FP fans, meet Dr. Laura Kushner, a therapist in Washington, DC!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
Mid-century modern meets Zen sanctuary. I wanted an office design that felt contemporary but also comfortable.
I was drawn to blues and greys because I find them relaxing, but added pops of color for interest.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
I hope that my office feels warm and inviting, more like a living room than a doctor’s office. I like my office clean and tidy, which I’ve discovered helps me to better invite the emotional messes of our profession.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
I keep a blanket in my office for chilly days, and a few well-placed plants for vibrance.
My couch has several comfy pillows that clients sometimes hug during difficult moments. I wish I could have a therapy animal: my cat is a cuddler who I imagine would be very comforting.
A few office items are there for my comfort, including a side table built by my husband, art gifted by friends, and a hand-calligraphied copy of Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese,” done by my mother-in-law.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
I designed and decorated my office, starting with the three pictures above the couch which I found while in Scotland in 2014 and still love today.
I used their colors and textures for inspiration in picking out furniture at DC’s Room & Board, probably my favorite furniture store. The staff there were super helpful and a joy to work with.
The last element I added was a rug from Joss and Main, which really brings all the pieces together.
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?
Firstly, find a comfortable chair that you can sit in for hours on end. I tried many.
Think about seating configurations based on the kind of practice you have. I run several therapy groups and wanted to make sure that group members had options and would be as comfortable as possible, hence my 101-inch couch.
Finally, I’d recommend starting your design using something you love: rug, piece of art, fabric, whatever. Build your inspiration from there.
Dr. Laura Kushner is a Clinical Psychologist in Washington, DC…
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