Waiting for your therapy appointment shouldn’t be a cause for anxiety. That’s one reason why Ari Groner, LCSW at The Juniper Center, wanted to create a space just for younger clients. The new Youth Lounge at The Juniper Center is less like a doctor’s office, and more like a cool space to hang out.
New Youth Lounge Waiting Area at The Juniper Center
“I wanted the space to fit perfectly for a teen that just wants to sit on their phone, for siblings to play a game together, or for a little one to draw and add their masterpiece to the art wall,” says Ari. Ari works with children and adolescents with depression and anxiety and has advanced training and a focus within the LGBTQ + population.
The Juniper Center created the lounge — an extension of the waiting room — as a separate, comfortable area for kids and teens to hang out in while they wait for their session to begin or to wait for a family member’s session to end.
Each wall within the space hearkens to a different kind of creativity and expression. One of the first things you see when you walk into the new Youth Lounge is the popular Dr. Seuss quote about being yourself and how expressing your feelings is okay and healthy.
“Be who you are and say what you feel
because those who mind don’t matter
and those who matter don’t mind.”
“I took a lot of time to search for just the right quote. Teenagers are often focused on how they might be perceived by others and this can often affect their self-esteem. This quote is just a little reminder that those who care and love you, do so because you, are wholly YOU.”
On another side of the room you’ll find a chalkboard wall that’s fun for young children to draw on. It’s also large enough for teens to write messages and share doodles. Along the other walls you’ll find orange bins filled with games and toys for kids, books to read, and beanbags for lounging.
Overall the lounge has a relaxed vibe. It’s intentionally designed to juxtapose the more serious vibe of a traditional office waiting room with an inviting space. Younger clients know is just for them. Mingled with its at-ease feel is a magical aura, with bright colors and fairy lights around the room.
Ari thought of every detail, adding two charging stations for mobile devices. “Teens are especially connected to their devices and parents might give little kids a tablet to keep them entertained and quiet,” she reasoned. So if you are rushing from school to therapy, no need to worry if you (or your child) left connector cables at home. The stations offer USB ports that include a variety of different connectors).
A space just for children.
The Youth Lounge’s purpose serves as more than just a space to sit and wait though. It also acknowledges the importance for children to have their own space separate from adults.
Have questions about therapy for adolescents? Please don’t hesitate to contact us for information.