In all of these working environments I have always found myself 'attending to this space' and 'making it my own'.
It was important for me to create an environment that nourished me and was welcoming and nourishing to my clients.
Even in environments where I did not have much option to alter or re-arrange, I would manage to include personal objects of value to me, to screen offending equipment, to introduce fragrances to counter any smells.
If you have been to counselling, are training to be a counsellor, or graduated, you will find yourself in a variety of counselling rooms and it is important to consider just what is the right place for you to a) attend as a client b) receive counselling clients. You may also be considering setting up in private practice.
Most of us know intuitively, that the environment, whether it be natural or man made, has a profound effect on feelings, behaviours, general health, and productivity.
How can we create an atmosphere that is conducive to good therapy, encouraging personal balance and harmony, strengthening and promoting wellness,
Seating is one big consideration.
Counselling rooms that have framed prints, rugs to throw over sofas, cushions, bean bags, art materials, plants are welcoming.
Counselling rooms that use natural light are inviting.
Counselling rooms that use lamps to soften the room provide a soothing place to be.
Ensure that you can observe facial expressions, gestures and other expressions of emotion (especially if you're counselling at night).
Allow sufficient space between chairs so that there is no sense of intrusion on personal space.
Many years ago when I was in my 20s as a client, I visited a counsellor who worked for a counselling organisation. The room was small with no windows and a couple of lamps a box of tissues and a lack-lustre watercolour of a plant hanging lop-sided on the wall.
I remember feeling quite uncomfortable in this setting, it wasn't warm, or inviting and I felt hemmed in. The therapy that took place in that room was adequate however it didn't feel positive for my healing experience and it formed my own style of counselling room.
What counselling room experiences have you encountered as a client and/or as a counsellor (whether in training or qualified).
This could be a good opportunity for a journal entry
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