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Your therapy office is a crucial part of your private practice’s overall success. It’s important that your clients feel comfortable with you and the surrounding environment because therapy can uproot deep feelings, pains, and past trauma. Moreover, you spend a large chunk of time in your office, so your mental health is effected too. In this blog, we will review 12 therapy office décor and decorating ideas.
1. Creating an Inviting, Neutral Therapy Office
Your client room will get a ton of attention. It’s important that you create a safe environment that is both inviting and neutral. According to Karolina Mankowski:
Your therapy office décor has to be a reflection of you as a therapist and reflect your own energy, since I am spending a lot of time in my office too. Your colors should invoke peace and tranquility, your sounds, smells, and lighting are all crucial elements to creating the best possible experience for all the senses your clients experience.
As Karolina mentioned above, there are a lot of factors to creating the right therapy office décor and environment. Let’s continue reviewing more therapy office décor ideas.
2. Choosing the Right Wall Colors
Why do colors have such a strong impact on us? The answer may not be so straight forward, but can depend on a person by person basis. For example, a person may have a strong association with a color from a childhood memory, such as a blue teddy bear. Beyond personal connections to colors, there are studies that show the real connection that colors have on people’s perception, such as in marketing.
Choosing the right colors in your therapy office décor is an important part of creating the right environment for your clients. Let’s review some different color options and meanings behind them.
Red is associated with passion, love, and excitement. It can signify danger and increase a person’s heart rate. This color is not recommended in your therapy office.
Orange is energetic and positive. It can be associated with transition, but also with warnings, though less intense than red.
Yellow is considered a happy color as it can be closely associated with sunshine and hope. However, it is also linked to caution, like red and orange.
Blue can be a good option for your therapy office décor, as it is closely connected to water. Lighter blue tones promote healing and growth, while the darker shades can signify calmness and serenity.
What do you think about when you see green? If you’re like many people, nature is often connected with green. Green produces feelings of energy and healing.
Purple has been long thought of as luxurious or with royalty. Lighter purples may be a good option for your practice as lavender colors inspire clarity.
Black can symbolize elegance, but should probably be avoided as it is often connected with death and mourning.
Shades of white inspire focus and clarity. It’s not a bad idea to have some elements in your practice white.
Gray can represent sophistication but at the same time is often seen as boring and bland. You may want to avoid this color in your practice.
Brown and other Earth Tones
Brown is an earthy shade that is seen as solid and dependable. There are tons of colors on the earthy tones spectrum, including our next color.
Beige is a neutral color that can add coolness or warmness to your office depending on the tone. It can also fade into the background, causing emphasis on other colors.
3. Decorating Your Walls
When it comes to wall art, texture, prints, color, and nature are great options. Abstract neutral colors
4. Bringing in Some Nature
Nature is proven to be clinically therapeutic. Spending time in nature can provide many measurable benefits to your body. According to an article from Time:
In one early study, Yoshifumi Miyazaki, a forest-therapy expert and researcher at Chiba University in Japan, found that people who spent 40 minutes walking in a cedar forest had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is involved in blood pressure and immune-system function, compared with when they spent 40 minutes walking in a lab. “I was surprised,” Miyazaki recalls. “Spending time in the forest induces a state of physiologic relaxation.”
Another study found that trees and plants emit phytoncides that, similarly to aromatherapy, spur healthy changes in a person’s biology. If you’re not convinced about nature, here are some more benefits:
- Nature can lower blood pressure
- Nature can increase “awe” which help a person to be more compassionate
- Nature promotes cancer fighting cells
- Nature helps lessen depression and anxiety
- Nature can lower ADHD symptoms
Now that we reviewed the science, why not add some plants in your office? Bringing in some therapy office décor that is nature-focused is a smart therapy office décor idea that can create an environment of healing for your private practice.
5. Choosing the Right Scents
Smell is a powerful sense that your clients will notice. Like nature, scents can play a role in mental health through aromatherapy. We recently highlighted the best essential oils for depression and essential oils for anxiety. Some scents with scientific studies about their positive benefits include:
- decrease stress levels
- improve your mood
- relieve your anxiety
Ginger directly affects the serotonergic system in your body. This system can be positively affected by ginger aromatherapy similarly in the way an antidepressant would. An animal study in 2011 suggests that ginger may protect the brain from damage related to stress.
Frankincense can boost mood and decrease your cortisol levels. It can also activate the part of your brain which makes you feel good.
According to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology:
Burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression. This suggests that an entirely new class of depression and anxiety drugs might be right under our noses.
