When it comes to therapy and counseling, good care often means more than the words you say, and it often comes out in the way you arrange and cultivate your space.
After all, patients and clients won’t feel comfortable opening up if your space isn’t comfortable, and you won’t be able to care for them if you aren’t at home in your space.
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For that reason, having well-thought-out therapy office decor is essential. In this article, we’ll break down all the therapist office essentials and therapist office interior design principles you might need to know.
"The layout of a therapeutic space in the office is essential and significantly impacts the user’s mood, behavior, and cognition. You need to keep the area welcome and cozy so the user feels comfortable in this space. This enables them to unwind and relax." "Also, I would choose lighter shades of green and blue. These are cool colors that help people feel calm. Light blue also stimulates productivity levels, which would benefit workers in the office. Brown is an excellent neutral color to go with blue walls."
MEET THE EXPERT: Lily Wili | Founder & Interior Designer | Ever Wallpaper
How to Decorate Your Therapy Office
The key for small therapy office design is knowing that your space reflects yourself—more specifically, the part of yourself that you’re offering to clients.
This means that whether you’re considering art for your therapy office or therapy office wall decor, you should think of your pieces as expressions of who you are and invitations for your clients to know you.
For example, when it comes to art, it’s always a good idea to find the intersection between works you like and works that give a soothing impression to clients. Try to pick something with a cool, soothing color palette that can make clients feel like they’re in a homey setting.
"It's important that your space defines you and makes you feel homely, relaxed, and comfortable. And especially if it's a therapeutic office, it deserves to be calmer than you think. So, first and foremost, a calm and relaxed color palette is what you must look forward to! You can incorporate subtle hues like sage greens, baby blues, coral pinks, and light grays to infuse a sense of calmness and tranquility in the office. And that could either be an accent wall or you can consider painting all the walls in that specific color."
MEET THE EXPERT: Nishtha Sadana | Interior Designer & Writer | Decorated Life
Follow the same principle with other decor. Make sure to pick furniture and other interior design items that are to your tastes and consider whether they’ll make the client comfortable. A soft, neutral-tone couch, for example, might be a better choice than a mid-century modern modular chair.
What Every Therapist Needs in Their Office
Though every therapist is different, there are some key pieces of therapy office decor that you should keep in mind when looking for mental health therapist office ideas.
The first, and perhaps most obvious, is a comfortable place to sit. This will be the place where you and your clients will spend most of your time, so make sure that your chairs or couches are comfortable, relaxing, and well-suited to different preferences.
Also, be sure to consider art for your therapy office. Bare walls have a rather sterile feel, so you’ll want to decorate your walls with tasteful art.
As we mentioned above, go for pieces that will help your clients relax and know you better, and be sure to arrange them at the sitting level since clients will be sitting down.
Finally, make sure to plan for some kind of desk or table space for your records or notes. It conveys a reassuring sense of organization to see that a therapist has a well-managed desk space, so be sure to select a desk that fits your needs.
"When it comes to creating a therapeutic space in an office setting, there are a few key elements to keep in mind. First and foremost, it’s important to create a calm and serene atmosphere. This can be achieved through the use of soft, soothing colors and plenty of natural light. It’s also important to make sure the space is well-organized and uncluttered. This will help to promote a sense of peace and tranquility. Finally, it’s important to consider the needs of your clients when decorating the space. This means choosing furniture and décor that is comfortable and inviting. By keeping these things in mind, you can create a beautiful and relaxing therapy office that your clients will love."
MEET THE EXPERT: John Linden | Interior Designer | MirrorCoop Design
Essentials for Your Therapy Office
While all therapy office decor should be personalized, there’s always a variety of great options if you need a fallback. We’ve put together a list of therapist office essentials that might help you.
One of the essential items in any therapists’ office is a couch! Pick one like this, which is comfy enough to sit or lie down on and avoid materials that might irritate clients’ skin, like leather.
Sofas are also a great item to think of when looking for school counselling office decor ideas since they can differentiate the space from the rest of the school environment.
"You should consider the seating arrangement when designing a therapeutic space. The chairs should have back support and be situated near a door. This would allow a sense of free will and safety amongst clients."
MEET THE EXPERT: Erik Nilsson | Interior Designer & Founder | Rentola
To give your clients a sense of the soothing effects of nature, spring for a hanging office terrarium like this one.
For lighting, pick a dimmable lamp that can be adjusted to a variety of settings. Some clients prefer brighter or dimmer light than others, but a faint, warm light is a soothing default option.
Dimmable lamps are also helpful when treating clients with sensory issues, making them an excellent child therapy office decor item.
"You want your office to be bright enough to see but not so bright that it's distracting, such as soft lighting with lower wattage. A love seat or two armchairs are a must for clients and a chair for yourself. You'll want some table between the two of you to remind them of a home environment. I would highly recommend bringing in at least one plant because they are an excellent focal point, and they bring a small piece of nature into the room. Another good option is having a type of water fountain, wind chimes, or even playing a CD with calming sounds is a good idea."
MEET THE EXPERT: Marco Bizzley | Interior Designer | House Grail
"I work closely with patients dealing with co-occurring disorders and guide them towards a healthy lifestyle by providing them with medications and healthy diet options. My job is to meet with patients who are struggling with addiction and bring them back to a sober lifestyle. We recently upgraded my office and the color palette we used was beige and neutral colors. As we need as less visual stimulations and eliminate sensory overload in the surrounding of our patients. They should be focused or triggered by anything present in the room. Their sole focus should be on the therapist and their questions. A neat space gives a sense of peace and calm, therefore, my room is always neat."
MEET THE EXPERT: Chaye McIntosh | Clinical Director | ChoicePoint Health
With the soothing rhythms of running water and the visual of deep, soft colors, a miniature tabletop fountain is always a good pick for therapy office decor.
Make sure to buy a fountain with an on/off switch, though, since some clients might be distracted by the noise.
When it comes to art for therapy offices, select pieces that are original (cliche art will turn your clients off) and that give off a friendly, relaxing vibe.
Try a picture with lots of blue tones of color, giving a client the feeling of being in a cozy, homey environment.
Ultimately, your therapy office decor is your own. It should suit your needs and express who you are, but it should also be adjusted to help clients feel relaxed enough to open up to you.