FP fans, meet Kriston Nixon, a therapist in Virginia Beach, VA!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
My office has often been described as whimsical and personal. My aim is to create an environment that brings levity to an otherwise deep and meaningful process.
As a therapist, I try to model how to be authentic and “live out loud,” which means that my office is full of quirky artwork, fun accents, and personal touches that speak to me.
My aim in decorating my office was to put a fanciful spin on minimalist design and to incorporate calming and natural colors and textures.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
My main priority is always to have my clients come into my office and feel that they, too, can be completely real when they sit down for their session.
I encourage clients to come in, kick off their shoes, and get comfortable. I want my clients to feel like their emotions and needs are being tended to and noticed when they are in my space.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
I have different drinks and snacks available for clients because they are often walking into a session in the middle of a very busy workday, or between caring for little children. I want to send them the message that they need to take a breather and practice self-care.
I work predominantly with pregnant and postpartum women, so there are many times that my clients walk into my office hungry and thirsty because they have been so busy caring for others that they haven’t had the capacity to pay attention to their own needs.
Beyond trying to attend to their physical needs, I try to provide options for comfort, as well. I have comfortable pillows for my clients to wrap their arms around, soft blankets to curl up in, a plush rug for clients to sit on with their kids if needed, and fidget tools to use if they want (these include stones, Play-Doh, and a fun hourglass).
I also have a basket of toys and blocks for little ones that come in with their parents.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
I designed my own office. I’m not an interior designer by any means, but I have always enjoyed taking spaces and transforming them into something that feels warm and inviting.
This office was no different- it is my first office as a solo practitioner and the first chance that I have had to make all of the decisions about my space. It is always a work in progress!
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?
Don’t try too hard to conform to the expectations of a typical therapy office!
If you select furniture pieces, tchotchkes, and design elements that speak to who you are, you will enjoy being in your space more and your client will get a glimpse into who you are as a person. It’s a win-win situation!
Kriston Nixon is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Virginia Beach, VA…
She specializes in the treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, early family experiences, women’s issues, and LGBTQIA-affirming therapy.