How do most people judge the quality of a therapist?

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People may judge the quality and qualifications of psychotherapists simply by what their offices look like, a new study suggests.

After only viewing photos of offices, study participants gave higher marks to psychotherapists whose offices were neat and orderly, decorated with soft touches like pillows and throw rugs, and which featured personal touches like diplomas and framed photos.

“People seem to agree on what the office of a good therapist would look like and, especially, what it wouldn’t look like,” said Jack Nasar, co-author of the study and professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University.

“Whether it is through cultural learning or something else, people think they can judge therapists just based on their office environment.”

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