FP fans, meet Kimberly Mathis, a therapist in Chattanooga, TN!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
I would describe my space as clean, modern, vibrant, chic, and feminine. I wanted an office that felt a little like coming home, and a little like going out on the town.
For many of my clients, their appointments are one of the only times during the week that they get away from the responsibilities of home or work, so it was important to me that they feel like they are doing something special for themselves when they walk into the office.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
So many of my clients remark on the space as soon as they walk in. They describe it as being somewhere they wouldn’t mind staying for a few hours.
When I first began imagining the space, I wanted lots of natural light during the day, and cozy lamp light in the evening. I also wanted my clients to know that I take my job very seriously.
I value the time we spend together, their willingness to be there, and the environment that allows us to do difficult work together, and the space reflects that.
It’s also a women’s counseling center, so the space was intentionally made to feel feminine with plants, fresh flowers, and vibrant pops of color.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
I want my clients to feel the way I would want to feel if I were walking into therapy.
As soon as clients walk in the waiting room, they are greeted with soft lamp light, soothing picture slideshows on the tv, the sound of water, a candle, live plants, and chocolates.
There’s a sign welcoming them to the office, and suggesting they make themselves at home by grabbing a La Croix, water, soft drink, coffee, or tea from the kitchenette area just off the waiting room. Drinks and little chocolates are always kept in stock.
In my personal office space, I have lots of pillows with varying textures, a candle, fresh flowers, tissues, a sound machine outside the door, and ambient music playing softly on a Bose speaker to let clients know that what they talk about within the walls of the office is not being heard by others.
Two of my favorite things in my office are my floor-to-ceiling windows. My clients usually face the windows, and a mirror above the sectional means that I get a nice view out the windows at the same time.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
I had a lot of ideas about what I wanted, and luckily for me, I have a friend who is an interior designer, Jennifer Collie. She helped me think through furniture arrangements and style, and we had fun pinning lots of furniture and decor on Pinterest.
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 have a lot of opinions about this! I even wrote a blog post about it, and I have a Pinterest board for therapists’ inspiration.
The best offices have natural or lamp light (stay away from fluorescent lights!), living decor (plants, candles, running water), updated and clean decor (no ripped, stained, or broken furniture), and uncluttered workspaces.
I would also like therapists to know that spending money upfront to have an office that looks valued and professional will payoff in the long run.
Kimberly Mathis is a Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT) in Chattanooga, TN…
She a masters-level MFT working towards licensure in Tennessee, and has been in private practice for about 18 months.
She helps women decrease the impact and influence of painful thoughts and feelings so that they can live a richer and more meaningful life. She utilizes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and especially loves working with new moms, women in business, and millennial women.
Her practice is located in downtown Chattanooga, TN. The location is fantastic – it’s in the middle of the city, but on a quiet side street with lots of trees and minimal noise.