FP fans, meet Melissa Kester, a therapist in New York, NY!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
When I was designing my office, I was inspired by modern and hollywood regency. Those styles feel earthy and romantic, which pretty much makes up me.
The colors are all mellow tones, while the bright colors are brought in by my plants.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
We like to think of our office as an oasis in this stressful urban environment. We do our best to fill our clients with the antidote to what creates our stress in NYC.
The sensory overload is almost too much to bare for so many. So we burn sage, fill our office with grounding plants and stones, and play peaceful baroque music.
When clients come in they usually share how calm it feels and isn’t that what every therapist wants in the end.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
When clients arrive for session they enter into the waiting room where there is classical music playing, usually baroque. Given the current national and geopolitical climate we try to avoid the news. We have cozy mugs and a selection of caffeinated and decaffeinated teas and filtered water.
In our rooms we have accent pillows and throws so our clients who feel comforted by a variety of textures can decompress.
Stones have always been special to me so I have river stones from my favorite childhood swimming hole and rocks my son has given me. I also have a large piece of slate, which is covered with shark skeletons my husband made me. The smaller stones are available for clients to borrow. People have taken them with them on hard journeys and brought them back.
Our plants are a mixture of peace lilies, a scared plant from Japan, and hard to kill greenery. I like our plants to be meaningful for our work.
Magazines are purchased with our clients in mind. If we know you are a particular profession, come in reading a magazine often, have a special interest, we will take that into consideration for our annual magazine orders.
We also have a baby bouncer and toys for little children.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
I designed and decorated my office. The hardest part in doing this is getting lost in all the beautiful furniture, rugs, throws, pillows, art, and objects out there.
In those moments I might show a picture to a colleague to process it. I know for me it doesn’t feel fully done, little ideas are ever brewing, but it is really close.
5) ANY ADVICE FOR THERAPISTS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT AND DESIGNING THEIR OFFICE FOR THE FIST TIME, OR SEASONED THERAPISTS LOOKING TO REDESIGN THEIR OFFICES?
When designing my office, I tried to think of my client’s perspective.
Does the space look cared for, grounded, loved? Does the space embody the emotions I want my clients to feel?
I also have fallen into the trap before of not fully considering the depth of furniture. When you are in a small space depth is really important, unfortunately lots of sofas are very deep now a days.
I also think it is important to bring items that fill you with joy. I am an avid knitter, at times I use knitting a source of soothing for high conflict couples. However you will see my love for fiber arts in the weaving behind my chair and my felted lumbar pillow.
Melissa Kester is a Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT) in New York, NY…
Web Designer: melissawehrman.com