Making therapy offices therapeutic

An interesting photo gallery here, where therapists muse on their offices. More than just decorating tips, they explore the thought process that went into creating a therapeutic space.  Author Jose Ribas MD explains:

An examination room in a North Carolina hospital or clinic probably appears quite similar to an examination room in a hospital or clinic in New York, South Dakota or Texas. Where this model departs is in Psychiatry, where the room itself plays an important role, as it becomes the physical “holding environment” where the therapist conveys to the patient that he or she is safe to explore those areas within him/herself that are threatening or causing distress.

My Tuesday-Friday office. The architects added on to the building some years ago, giving my clients and I a view of the billing area. (photo credit: Mrs. ‘Sphere)

Designing my own space, the aim was to balance professionalism and homeyness; to be colorful but not gaudy and warm without being oppressive. I realize now that all three posters show scenes from Europe. We Americans associate the continent with intelligentsia – perhaps it’s saying, “I’m smart enough to help you solve your problem.”


@ 2012 Jonathan Miller All Rights Reserved



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2 responses to “Making therapy offices therapeutic

  1. I love these rooms, they are very inviting and comfortable looking. This is very important for the client. Since I am new at private practice I can’t afford a lot, but I do use lamps instead of the horrible overhead lighting so that the room appears to be a living room instead of an office. My clients love the couch with the puffy pillows. Oh and I always have a teddy bear in the room. Sometimes it comes in handy, though I do at times say it is okay to hold it.

  2. J. Simmons

    I have to agree that room is very inviting. Unfortunately I work in a hospital setting in a developing country where they believe the office space I am using must be “clinic like”. I have no couch or lamps. I have a computer with desk, sink, and instruments to do vital signs. I am envious of you all.

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