Top factors to consider when renting a consulting room for your private practice
Updated: Jun 10, 2020
Although we aren't always aware of it, the physical environment around us influences our emotions and general well-being.
In the same way, the visual properties of interior built environments of clinics and counselling rooms impact patients' emotions and can affect their therapeutic experience. Room designs and layout affect patients' perceptions of psychological safety, intimacy, willingness to open up, or willingness to create therapeutic connections. In other words, the design of a consulting room can influence your patients' mood, cognition, and behaviour.
Now, the way people respond to precise surroundings is influenced by many internal and external factors, including cultural background, personal taste, artistic and cultural influences, social status, personality, educational background, and many other aspects. So, there's no "right" way to design a consulting room that can ensure that your patients will feel safe and willing to open up to you.
Yet, there are a few key aspects that can help create a comfortable, welcoming, and cosy area that feels safe for emotionally vulnerable patients. So, when renting a consulting room for your private practice, here are the top factors to consider:
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Location is essential with any kind of real estate decision, including for your own private practice business. Is it easy and convenient for your clients to get there? Is there parking? Can they use public transport to get to you?
It's essential to think all these things through because they can truly impact your client's mood when they enter your door. Think of how frustrated you get when you can't find a parking spot or when you must commute a considerable distance in heavy traffic. You wouldn't be at your best when you arrive either. So, consider how the location of your consulting room can impact your clients.
Sounds and noises
Disruptive noises such as car honking or loud voices can interrupt your patients' train of thought, or a more profound process, during your counselling sessions.
If the room is right next to the entrance or next to common areas, there's a great chance that there can be a lot of disrupting noise if there is no sound dampening equipment.
Moreover, consider the fact that you work within a confidentiality framework, so the possibility of your conversations with your patients to be overheard isn't what you should settle for. Remember that if you can hear the discussion from the next room, the people next room can listen to yours too. Plus, when your client hears those conversations, they'll feel less comfortable and safe to talk openly.
You certainly know that according to the psychology of colours, certain colours and shades can evoke specific emotions and moods in people.
Now, you may not be able to control the type of paint or wallpaper that goes on the walls of the consulting room you are planning to rent, but if you can choose colours, go for light and calming ones such as shades of green or blue.
Seating and comfort
A consultation room must be a welcoming and comfortable environment to make emotionally vulnerable patients feel safe during the sessions. So, although comfort is somehow subjective, try to look for a place that provides a soothing feel.
The sitting area, both for you and your clients, must also provide comfort because you'll be sitting in the same place for more than an hour. Make sure you sit both in your chair and your client's chair to determine the seating's comfort.