FP fans, meet Jessica Weikers, a therapist in San Francisco, CA!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
The style of my office is modern, comfortable, pretty, and soothing. I incorporated celestial elements and went for a sort of apothecary-feel.
I chose blue, pink, and gold as the main colors for the space, and I tried to include varied shapes and textures in my decor to pique interest and imagination. I was drawn to dark blue for its deep, oceanic qualities. Blush pink brought contrast and gentleness. I love gold, and for me it represents preciousness and protection.
My aim was for clients to experience the space as soft and solid, airy and grounded, containing and spacious. Everything in my office was chosen with care. I think the overall effect is cohesive, warm, and a bit whimsical.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
I hope clients feel cozy in the space. I almost always take my shoes off in session and clients are welcome to do the same. I wanted my office to look and feel professional and current without being stiff.
I also wanted the space to give off an air of playfulness. In my practice, I work with adults, and a lot of them could benefit from increased silliness, sweetness, and spontaneity, so I make sure to have items around the room that can welcome that.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
Yes, many! I love props! There are art supplies, fidget toys, pillows, a blanket, cleansing sprays, crystals, a salt lamp, snacks, and lots of tea. I want my clients to feel nurtured and cared for by me and the space I create.
Sometimes, I invite clients to interact with the space by choosing objects in the room to represent the particular issue we’re working through. There’s also space in the middle of the office for yoga poses or other embodied work. It was important to me for my clients to feel like there’s room to stretch out- physically and psychically.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?
I’ve been dreaming of my ideal therapy office since I first started grad school! This has been years in the making because I always knew I wanted to go into private practice. I’m very impacted by spaces, so I was excited to bring my sensitivity to this venture.
Originally, I hired someone to help me, but I realized quickly that that wouldn’t be something that would work for me budget-wise, so I set off to do it on my own with help, input, and support from the gorgeous group of people I have in my life. One of my friends even came over and sketched out my ideas on her ipad, and it was so helpful to see it all together that way.
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 storage! I have an open layout with no closet or hidden drawers, so I purchased a storage bench so that I have somewhere to put office supplies that I don’t necessarily want on display.
Keep your receipts! I bought lots of stuff that I thought would work well in the space, but it didn’t end up feeling right, so I made a lot of returns.
I recommend patience with the process. (Easier said than done, of course.) I thought the process would be fun, but it actually felt quite stressful and vulnerable. I had to keep reminding myself that it was alright for my clients to see the space in its various stages, and, in fact, it may have been good modeling for them.
I would advise people setting up their space to accept different stages of “complete”.
The wise words I kept receiving had to do with being open to inspiration as opposed to forcing things to come together. It’s the same stuff I tell my therapy clients. Thankfully, I had people to lovingly remind me of what I already know but tend to forget.
Lastly, I recommend celebrating every step of the way. When my big items (sofa and chair) were delivered to my office in massive boxes, I had the delight of having two different pals come over and witness. It helped make everything real.
Jessica Weikers is a Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT) in San Francisco, CA…
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