Sunday, October 06, 2013

Looking at the finger and missing the moon, Part 2

I said WHAT movie?! But then, Barbra's nails? That's self-care.
(Image from YouTube)

Yeah, the movie that made me want to be a psychotherapist was Prince of Tides, and after I confessed it, I followed with, "because did you see her office? Beautiful!"

Right. So I was talking about the interior design of the therapist character's office (which is technically "set decoration," and done by Caryl HellerArthur Howe, Jr, and Leslie A. Pope). Remember this pic of the room in a previous post?

I wish there were more screen caps on the Internet I could show you of this office--go rent the movie if you want to see it.
(Image from
I'm not sure if somewhere in some primitive part of my brain I was like, "Must be psychotherapist to have nice office." However, the more evolved part of my brain didn't direct me to go the route of an interior designer immediately, either. I knew I needed to understand people and connect with them better first before I should be allowed to design the spaces in which they lived and worked.

If you don't understand the process of change and how people initiate and resist it, or how the environment plays a massive role in each person's identity, I'm not sure how you could be a good or great designer. I think bad design (and bad psychotherapy) begins with not understanding and accepting people as they are, and trying to make them as you would like them to be.

From The Sopranos. I bet the use of a glass coffee table is to provide both an useful surface as well as something that isn't a (visually) solid obstacle between the psychiatrist and the patient.
(Image from HBO)

So this brings us up to speed. As I wrote in the beginning, I love psychotherapy, and I'm not about to give it up. I also love art and I know, there's been a dearth of it here while I focused on my realized passion for interior design.

The recent overhaul of my blog has been to reflect this self-understanding, to clarify things for myself and for people who appreciate what I do in the world.

Alas, that lovely office I've been dreaming of won't happen until I'm licensed and can rent my own space. (I won't be a fully Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist until some time next year due to the glacial pace the Board of Behavioral Sciences is taking to approve submitted internship hours).

From In Treatment. I think this is an awkward setup (note his beverage on the floor and the distance of the tissue box, not to mention the floaty, unanchored feeling of the therapy space in the room), which I don't think is unintentional; it's a set, after all.
(Image from

In the meantime, I was hired to design the offices of a couple of local psychotherapists. I'll share those pics when things are a little more settled, and reflect on the process of collaborative design, where even when the result isn't what I want, it's what the client wants. And I'm okay with that.

From In Treatment. I love the warmth of this office, and the masculinity of the furniture. What the hell is up with the mug on the floor again? Dude needs a side table.
(Image from

Hey, connect with me here and on other social media (there are abundant links everywhere!) if you'd like to share a picture and talk about some design changes you'd like to make. I'd be happy to look things over with you and if you'd like to hire me, we can talk about that, too.

I've got the eyes of an artist, mind of a designer, and heart of a therapist. You can't lose.

Invite Beauty,


Post a Comment