FP fans, meet Dr. Tianna Rooney, a therapist with clinics in Brighton, Lansing, Fenton, & Highland, MI!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
A therapy space has the complicated task of holding a guest during a vast myriad of emotions. The space needs to effectively soothe when strong feelings flood as well as provide an invitation to celebrate when victories are shared.
The timeless design of Perspectives Therapy Services aims to offer guests a warm welcome that soothes even on the most difficult of days.
The serene and retreat-like setting of the PTS clinics is often a surprise to first-time guests who expect more of a, well, “clinical” feel. They are met with the opposite of this, quite intentionally.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
Tremendous care and energy is spent creating a physical environment that captures the key elements of our culture: support, encouragement, comfort, kindness, and compassion.
Our physical surroundings are an extension of this culture, and we work very hard to make sure this vibe is present throughout our clinics. From the fully-stocked bookshelves to the mandala coloring books with freshly-sharpened pencils in the waiting rooms, we want our guests to unplug, reflect, and refocus.
We encourage self-expression and community through our waiting room “interactive board”, where our guests can pin and share their responses to questions like, “What are you grateful for this holiday season?” We also present inspirational messages and heart-warming images on our television slideshows to uplift our guests as they walk in.
In addition, we actively incorporate elements of self-care into our environment. We believe that if we promote self-care regularly with our guests as a goal, we should implement our own advice. Even our bathrooms are well-appointed with positive words on the stall doors and luxurious soaps and lotions to pamper our guests in all areas of the clinic. Gentle aromas of candles or diffusers are noted throughout our hallways. Vibrant colors boldly emphasize more muted spaces as a flash that is not overwhelming, but rather perfectly-placed when in the appropriate dose.
Together, inspiring spaces and inspiring therapists can swiftly bring about meaningful change for motivated clients.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
Absolutely! Our spaces are filled with comforts—from Emma, our amazing therapy dog, to fidget toys and fluffy pillows in most rooms for clients needing extra physical support when processing difficult emotions. A vibe of hospitality is present for each person that walks through our doors.
We train our team extensively on greeting every person with a tender approach and a kind smile.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
One of the gifts that I love providing my clinical team members at Perspectives Therapy Services is a beautifully designed space.
I selfishly would never hand over this amazingly satisfying part of my job as group practice owner to an outsider. It allows me to be creative, give a consistent “feel” to our clinic environments, and collaborate with each therapist in meaningful ways about what energy they want to inject into their sessions.
The help that is garnered from others is in the form of heavy lifting and furniture assembly, but other than that, design of spaces is completely embraced by myself as owner and executive director.
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?
Keeping an environment fresh and uncluttered allows therapy to function most effectively. Furniture should be regularly updated and replaced when it becomes tired and has run its course.
Office design should be revisited as often as your profit and loss statement to see if it is continuing to be effective or if tweaks need to be made. I promise your competition is doing this, and our guests are met with a tremendous amount of choice when it comes to choosing a provider.
Another simple feature that provides a comfortable guest experience is to include small, live plants. (We love succulents!)
And, perhaps the most overlooked, yet vital element to any therapeutic environment is cleanliness. A clean space communicates respect to your guests. Of course, this is not a design feature, but it will have a great impact on a guest’s experience if they don’t have to look at a dirty rug or an overflowing trash can while telling you their most intimate narratives.
Dr. Tianna Rooney is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) with clinic locations in Brighton, Lansing, Fenton, & Highland, MI…
Dr. Tianna Rooney is the owner and executive director of Perspectives Therapy Services, a multi-site, outpatient group mental health practice in Michigan that she began more than 15 years ago. Today, PTS is made up of close to 60 providers.
Dr. Rooney has caringly designed and decorated over 70 clinical spaces, including couple and family therapy rooms, group therapy rooms, art studios, yoga and movement studios, sand tray therapy spaces, play therapy rooms, medication management rooms, waiting areas, composure exits, and trauma-specific spaces.
(Likely, her systems’ training has a lot to do with her desire to create and maintain spaces that lend to positive relationship-building.)