If you know anything about us at this point, then you know that we’re kind of obsessed about making our office comfortable and visually appealing for our clients. We want you to come in and immediately feel like you’re in someone’s high-end living room… or in a Crate and Barrel… or a West Elm. Why?

Because of how you feel when you’re in those places. They evoke feelings of calm, coziness and warmth. There’s a reason you want to buy everything there. It makes you FEEL better just to be there.

 

Okay so here’s the thing: There is PSYCHOLOGY around this. 

The environment in which counseling takes place can plays a pivotal role in the effectiveness of therapy. A counseling office that is visually appealing, flocked with plants, bathed in bright natural light can significantly contribute to better client outcomes. Here’s how these elements can positively impact the therapeutic process and why they should be integral to the design of any counseling office.

 

A Calming and Safe Atmosphere

First and foremost, a visually appealing counseling office creates a calming and welcoming atmosphere. The aesthetic appeal of the space—through the use of soothing colors, clean lines, and thoughtful decor— will help you feel more comfortable and at ease. When you feel safe and relaxed, you’re more likely to feel comfortable enough to engage in the therapeutic process. This sense of safety is crucial for building trust, which is the foundation of any successful counseling relationship.

 

The Therapeutic Benefits of Plants

Incorporating plants into the counseling office brings a touch of nature indoors, which can have profound therapeutic benefits. Numerous studies have shown that plants can reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve mood. The presence of greenery can create a serene and tranquil environment, helping clients to relax and focus during sessions. This natural element can also serve as a grounding tool, aiding in mindfulness practices and enhancing the overall therapeutic experience. (1)(2)(3)(4)

 

The Psychological Impact of Bright, Open Spaces

Bright, open spaces in a counseling office can significantly affect a person’s mental and emotional state. Cluttered or confined environments can induce feelings of anxiety and tension, while spacious and well-organized areas can promote a sense of clarity and peace. A bright, open office allows clients to feel more free and less constrained, which can facilitate better communication and more effective therapy sessions. This sense of openness can help clients feel more in control and empowered, leading to more productive therapeutic outcomes. (6)

 

The Uplifting Effect of Natural Light

Natural light is a powerful element in any therapeutic environment. Exposure to natural light has been linked to improved mood, increased energy levels, and enhanced overall well-being. It helps regulate circadian rhythms, which can improve sleep patterns and, consequently, mental health. In a counseling office, natural light can create a warm and inviting atmosphere, making clients feel more at ease. The psychological benefits of natural light can lead to increased positivity and openness, essential components for successful therapy. (5)

 

A visually appealing space that incorporates plants, bright areas, and natural light can create a calming, welcoming, and uplifting atmosphere. 

This environment not only helps clients feel more comfortable and open but also supports the well-being of therapists. By prioritizing these elements in the design of a counseling office, we are working super hard to enhance the therapeutic process, ultimately leading to better mental health outcomes for you!

 

Sources: 

  1. Bringslimark, T., Hartig, T., & Patil, G. G. (2009) Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29(4), 422-433.
  2. “Biophilia” by Edward O. Wilson (Book)
  3. “Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being” by Esther M. Sternberg
  4. Kaplan, S. (1995). “The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework.”Source: Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15(3), 169-182.
  5. Beute, F., & de Kort, Y. A. W. (2014). “Natural resistance: Exposure to nature and self-regulation, mood, and physiology after ego-depletion.” Journal of Environmental Psychology, 40, 167-178.
  6. Edwards, L., & Torcellini, P. (2002). “A literature review of the effects of natural light on building occupants.” Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), U.S. Department of Energy.