FP fans, meet Chris Williams, a therapist in Orange County, CA!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
I would describe my style as modern rustic. Renovari offices are anti-office space in that they are meant to be a living room of security and connection.
My clients have a place to sink into a seat/couch, take a deep breath, be at home and discover the most honest version of their experience and story.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
I believe that everything communicates and so I take great care what the space is saying to the clients. I desire for a client to feel a sense of ownership and care.
Simply put, I want people to feel a deep sense of love.
I look for colors, shapes, textures and furniture that relaxes the mind and the body. I allow my clients to make it the home they’ve always wanted but never had.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
I always stock the office with plenty of water. I also keep mints close by and have subtle scented décor. I don’t like strong scents, so I make sure that the scent in the room is subtle and usually has a natural aroma to it.
I’m in the middle of Southern California’s concrete jungle, so the sound machine as a noise barrier is a non-negotiable. I also, have music playing in the background for the start of my groups.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
I had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted for the design. I wanted a room that would facilitate the deep experiential group in an environment that felt natural and warm.
I began with my desire for the wooded shiplap wall. I’m extremely fortunate to work with Renovari therapist, Jeff Ortiz MFT, who was able to construct the wall from discarded wooden pallets. He worked tirelessly to bring it all together at professional grade. He is an incredible craftsman and even better therapist.
Secondly, interior designer and friend, Celeste Santiago of Celeste Santiago Designs guided the process with the furniture. Having her initial direction and affirmation was very helpful.
Finally, the feedback from clients has been most beneficial. I try to get client feedback as much as possible because it all exists for them.
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 want to encourage every therapist out there to consider the space they use as a primary therapeutic intervention.
Your room is such an incredible tool and opportunity for your work.
Practically, start with one item for your office you can’t live without (for me it was the trunk/coffee table) and design the room from there. Small changes can make a significant difference.
I would also encourage therapist to avoid “cluttered” looks. Too much décor can be distracting and anxiety producing. Keep it simple.
Chris Williams is Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT) in Orange County, California…
He primarily works with those struggling from addiction, trauma and marital conflicts. He also enjoys consulting with addiction treatment centers on trauma recovery and spiritual development.
Chris feels fortunate to be a part of Hope International University MA in Marriage and Family Therapy program as an adjunct professor. He also has a lot of fun co-hosting the nationally syndicated Christian call-in radio program, NewLife Live.
Renovari Counseling has offices in both Brea and Newport Beach, California.