Take inventory of your current office and think about how it makes you feel as a provider. Do you feel productive? Do you feel energized? Is your office space organized or is there clutter everywhere preventing you from fully focusing on your work?
Walk out of your room and act like you are a client. How does walking into the space make you feel? When you sit down for a session, look around the room and notice what’s there. If you see clients virtually, think about what they “see” in addition to you during sessions.
1. Clean up the mess (or at least hide it!) to make space for what’s important. In order to be productive, make sure your space is de-cluttered and organized. It’s important to shred documents you no longer need (you will never have to re-read it again to make sure you don’t need it!), keep files organized and safe, and keep marketing materials and business cards in an organized system. You may also want to display resources (books, etc) that reflect your business mission. Clients will notice this!
2. Create a space that’s a reflection of you. Do you want your office to feel more “homey” with comfortable couches? Or do you want to sit behind a desk, with chairs in front, for a more formal approach? Also, think about décor on your walls and what you want it to represent. Some healthcare professionals have pictures of healthy foods, exercise, or calming mantras plastered on their walls. Does that suit your personality or not? Does the décor reflect your message and mission statement? Other professionals may prefer to keep their office somewhat blank, in order to be neutral and not project anything in sessions. It depends on your personality and style of counseling.
3. Pay attention to details. Chances are you will need tissues and make sure you have back-up boxes. Keep a notepad and pen near-by just in case a client wants to take notes. If you room is always cold, consider buying a space heater and if you’re hot, keep a small fan available for the summer. If you are able to diffuse essential oils or offer small bottles of water go for it! Clients love feeling that they are being taken care of and these details will make a difference.
Jennifer McGurk, RDN, CDN, CDE, CEDRD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist whose mission is to help dietitians Be the Dietitian you were Meant to Be. She is an expert in the field of eating disorders and also supervises other Registered Dietitians as an iaedp approved supervisor. She is the owner of Eat With Knowledge in Nyack, NY and leads a team of dietitians who support the philosophy, “Feel fabulous about food!”
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