FP fans, meet Erica Wilcox, a therapist in Southington, CT!
1. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
Modern rustic infused with holistic comfort. Uplifting and supportive. Earthy, grounding and a sacred space to heal and rejuvenate their minds, bodies and spirits.
2. WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
An oasis of calm, safety and an environment where they can really connect with their authentic selves and ignite their confidence and self esteem.
For most clients this space initiates self-care. They know that when they come here that this space was designed for their comfort and support and that they can do some great work here – that they deserve to experience nurturing, comforting things!
I love it when my client will sit on the couch, take in the sun from the windows and let out a sigh of relief from just being able to join together in this beautiful space. I often will prepare a cup of tea for my clients and that can go a long way. It demonstrates that they are worthy of time, attention and caring.
Many of my clients will see me for a session or group and then go to a yoga class or relax in the salt room to detox physically what they are working on emotionally.
3. DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
Oh yes I do! I have an assortment of seasonal organic herbal teas, filtered water, sound machine, often play soothing music in background, gratitude and mindfulness journals and coloring books in waiting area, fresh fruit and granola bars.
There is a beautiful fire pit outside that clients can enjoy before, during or after a session if they choose. I diffuse essential oils and integrate them into my practice with client consent. I also use stones, crystals to promote energetic grounding and growth. I have a very plush shag rug that clients naturally take off their shoes and get really cozy with a weighted faux fur blanket.
In the winter I have a small electric fireplace to make it more cozy and will have slippers to offer when people enter if they wish to remove their shoes (most do naturally). In the summer I offer cool hand towels infused with lemongrass and lavender essential oils.
There is a yoga studio below my office in the same building and an organic holistic spa with Himilayan salt room directly across the hall from my office suite. I am part of a wellness co-op with other holistic providers such as a naturopath, physical therapist, yoga therapist, life coach and marriage and family therapist.
4. WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
I did. I got my friend’s and family’s opinion on some ideas but mainly I hand selected each piece. Everything in my office has significance to support calm, positive, change-oriented energy. It took several months for it to come all together.
I incorporated a lot of different textures and soothing colors to promote health, healing and happiness. Even my bird cage book ends are a symbol that even when we feel trapped there is always a way out to spread our wings and soar.
I have a lot of triangle shapes to symbolize stability and strength and the trinity of mind, body, spirit, which is the foundation of my work. I have a triangle moon box to display my crystals, which shows the cycles of the moon – representing the cycles of change we experience during therapy and the return to our inner, powerful selves.
The walls were already painted the cool turquoise and light green which I take as a sign from the universe that this was meant to be a healing place. The pillows are purple, which represent healing energy and they are textured to help with grounding as well.
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?
Create a vision board on Pinterest and get one piece at a time that really really speaks to you. Give yourself time for it to all come together – it will.
Think of it from your client’s perspective and also what comforts for you, as the therapist, will enjoy as well. Look for textures and colors that are appealing and keep it simple. Too much can be anxiety provoking. Sit on the couch (or wherever your client sits) and see the room from their perspective – and vice versa.
You are doing amazing, life changing work and need the energy and environment of the office to support that.
Make it an experience, not just an office. If it is a true reflection of you as a person and therapist, you will attract your ideal clients.
Erica Wilcox is Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Southington, CT…
She is also a Certified Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapist & EMDR International Association Approved EMDR Consultant in Training.