Room layout in therapy

Hugo Maximillian Metcalfe writes.

Before the start of a recent co-therapy session with my supervisor, she asked that I come with her to the room we had booked to ‘make sure it was OK’.

We entered and, as I have done myself countless times before, we arranged the furniture. Moving surplus chairs to the side, arranging some chairs facing each other either side of a central table and placing a box of tissues to one side. As we sat in our chosen seats and surveyed our newly constructed landscape I asked her why we didn’t


BPS Members get instant access to this article

Already a member? Or Create an account

Not a member? Find out about becoming a member or subscriber


Hi Hugo, I enjoyed your article. I have alwys had thoughts as to why charirs, a room, tissues adn water, etc...I work as a psychotherpaist and there are a number of brief points I would like to make:

- I don't really have a therapy room. The environments I have used have been rooms in people houses, huts, gardens, farms.

- So not always are my 'chairs' angled for conveninece. Certainly the room is not usually filled with tissues and water. Although I am told this is so becuase it allows the clients to visually search for thoughts, avoids the therapist looking as though ther are staring at the client, and allows for a natural and physical point of exit in the room. Rather than face to face which is deemed more restrictive and ther is a lesser point of entry or exit. So challening the safety of the relationship.

Happy to dialogue further, Regards Simon Mathias

- the characters in my rooms have ranged from dogs, to horses, guinea pigs to puppets