Today, I have been reflecting about the lovely clinic in Wickham Market that I now practice from as one of my therapy venues. Depending on the day and time, I sometimes arrive to the cheerful sound of a peel of Church bells. This always makes me smile, as I think of busy villagers getting ready for a Church service or, when it is evening, perhaps the local bell-ringers are having a practice? My clients tell me they love this wonderful, welcoming theme. I am often met by Monty, as I pull up in my car; a beautiful black and white cat who lives in one of the nearby properties. Monty is well known for popping in to the Doctor’s surgery, close to where I am attending. He appears, no doubt to greet me, but I also get the impression that he is definitely checking me out. He wouldn’t let just anyone in!
Setting up to practice from a new venue is exciting but it also involves a fair bit of work. This is how I come to be here. One of the new venues that I am practising from, in my psychotherapy business, is The Resource Centre in Wickham Market, here in Suffolk.
This year, 2018, I celebrate 10 years of my psychotherapy business being established and it has gone from strength to strength. I wanted to freshen things up and also work from locations a little closer to home. So, I now practice in rooms in both the pretty village of Wickham Market and in the market town of Saxmundham. This increases my catchment along the Suffolk Coastal district and it offers my clients venues with easier parking facilities and disabled access. I use a walking stick, myself, so I too am glad of this easy access.
Over summer, I redesigned my literature, my web site, my advertising in newspapers, my business cards and I updated a number of online sites which detail my venues for offering therapy services. This may not sound like much work, but actually it was a considerable amount of activity. I enjoyed the creative process, though.
The Resource Centre, in Wickham Market, comprises the Community Rooms and the Library. I see my clients for counselling, psychotherapy, mindfulness and clinical supervision in the Community Rooms.
The photos below show the lobby area of The Resource Centre. It’s a lovely, bright environment and there is a ramp for those who need wheelchair access into the rooms or the library. With comfortable seating, there are books to read and many leaflets available that highlight local services, events and facilities.
This weekend, things were getting festive. Manager of The Resource Centre, Lisa, was putting up colourful bunting in the library with her colleague; also called Dean. It was lovely to hear their banter and chuckles, as they decorated the space. Wickham Market has some village festivities happening soon and so this was all part of setting the scene for welcoming visitors to the village. Bunting always adds a touch of joy to any location.
I think it is important that any venue for seeing clients for therapy has a welcoming lobby, reception or waiting room. I also like the simplicity of the room I see my clients in for counselling. It is a simple meeting room. It is not suffering from being overly decorated with messages of all things therapeutic. It does not seek to influence mood or thought. It is neutral and that is exactly right for seeing clients for therapy. There is also a flexible group room which can be used with or without tables; depending on the nature of the group therapy session.
Some venues make the mistake of insisting that a mood should be ‘created’; when in fact we therapists need the client to come into a neutral space and bring with them the moods and emotions that reflect their internal thoughts. Not stimulated or triggered by décor that has been put up to influence them, but simply a space that allows their thoughts, feelings and emotions to manifest based purely on what they are disclosing and reflecting upon, internally. The best therapy rooms, in both my opinion and based upon the best training I have had, have no pictures up, no ornaments, no words. Just a safe, neutral space for open minded thinking.
If you pass through Wickham Market and hear the sound of the beautiful Church bells, then think of me. I may be happily enjoying my work in this delightful village setting and Monty will no doubt be surveying his beloved community as you pass by.
(C) Dean Parsons. 2018.