Your Office Is Ugly! Get Creative

Many therapists have ugly offices. Does your therapy office reflect your personality, practice specialty, and appeal to your ideal client? Here's one creative solution. During a private practice consultation meeting a few weeks ago psychologist Kimberly Sieber, PhD expressed excitement about securing a large office space at an amazingly low rent for her private practice Good Medicine Healing Community. New to private practice she was concerned about the costs of furnishing such a big space. We estimated a budget and listed the basic furnishings she'd need to start seeing clients: a couch, chair and desk for one office, and a few chairs for the large waiting room.

She turned to me with a worried look and asked, "But what about the walls? They're blank and white and ugly!"

"Do you have any artist friends who are painters?" I asked. "Can you think of anyone whose art speaks to you and supports the holistic philosophy you have for your practice?"

Her eyes brightened and she could sense where I was going. "Yes, I can think of a few!"

She accepted my challenge to reach out and see if any friends would be willing to display their art in her practice with a small plaque with their name and contact information. She was thrilled with the idea and is meeting with a few artists this month. I anticipate that her office will look much warmer once it has some furnishings and lovely art on the walls.

I love brainstorming win-win situations in solution to obstacles. My client Kim gets cool, original, and moving art to transform her office space into a warm, inviting place, and the artist she collaborates with gets more exposure for her art (which makes artists very happy). I believe there is a solution to every obstacle in life, even when it comes to decorating your private practice, if we're willing to get creative.

The same week I consulted with Dr. Siebers I was in the process of hunting for decor for my second location of my practice Wasatch Family Therapy, spending hours at World Market, TJ Maxx, and discount office furniture stores. I was searching for art for the new office space when it dawned on me to take my own advice and I contacted one of my nieces Lisa Marie Crosby to asked if she would be willing to loan some of her amazing paintings to display in my new office. She agreed. My new office in Provo, Utah has the warmth and passion of Lisa's original art on its walls. I didn't have to spend a dime on pictures and wall art, and she gets more exposure for her work.

Is your office decor congruent with your practice mission? Does it appeal to your ideal client?

What problems or barriers are you struggling with in your practice? Can you get more creative with your solutions?