One issue many therapists don’t consider when finding office space is the office space confidentiality. Confidentiality can become a big issue once you start seeing clients and realize the building has thin walls. The first client you see that talks loudly may make you cringe at the thought that people may be able to hear what your client is saying. Fortunately, there are some simple, inexpensive solutions to this problem.

When you are just getting your practice started, you’re probably going to be looking for an inexpensive place to rent. Many therapists start out in churches, doctor’s offices or other office spaces that were not designed for the unique needs of a therapist.

When you find an office for your practice, you will need to see how confidential your space is. Keep in mind that sometimes clients will get angry or upset while in your office. People tend to raise their voice while talking about things that make them angry or upset without even realizing it. It’s a good idea to have a plan for keeping your office space confidential.

Check your Office Space Confidentiality

Try having a few friends sit in your office and talk at different levels. Make a checklist of different sounds levels. Check each sound level from different places like outside your office door, in the waiting area, the office entrance or the hallway. Check sound levels with male and female friends and even children if you work with children.

Try the following checklist and write whether you can hear or not hear for each sound level. Use a separate checklist for each location around your office.

Sample Soundproofing Checklist

 (Location Checked) Male Female Child
Normal
Loud
Yelling

Soundproofing Ideas

Soundproofing your office can be costly and impractical. You may not want to spend that kind of money if it’s your first office and you plan on moving to a nicer place after you start making more money. However, there are a few solutions to this problem that won’t cost you much money.

  • Fan
  • White noise
  • Sound machine
  • Soft music
  • Soothing sounds CD
  • Small water fountain
  • Cork roll which can be added to a door or wall

Try incorporating one or two of the ideas from the list above and run through your checklist again. See how well you can hear people at different speaking levels after you turn on a fan or other soundproofing idea.

You don’t have to make sure no sound gets through but you don’t want to be able to hear what a person is saying either. You have to find a balance where you can still hear the client and yet people outside your office cannot hear your clients.

I bought the Sound Oasis S-550-05 Sound Therapy System. I love it! It has a timer, volume control and different sound cards that you can buy. It comes with settings for white noise, rain, waterfall, bonfire, thunderstorm and wind. I also bought the wilderness sound card. It not only drowns out sounds but it is relaxing and soothing for clients.