The Business of Practice

Gifts for Therapists

Gifts matter most when there’s a personal touch behind them. Here’s a list to inspire gifts for therapists this holiday season. Think of these as adding value to your loved ones’ daily rituals. These mental health counselor gifts fall into several categories like useful tools for the home and office, experiences, and sensory-stimulating items.

Gifts for Therapists

1. APA CONFERENCE, TEDTALK & CONCEPT WEBINAR SUBSCRIPTION

Give the gift of knowledge that will last well beyond the holiday season. Try planning a trip to a big city conference for an educational vacation or purchasing a workshop subscription that counts towards a therapist’s mandatory yearly continuing education credits. With Continuing & Professional Studies at PAU, on-demand training provides access and convenience for any mental health counselor, a valuable gift no matter where they are in their career. Also, keep an eye out for future American Psychological Association Conventions or TedTalk conferences in a nearby or reachable city.

2. AFFIRMATION CARDS

Therapists are great at speaking kindly to others. Buy them affirmation cards as a reminder to extend this same kindness to themselves. Affirmations are important because they train individuals to think and speak positively. Choose a deck to match the personality of the therapist in your life. This deck prioritizes mindfulness and includes eight blank cards to personalize. Or, maybe this affirmation card deck by comedian Suzi Barret is a better match for the “inspirational-but-not-cheesy.”

3. FEELINGS WHEEL PILLOW & BOX OF EMOTIONS

Valuable therapy gifts are the ones both the therapist and client enjoy. Check out these vocabulary-expanding tools to help dig deeper when feeling all types of emotions. This wheel of emotions floor pillow doubles as a seat for those who like to ground and acts as a comfortable cushion to hug during sensitive sessions. Geoffrey Roberts also provides a not-for-profit emotional word wheel accessible for printing purposes. The Box of Emotions is another helpful addition in identifying feelings. The set of eighty cards, designed by the Centre for the History of the Emotions in London, is sure to highlight lesser-known emotions with specificity.

4. THE SILENT PATIENT (FICTION BOOK)

Step away from reality for a moment with the gift of a fictional world. Alex Michaelides wrote The Silent Patient as a former mental health worker for young adults in a secure unit, similarly known as a psychiatric hospitalization in the states. The author and book both have collected many awards over the years, even landing a #1 spot on the NYT bestseller. The book falls into the psychological thriller and fiction category as a psychotherapist narrates the uncovering of a wife’s murder motives.

5. MINI ZEN GARDEN

Art therapists and children already know the therapeutic benefits of playing in the sand. A personal-sized zen garden is a calming addition to any desk or office space. The sand design provides a sense of comfort, control, and mindfulness for whoever takes time to rake the garden. There are different variations like this large round bamboo tray with textured spheres or a Himalayan pink salt zen garden depending on desk size and space. Another fun option is to turn this gift into an experience by buying the pieces separately at local arts and crafts stores to personalize the present.

6. LOUNGE CHAIR

Therapists spend a lot of their time listening in a chair. Have their back by investing in a higher quality recliner or lounge chair. A therapist’s seat doesn’t need to have wheels or be a rocking chair because movement during a session can be distracting. Instead, look for an option providing support for hours of sitting in the same position listening to others. Statement couches are a quality investment for an essential furniture piece. An oversized chair and expressive pillows are enough to add personality and comfort to a work environment.

7. MOOD LIGHTING

Mood lighting is a must for any mental health counselor gift. Harsh lights make for a challenging environment to wind down in, whether in an office trying to create a welcoming space for a client or at home in a relaxing setting. Try a Himalayan sea salt lamp with a Neem wood base from Pakistan’s Himalayas or a handmade Turkish lamp to bring vibrancy and color to any room. Of course, mood lighting comes in modern wood lanterns too. Whether to use at home or in the office, mood lighting creates a relaxing ambiance that every therapist loves.

8. SOUND MACHINE

A sound machine is a very versatile tool for a therapist. Many therapists receive sound machines from work to ensure confidentiality inside and out of the therapy room. The therapist in your life may be due for a style upgrade. For therapists who work from home, this Brookestone sleep sound mixer is a fun and thoughtful way to personalize the background noise in their space. And when the workday finishes, they can reuse the gift as a nighttime sleep aid. For the therapist on the go, this Housbay White Noise Machine is compact and portable with 31 total soothing sounds.

9. ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER & CANDLES

Scents play an influential role in the sensory world. The wrong smell can trigger a migraine or negative recollection, yet the right scent can transfer a person to a long-forgotten, comforting memory. This Aroma Light Diamond diffuser is a best-selling, limited holiday design of Saje’s Mindful Edition with their balancing grapefruit, lime, and neroli blend. Be mindful when gifting to pet owners because certain popular scents, like peppermint and lavender, interact negatively with the respiratory systems of smaller animals.

10. PICNIC & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY-ORIENTED

Therapists spend a lot of time in mental and intellectual spaces. Drag them back into the physical world with a picnic and planned outdoor activity. This is the perfect gift for a therapist who appreciates quality time. A picnic can be as simple as your favorite lunch to-go and a stroll in your favorite park. Or, feel free to elaborate on the concept by buying a wine & cheese picnic set for future moments and memories to come. Add personal touches depending on your relationships, like tickets to outdoor events such as bike rentals, paddle boats, or botanical gardens. Check the local parks in your area to plan a day unique to your community, or use this gift to check off a new travel destination.

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