The Pink Loveseat
This past month I prepared for opening my private practice office. I had been working towards this for what seemed like ages and I was excited. However, there was also an understandable amount of anxiety present as there are SO MANY pieces to consider (expenses, legalities such as insurance and licencing, décor, the list goes on..)
During this time, I enthusiastically shared with a few people some of my furniture and colour choices for my new office, one of them being a hot pink love seat. A couple of people cautioned me that I may wish to go with a more neutral colour palette (deemed more “professional”), and that I may even “offend” clients with my colour choices. Admittedly, this sent a small flutter of panic and defensiveness through my system (feelings of disapproval real or perceived do tend to sting), but then I got myself grounded and came back to acceptance and reminded myself of my innate belief that I simply am not everyone’s “cup of tea”.
No single therapist is going to work well with all clients, and I do not, nor ever will, profess to be an effective therapist for everyone. One of the reasons I write blogs is so prospective clients can get an idea of who I am and whether we are a good fit to work together therapeutically. One of my core values is authenticity. It is what I strive for in my personal and professional life. I consider it a spiritual practice. I strongly believe that when we deny our authenticity, it shows up as psychopathology and maladaptive coping mechanisms (read: it makes us very UNWELL – mentally, emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually.) We are meant to embrace and love our whole selves (even the unpleasant “dark” stuff, for there is no light without darkness).
When we choose to conform to be liked by the masses, we suffer greatly by not liking ourselves. We are not living our truth. The unhappiest times in my life have been extended periods where I thought I had to fake who I really was (read: did I really?). I WANT prospective clients to know that I have a pink loveseat. If this is a deal-breaker for us to work effectively together, that is a-okay. When I chose the décor for my office, I chose colours that I felt would convey warmth, and a “feel-good” vibe. Previous job occupations for me include design and the arts. The aesthetics of an environment can have a strong effect on me – positive or negative. I suspect many others feel the same. I am going to be spending a great deal of time in my office. I NEED it to be a place I want to be, and a place that does not feel “clinical” or “office-y”. I love my pink love seat. First it was just for aesthetic reasons, but now I see it as a bad-ass symbol of authenticity. I look forward to holding space for others in this environment I immensely enjoyed cultivated…and I wholly respect and accept that it (and me), are not everyone’s cup of tea.