Emily is a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Oregon and helps her clients with topics such as anxiety, depression, shame, trauma, PTSD and eating disorders. She loves to work with young women experiencing "traumatic shame"and dives deep into what that means and how it's showing up for her clients.
How long have you been in private practice?
Just over two years, I opened my practice in December 2016.
How long have you been in your current office?
Before having my own office, I shared space with a friend of mine. When one of the other three therapists in the building moved out, I called dibs on that space and have been there for just over a year now.
What has changed the most about your space?
In the various offices I've worked out of, I've realized time and time again how crucial it is for the space to feel as though it reflects something about me. When I was working in a mental health agency and had absolutely no control over the office, I found myself feeling frustrated and even embarrassed about it when I'd invite clients in. Now, my office is like a sanctuary and tells you so much about me. Being able to create a space that feels authentic has been vital to my process of becoming more and more unapologetically authentic in my work.
What is you favorite thing about your office?
Well, my service dog comes to work with me and he's kind of my favorite thing in the world, but if we are talking about decor, then it's my rug. I bought it online and because it's so vibrant and abstract, it felt like a risky purchase but it's absolutely perfect for tying the space together!
What makes your office unique?
All the art in my office is original and by people I know--and one piece is something I painted. So these are pieces of art clients will not see anywhere else. Another unique, fun thing is the letterboard on which I post semi-inspirational, semi-hilarious statements each week. And there is often at least one swear work on it. Right now, it says "exhale the bullshit." Again, this is a part of how my authenticity shows up.
If you could sum up your space in one word, what would that word be?
What advice do you have for others as they are creating/updating their offices?
You're going to be spending lots and lots of time in your office, so make it a space you love and feel comfortable in. Pick colors you enjoy and other pieces that will make you smile. And also think of your ideal client--what do they need to be comfortable in your office? I have a weighted blanket because I'm a trauma specialist and the weight can help ground the nervous system. My clients also tend to be super anxious, so it's crucial that my space is always tidy and that if I ever change the setup I let my clients know beforehand so they can regulate their anxiety.
Learn more and connect with Emily on her website: https://emilyclarkcounseling.com/