FP fans, meet Dr. Julie Quimby, a therapist in Brunswick, ME!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
Our office is designed to reflect elements in nature and to create feelings of warmth and comfort. The natural environment and the unsurpassed beauty of Maine’s landscape and coastline served as inspiration for our space.
Our 3,300 square foot office suite is uniquely located in an historic mill with views overlooking the Androscoggin river. The suite features exposed brick walls, 18-foot high ceilings, and oversized windows.
We’ve added fireplaces, nature-inspired prints, Maine landscape photographs, and dozens of lush green plants to compliment the natural light and breathtaking views.
In addition to five therapy offices and a self-help library, our suite includes an open studio space for our therapeutic yoga and couples workshops, administrative office, waiting room/lobby, and staff kitchen.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
My vision was to create a space where clients feel relaxed and at ease. We offer occasional therapeutic and trauma sensitive yoga classes and workshops in our central studio space, so it was important to create a space with warmth, wellness, and emotional safety in mind.
Our office is as much for our clients as it is for our therapists. Our kitchen space offers a selection of coffee, tea, and Kind bars for our team of eight psychologists.
As founder and director, I focus on creating a nurturing environment for therapists and ensuring that they feel comfortable, grounded, and supported in their work.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
Upon entering for the first time, clients are greeted by our friendly assistant and invited to enjoy a cup of tea or water while they wait in our fireside self-help library or settle into our comfortable lobby waiting area.
Special touches include our recycled glass mugs, free Wifi and light background music. Our therapy offices are furnished with comfortable chairs, sofas, soft decorative pillows, and faux fur blankets.
We also offer a self-help library including hundreds of books to check out for free. On display in the library, we offer a light therapy lamp for seasonal depression and information about the use and benefits, and soon, will add an iPad and headphones with options for guided meditation and helpful therapy related apps.
Many clients have said that they appreciate the thoughtful touches and attention to detail, noting that the office environment makes them feel nurtured and valued.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
The natural beauty of the historic Fort Andross mill on the river and Maine’s natural environment inspired the design for our office.
The office has evolved and changed over the past two years since we moved into the space. The nature-inspired theme was developed before moving into the office during the design of our website, with the inclusion of original photographs of Maine landscapes.
Now, large-scale images of the Maine landscapes on our website also hang in our studio space, providing consistency and continuity.
I also worked with a graphic designer to create a butterfly logo designed as an optical illusion with two faces to represent growth, transformation, and the power of relationships. Every design decision is intended to reflect the soothing and inspiring qualities found in nature.
Our office is evolving as we grow, and we most recently painted an accent wall in a teal/blue color to engender feelings of serenity and peace. The opportunity to add new and different things over time has been a nice way to represent change and transformation.
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?
Consider your “brand” and develop your design around a theme. Be consistent in all of your design decisions and carry this through from your website, to your logo, and your office decor.
Your inspiration may be a quality, value, or service you provide.
For me, it was nature and the nurturing qualities of “mother earth.” This value extends beyond office design to the philosophy of our work culture, based on feminist values and the ideals of collaboration, work-life balance, and support.
Dr. Julie Quimby is a Psychologist in Brunswick, ME…
She is the Founder & Director of Psychology Specialists of Maine, a group practice with seven licensed psychologists and one full-time annual postdoctoral resident.