Gone are the days when a psychologist’s patient is asked to stand or sit before a blank screen while a series of images flashed before them and they are hooked to wires and computers that scan their brain for signs of mental illness. Today, patients are treated not as patients per se but as clients and, in some cases, friends. The rooms where they meet are designed with extra care. Psychologists and other types of counsellors invest in designers who can achieve a calming sanctuary.
Designers focus on making patients feel comfortable. They purchase fabric sofas in Singapore because they are one of the most comfortable seats for patients seeing their therapists or counsellors. Designers go to great lengths to keep the room inviting and nature-friendly. Studies show that therapists can “heal” patients better when the counselling room helps them achieve this through its well-thought-of design.
Paint the Walls Light
Go with nature-inspired colours such as light green and light blue. When choosing the shade, think about the colour of the sky during the day and the colour of sage. These soothing colours will help patients relax more and open up to their therapists.
Go with Wood
The reasons are still unknown, but studies show that people feel more at home when they are surrounded by naturally coloured wood with the grain. Yes, they don’t like non-grainy surfaces (again, for reasons that are still unknown). Designers, however, should be careful with using wood all over the room. When wood materials exceed 45% of the whole room, they lose their de-stressing effects. Also, glass and chrome are a no-no for patients.
Let the Sun In
Remember when you’ve been crying the whole night because of heartbreak or a work-related issue? Suddenly, there’s light peeking through your curtains. Your friend walks in, opens the curtains, and the light streams from outside. Even though you try to shield your eyes from the glare, it does feel better to see the sun, right? Natural light is an instant mood booster.
When designing a counselling room, make sure that there are big windows where the light can stream in. These windows should face natural scenery instead of the hustle and bustle of people walking down the street. If windows are impossible, put skylights or go with soft lighting that creates a positive ambience in the room.
Use Natural Decor
Use plants or nature-inspired paintings to give the impression that the patients are in a natural calming space. When talking about weighty issues, your patients can escape through paintings that depict the calmness of life. Avoid confusing images because these will only distract the minds of your patients.
The counselling room, aside from your expertise, is the most important element of your profession. It’s hard to argue with that. Your patients must feel safe, secure, welcome, and comforted. Therefore, hire a designer who can work with you in creating a space that will put patients at ease. This will help make them open up to you more. In turn, you’ll have an easier time understanding them and guiding them to the right path.