Bergamot is a citrus-y scent that offers a calming and uplifting effect. In 2013, a study introduced bergamot aromatherapy to see if it could be used to lower anxiety in patients awaiting surgery. According to the study:
A total of 109 preoperative patients were randomly assigned to experimental (bergamot essential oil) and control (water vapor) conditions and their responses to the State Trait Anxiety Inventory and vital signs were monitored. Patients were stratified by previous surgical experience, but that did not influence the results. All those exposed to bergamot essential oil aromatherapy showed a greater reduction in preoperative anxiety than those in the control groups. Aromatherapy may be a useful part of a holistic approach to reducing preoperative anxiety before ambulatory surgery.
Chamomile is used to lower levels of anxiety and can actually lower inflammation in your body similarly to other medications. A study found that eating chamomile showed a clinical reduction in depression scores compared to those tested who took a placebo.
Choosing the Right Scent
Ultimately, choosing the right scent is up to you. Our 5 suggestions above are ideas to compliment your therapy office décor to best treat your patients.
6. Using the Right Sounds
A third sense to compliment your therapy office décor is the sense of hearing. The sounds you play matter. Research shows listening to sounds found in nature decreases stress and annoyance. In addition, many participants reported decreased pain and improved mood, while performing better on cognitive tests.
Here are some ideas to bring nature sounds into your therapy office:
- Invest in a sound machine
- Find a playlist on YouTube or download nature music
- Purchase indoor table fountains, which can mimic the same noises found in streams
7. Keeping it Clean and Decluttered
When it comes to your therapy office décor, keeping it clean and free of clutter is important. Excessive clutter can make you feel more stressed, anxious, and negatively affect your sleep according to a study. When it comes to your office, be sure to keep things tidy and neat. Less is more when it comes to decluttering, be sure to not overwhelm your clients with excessive items thrown about.
In addition to clutter, cleanliness is a big deal. Make sure your office is cleaned often. A dirty office can reflect poorly on how you’re perceived by clients.
8. Creating a Well Lit Therapy Office
Another factor to improve your therapy office décor and environment is light. Your office should be well lit, either naturally or artificially. According to the NIH:
Results of several studies suggest that both natural and artificial bright light, particularly in the morning, can improve significantly health outcomes such as depression, agitation, sleep, circadian rest-activity, and seasonal affective disorder.
When combined with scent, vision, and sounds, light can play a powerful role in your therapy office. Whereas a dark environment can negatively affect your client’s experience in therapy.
9. Getting the Right Therapy Office Props
Choosing the right props can go a long way in how your overall therapy office décor is perceived. It’s important to be intentional with your prop choices. These should fit your personality and your therapeutic approach. A plant, a throw pillow, or a lamp should be chosen with thought and intention.
10. Adding Comfort with the Right Furniture
Many therapists often choose a couch or a pair of chairs as their furniture choice. This can be a great choice when counseling couples or family counseling. For individual sessions, some counselors choose recliners or chaise lounges. Here are some ideas:
- Comfortable couches, whether traditional ones or reclining couches can be a great furniture addition in your therapy room
- A pair of wingback chairs is often a popular choice for individual counseling
- Area rugs can add texture and more comfort to any room
- Floor lamps can create added lighting important for creating the right vibe
Your furniture should be comfortable but not too comfortable. Aftercall, you don’t want your client falling asleep in your therapy session.
11. Putting Personal Items Out of Sight
“Is it okay to display family photos?” When it comes to displaying personal items like family photos, it depends on you. If you’re uncomfortable sharing when someone asks you about your personal item, you shouldn’t have it displayed publicly. However, if you are comfortable speaking to patients about your personal items, then go for it! Just make sure you’re keeping a professional environment and that your personal items are in good taste. If you’re a marriage counselor and your clients are a struggling couple, it may not be wise to put your happy family pictures on display. It’s better to be safe than sorry and keep your personal items out of your client therapy room.
12. Making it Your Space
Our final therapy office décor tip is to make it your space! While our therapy office décor ideas can be helpful, you are unique and your treatment style is unique. You should ultimately create an environment that feels right for both your clients and you. After all, you’ll be spending a majority of your day in your office, so why not create a little taste of paradise!
Final Thoughts on Therapy Office Décor and Decorating Ideas
Thanks for reading our 10 Therapy Office Décor and Decorating Ideas! Your office is a safe space where lives are changed. We (the people) need your help more than ever before in treating mental illnesses that seem to be growing in number every year. Thank you for your dedication to your profession and helping those most in need.
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