FP fans, meet Dr. Sonya Slater, a therapist in Dublin, OH!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
It was important to locate an office space that felt relaxed, natural, and unique. The goal was to create space that felt like home from the moment you stepped out of the car.
The office is surrounded by green space helping to create a sense of calm and oneness with nature. Entering the location from a busy city street you find yourself immersed in wooded ravine that gives a sense of vitality. I really enjoy the feeling of solitude in the midst of a bustling suburban neighborhood.
After wading through tons of standard office buildings that were cold and uninviting, lacking in warm, natural light and the feel of ‘home’ the perfect location was Quarry Place on the banks of the scenic Scioto River and adjacent to Riverway Park.
Within the office we kept the paint colors light and airy, a soothing wall color set the tone for the space. Natural light floods through the floor to ceiling windows embracing calm. Using natural elements gives the feeling of tranquility. The wood plank branding wall greets visitors with a drink station.
Modern eclectic furniture is relaxed and comfortable with cozy throw pillows. Lighting plays a large role in the mood keeping the light levels low by removing all standard florescent tube lighting and replacing with can lights.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
I wanted my office to feel like home, not the house where we live, but our home from childhood. This invokes the feeling of safety; a place where you can go when the world throws us no-good, horrible, very bad days we can find refuge. I wanted it to feel like clients were nestled safely in a pillow fort.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
It was important create an experience for clients as soon as they enter the office. This includes a curated Spotify play list that consists of contemporary folk and classics with positive vibes.
The drink station offers fruit infused water (cucumber and mint have been popular) and LaCroix as well as an assortment of coffees, herbal tea, and cocoa. Mint candy is a staple for clients to enjoy.
Cozy blankets and pillows are available for snuggling up. Oil diffusers fill the space is filled with scent of calming essential oils.
Because I work with folks with anxiety and attention problems, a tin of Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty is never far away. I also have a variety art materials for those clients who prefer to engage the creative process in session.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
After selling my previous practice I wanted to start fresh with a new design that captured the brand identity of my new practice.
Giving her a description of the feeling I wanted clients to have in the space, she was able to run with it and create something that feels unique and 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?
Having someone to bounce ideas off was great. With seeing a full caseload, working on credentialing for the new practice, and all administrative tasks, I needed the help. Autumn was worth the money.
If a practice is bootstrapping the startup expenses, being able to assemble a cohesive space using secondhand furniture and fixtures can be tricky. I would suggest taking time to sit and think about how you want your space to feel. It should match your perspective in therapy and communicate your brand.
To find bargains you can sign up for business pricing with sites like Amazon and Wayfair to gain additional discounts. You can always upgrade to newer, nicer pieces as the practice grows. It will be easier to incorporate a new piece with the existing space if you have been thoughtful in planning at the beginning.
Dr. Sonya Slater is a Licensed Psychologist in Dublin, OH…