FP fans, meet Christine Deya, a therapist in Oak Park, IL!
1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
I would describe my office as earthy, bright, and vintage. I like to incorporate mid-century modern furniture and décor that fits the history of downtown Oak Park and the building itself.
2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?
My hope is that clients feel a sense of warmth and groundedness when they come into the office.
My therapy style focuses a lot on personal sense of history and narrative, so I like spaces that also capture history in some way (old globes, maps, vintage rugs, etc.).
Plants additionally provide a visual representation of life and growth.
When it comes to artwork, I intentionally choose pieces that are more abstract. I want clients to feel that they are safe to come a bit “undone” in my office, as well as to play around with new ways of thinking and being.
I’ve always believed that artwork is a great means of accessing and expressing emotionality.
3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?
I have a small coffee station for clients, as well as blankets and extra-large pillows on the therapy couch. I always find that people are happy to have a giant plush pillow to hug, especially when difficult material comes up in a session.
I typically always have a scented candle burning as well.
4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?
I decorated the office myself with the help of Goodwill, Facebook Marketplace, and other thrift stores. Much of the furniture in the office was either assembled or refurnished and painted by me.
It truly makes me feel as though the office is my home away from home. I also enjoy displaying art, plants, and candles gifted to me by clients.
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?
Think about spaces you’ve been in where you’ve felt at home. I always loved going to college professors’ offices because there were books and artifacts everywhere. It felt like I could go on a great adventure in knowledge in those offices.
For some people, spaces that are more cleaned up and formal feel like they offer respite. It will be different for everyone, but if you follow your intuition and let your office be a reflection of you, I believe ‘best fit’ clients will feel that and seek you out.
Christine Deya is a Clinical Psychologist (Psy.D.) in Oak Park, IL…