My friend Kieron sent me this picture on Pinterest last week.

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She wrote “this is what my dream therapy room would kinda look like” and it got me thinking, what if your dream therapy room isn’t a room at all?

I remember very clearly one of the first days of term being shown around the clinic where I did my Masters training. Our director took us on a tour around the building and into the courtyard – a beautiful, tranquil space shaded by huge trees. I am not generally one for a verbal filter and my thoughts get articulated more than they should perhaps. I exclaimed, “Wow, now this is where I will bring my clients. I can totally imagine doing therapy here!”. The director was not amused, she quickly barked: “We do therapy in ROOMS, Carly!”

After doing this for almost 5 years, I can now understand what the reasoning behind this rule is. There is something very containing (quite literally but also figuratively) about being inside an enclosed space. It offers safety, security and most importantly confidentiality. It creates order where there is disorder, calm where there is distress, and protection where there is vulnerability. To a degree, the therapy room does part of the therapeutic work. For this reason, the physical space needs to be kept constant and familiar. Some clients really struggle with changes to the therapy space because they become dependent on this consistency to provide them safety and security. The big outdoors, however tranquil, can therefore sometimes feel too open, too unsafe or “unboundaried”.

All these factors considered though, I still dream of doing therapy in nature, or at the very least in a room with massive windows that look out onto a natural landscape!

So here are some ideas for an open air therapy room. What do you think? Would this work for you?

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All photos from Pinterest.