I took my time and did not purchase an item unless it was exactly what I was looking for.
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?
I think the key is making your space YOUR SPACE. What brings you comfort?
You want your space to reflect who you are as a therapist and draw in clients who connect with that. It’s all about fit between client and therapist, and your space is a large piece of that story.
Don’t be afraid to take risks and get creative.
Amanda Atkins is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) in Chicago, IL…
You can learn more about her practice at: