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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!”

Future Office Kim O. Siebers PhD's Good Medicine Healing Community

“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.

"Crowded Walking" by Lisa Marie Crosby
"Crowded Walking" by Lisa Marie Crosby

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.

"Encroachment" by Lisa Marie Crosby
"Encroachment" by Lisa Marie Crosby

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?


About Dr. Julie Hanks, LCSW:
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to TV Shows and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. Her books The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide are now available. Dr. Hanks is currently accepting coaching clients.


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Tamara G. Suttle, M.Ed., LPC

Julie! I love this idea of supporting our (often starving) artist friends in this way! Thank you thank you for sharing your creative problem solving! I’m happy to pass this idea along to my clients AND refer them to your blog, too!

Blessings to you on your journey!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Tamara, Thanks for your kind words! And thank you for referring your clients to this blog. I love connecting with other like-minded therapist and encouraging them to create their dream practice!

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