Running a therapy practice from a garden building
"The physical space of being in a garden or greener space feels good, for myself and my clients. I don’t have to leave the home space and if clients don’t show I can get on with whatever I like." Says Garden Affairs client, Emma, who runs a counselling practice from her garden.
As a therapist or counsellor, you want to be able offer your clients a private, comfortable and professional space for their consultations with you.
A lot of practitioners choose to rent a room in a building shared by fellow professionals. This generally means they only have to book the times they need for consultations, without the overhead of paying rent on a space that may lie empty for long periods of time. The therapy room offers flexibility, contact with other therapists, and a safe space for clients.
A therapy practice from home?
But many counsellors and therapists choose working from home over a space which is not really theirs, and which both they and their clients have to travel to.
Turning a spare room into a therapy room has obvious benefits: it’s rent-free with no travel time or costs, and you can use it for other purposes if you need to. And if a client cancels at short notice, or you have spaces between appointments, you’re not left sitting in a room you’ve needlessly paid for, and can fill the time getting on with other things.
Many people seeking therapeutic treatments prefer a homely environment for their consultations over the more formal set-up of therapy rooms. Add in the fact that parking should be easier at your home than in a town centre location, and it starts to makes real sense to run your practice from home.
And you can really make a home consultation space your own, tailoring it to the specific needs of your clients.
No place like home?
Whilst appreciating the benefits of running their practice from home, our customers are clear, at the point at which they contact us, that they desperately want a physical separation between their work life and life in the house.
Our customers also tell us that the main benefits of a Garden Affairs building is that they come in any size & style & that we do not restrict them to a small range of sizes, quite the opposite. We’ll work with you to create the environment that’s just right for you and your clients – a stylish, professional, light and airy space, which is well-insulated for use throughout the year.
The benefits of relocating your therapy or counselling practice into the garden:
As a client, it is a little awkward having to walk through your therapist’s cluttered utility room to get to your appointment, or bumping into one of their teenage children en route. And, as a therapist, do you really want your client in the heart of your personal space?
A garden room offers separation & privacy from your house. If you have side access to the garden, your client won’t even have to go into your house. Your private space remains private.
You can set up your garden room exactly as you need it for your consultations, and then leave it that way. It will always be ready for your next client.
So if one of your appointments cancels or is running late, you don’t need to stress. You can just get on with what you’re doing in the house, in the knowledge that your therapy space is all set up and ready for when the time is right.
No more folding away the spare bed and taking down the family pictures in readiness for a client who doesn’t show!
3. Closeness to nature
It may be that your clients have experienced abuse, bereavement or some other trauma. Most will be in search of some form of healing. Working from a garden building presents plenty of opportunity to increase your clients’ sense of well-being and recovery.
Being in a garden, surrounded by nature, birds and plants, gives you a real opportunity to create an oasis of calm for your clients. You could do some planting around the building to create privacy, tall grasses in front perhaps, or scented flowers.
Una Cavanagh a counsellor who bought a beautiful corner garden room told us: “Apart from the fact it looks amazing from the outside, I love the serenity and calmness of it inside – as soon as I walk in, I’ve left the world outside.”
And she added: “The feedback from clients has been really great too and I believe our work together is massively enhanced by being in such a great therapy room.” Read more about Una's experience with us.
Things to bear in mind if you’re thinking of running your therapy practice from a garden building.
Think about privacy from neighbours. Where you position your seating is important so your client can’t be seen through a window. Consider also the position of the sun: you don’t want the client blinded by the sun with too many windows.
You could install higher level, rather than full-length, windows for privacy, or windows with frosted glass or positioned away from seating areas. Or invest in blinds.
Controlling temperature is important. Leaving the doors and windows open may seem lovely, particularly in the summer months, but confidentiality is key and your conversations might be overheard. Installing an air-conditioning unit is a popular option for year-round comfort.
Even without air-con, all our buildings are available fully insulated to keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter. They also have high quality double glazed doors and windows.
This is your own space. Unlike a hired room, you can design it to your own taste and requirements – and we’re happy to help. Using lamps for more subtle lighting, you’ll be able to create a warm, relaxed and intimate environment in the room. Be careful not to make it too small as you don’t want it to feel cramped – especially when dealing with couples.
For a separate toilet space, we can add a room division. Plumbing needs to be done by a qualified tradesperson – we can advise.
You can find out more about all our garden buildings here and we advise a visit to our display centre to view the quality & options available for yourself & talk to our expert team about how we can help you change your way of working.