FP fans, re-introducing Laura Long, a therapist in Simpsonville, SC!
Her original feature appeared on FP.D in July 2017.
Now, a year and a half later we’re re-featuring her practice and showcasing her new therapy space!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
I would describe the style of my new office as a combination of elegant and rustic. The room is transitional, combining traditional and modern pieces to create a classic, timeless design.
I also decided to incorporate feminine and masculine elements since I specialize in working with couples.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
Is this an appropriate place to use the term “bougie”?
In all seriousness, I want my office to feel like an oasis for my clients. Many of them work long hours and find themselves running from work to soccer practice, with little time devoted to their own care and well-being.
When my clients come to see me, I want them to breathe a sigh of relief that there are no dishes to clean, laundry to fold, or tiny humans tugging at their pant leg. Everything has its place, and there is no shortage of beautiful things for them to look at while they relax on my upscale sofa (one of my splurges from Pottery Barn) and drink coffee out of real, ceramic mugs.
I want my clients to know that my office is not only for my enjoyment, but for their comfort as well.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
My business partner and I spent a significant amount of time brainstorming ways to enhance our clients’ experience from the moment they walk into our waiting room. We have a custom-built beverage station with coffee, tea, soft drinks, and cold Starbucks Frappuccino’s.
We always have light jazz music playing, and we invested in high-end waiting room furniture so that our clients can relax comfortably before each session.
As far as my individual office, I have a soft throw blanket, plenty of down-filled pillows for clients to cuddle with, and the most comfortable sofa in the entire world (come visit and feel for yourself).
My favorite item for clients is actually my clock that hangs on the wall strategically across from my clients. It has moving gears that are incredibly calming and almost hypnotic. I placed it there so that my clients have something to focus on when they might be feeling overwhelmed or emotionally charged during a session.
My favorite items for ME are the three ceramic bird figures that hang on the wall next to my couch. They’re just so cute I can’t stand it! I love birds, so there are seven scattered throughout my office (see if you can find them all in the pictures).
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
For this project, I hired Hillary Holmes from HillyTree Designs, based out of Asheville, NC. Hillary has found a niche in helping design therapy offices, and I can’t say enough amazing things about my experience working with her.
She was able to take the hodge-podge of nonsense that was in my head and turn it into an aesthetic masterpiece. I couldn’t have even come close to what Hillary was able to do with my office, and now I truly understand the value of paying an interior designer.
My favorite part was sharing a board on Pinterest where we could share ideas and I could begin to see my vision come to life.
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?
1. It surprised me how affordable hiring a designer actually was in the grand scheme of things. I always thought that hiring a designer was unnecessary, but I can’t tell you how many times a week my clients remark on how beautiful and relaxing my office feels to them. If you’re doing an office redesign and have a decent budget, I would 100% recommend hiring a designer to help you with your vision.
2. Don’t be afraid to splurge on your therapist chair. You’ll be spending many hours in it, so you want it to be something that gives you plenty of support. I don’t recommend buying your chair online without first being able to sit in it.
3. When your office is complete, pay a professional photographer to come in and take amazing pictures of your space so that you can slap those pictures on your website. Prospective clients love virtual tours, so being able to see your space before making an appointment will set them at ease and help them to envision themselves in your office.
Laura Long is a LMFT/S in Simpsonville, SC…
Learn more about her work at: