Calming therapist office décor plays a huge part in the client experience. The environment providers create for their clients can decide how comfortable individuals feel during the therapeutic process. Things like colors, shapes, textures, and more can all impact human emotions and receptiveness, especially in any emotionally charged situation (which therapy often is).
For example, a couch with a rough texture that may be scratchy or itchy can distract a client and make them feel uncomfortable. Harsh colors like reds or neons can increase feelings of anxiousness. Overall, if something feels “loud, ” it can likely invoke negative feelings. Even colors that are otherwise perceived as “bright” or “happy” (like warm summer colors) can often be perceived differently in the therapeutic setting.
On the other hand, calming therapist office décor can help clients feel relaxed and at ease. Cool colors like blues, muted purples, greens, and neutrals can create a serene feeling. A soft cushioned couch, a fuzzy pillow, or a cozy blanket can offer feelings of comfort and warmth during an otherwise uncomfortable or emotional conversation.
The overall impact that décor has on the client experience is noteworthy and is something therapists need to put into action when choosing décor for their therapeutic space.
Why is Calming Therapist Office Décor So Important?
Your client is brave for seeking out the help and attention of a mental health professional. While some individuals might not come into a session with heavy emotions, trauma, or perceived “baggage,” many individuals seek out mental health care because they genuinely need help.
Whether it be an emotional time in their life, depression, anxiety, adjustments, or other heavy things they carry, going to therapy for those things can be a tough decision.
For this reason, clients often come into their first session feeling apprehensive, vulnerable, or nervous to try something new.
The way your office is decorated can help ease some of those tensions, creating a safe place for them to come and seek help. It can help your client feel comfortable so that they can begin to open up and do meaningful work with their provider.
Things to Consider When Decorating a Therapist’s Office:
• Light – Does your office have bright, harsh, or fluorescent lighting? Then it might be time for a change. Introduce lamps that offer a softer, calming alternative or windows that provide natural light.
• Seating – Where will your client sit? It doesn’t have to be the most beautiful couch in the world, but is it comfortable? Is it soft? These are great questions to ask. Pick seating that you wouldn’t mind relaxing in.
• Layout – how is your room organized? Does it make sense for space? Make sure there is enough space between you and your client, but not so much space that they might feel isolated. Try to reduce clutter or “noise” in the setting, keeping your workplace tidy and organized.
• Color –The color of your walls, seating, art, and more all need to be calming neutrals or cool shades that evoke feelings of relaxation.
• Sensory Details – Remember to introduce soft or smooth textures rather than scratchy or difficult to look at.
Other Tips for Decorating a Therapeutic Space:
• Nature – Nature is a powerful tool when creating a comforting, safe place for clients. Try placing plants around your room or using art that resembles calming outdoor scenes.
• Scent – Try to avoid strong scents. While you might find a particular smell pleasing, your client may not. Subtle scents that resemble fresh, natural fragrances are an ok place to start.
• Things to Look At- Eye contact might be hard for someone that feels vulnerable or emotionally uncomfortable. Try placing art or things that the client can look at as they talk with you. This gives them something to focus on and can often make discussing difficult things a bit easier.
Overall, choosing calming therapist office décor will create a positive client experience and foster a better provider-client relationship. Think of décor that would make you feel safe or that you might see at a relaxing spa and go from there. Once you have created the perfect setting for your clients you can begin to offer them the top-of-the-line care they deserve.