Project Addiction Counselor

Office Tour / Template

Chapter 17 of Project Addiction Counselor describes how to acquire and design office space to help create the most successful environment for your practice. This web-page provides a tour of my current office set-up and describes how it is set up to give you ideas how to create your own

Space is open and inviting. Where to sit is rather intuitive. The small, kitchenette area is out of the way, clean and does not draw attention. The impression more of a home’s living room than an office.

The seat on the right is a full recliner. I selected a recliner that is very low profile- one without the oversized puffy arms and sides. Most people do not realize it is a recliner until I tell them they can recline and relax. Some clients want the somewhat cliche experience of reclining when being counseled, some don’t. My seat on the left partially reclines and swivels. While it gives an executive impression, it does not “upstage” the client chair. They are spaced apart enough to create an intimate setting without imposing on personal space.
To the client’s left is a place to rest a drink and personal items (keys, phone). To their right are tissues and beneath them is a small waste-can, disguised in an ornate holder. The clock on the client’s left is within the counselor’s easy view to track time without looking obviously at a watch or clock, but it is NOT in the client’s view so they never feel the presence of time and can freely focus on our conversation. There are a few personal photos on the drawer stand that are strategically placed: WIthin my own sight to enjoy, but not where the client is forced to look upon people he doesn’t know on every visit. They are within view if someone chooses to view them. They add a personal touch, inviting the client into my personal life and subtly disclosing I am like anyone else: family, travel, parent etc. My personal effects do dominate for attention at any time. I can enjoy the view from my windows as I am in this space the whiole day and need to avoid feeling claustrophobic.
This is the client’s view. The windows behind them give a subconscious feeling of space without being distracted by outside pedestrians or traffic going by. They are facing directly at me so they are not easily distracted by what I am teaching or advising. The space around me is minimalist. A desk that is not too “professional”, the background a somfortable living setting, a few wall hangings refelcting my tastes and interests that are not dominant or controversial. My desk is clear: small paper bin on side for documents, pens/pencil cup and my tablet is usually out. It is not cluttered with files, books, papers or a laptop to avoid a “business” impression.
By simply rotating my pivot chair the opposite direction, I now face the small sofa. With another padded office desk chair, or two (below), it is now a group or couples setting. While the sofa faces the windows, it sits lower than the window sills so no one is distracted by outside traffic; we are directed towards each other, easily focusing without turnign or twisting to make eye contact. I am conveniently still in my “comfort” zone: adjacent to my desk within reach of tablet, phone, papers, coffee, etc. The table is within easy client reach to place personal items and tissues are within reach without having to ask.

Far wall to the left of client:

Features certifications and documents for those who want to see them and adds credibility to my position wihtout dominating the room.

Straight forward from entry door:

Small kitchen setting for comofort conveniences; esily accessible but not in the way.