Welcome to my blog, a place to explore and learn about the experience of running a psychiatric practice. I post about things that I find useful to know or think about. So, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


What kind of chair do you use in your office?

Like most shrinks in private practice, I sit a lot. And I happen to have back problems (old muscle injury). So it's been hard to find the right chair.

The way my (small) office is set up, I use the same chair for sitting in when I'm seeing patients face to face, and when I'm working at my desk. At the moment, I'm using a Setu Chair.

I got the kind without the arms, because I thought it would give me more freedom of movement, but I think it makes it harder for me to take notes, or even just sit back comfortably. It's also not height adjustable (this model), so I use a footrest with it. The nice thing about it is that the instructions consist of two words: Sit Down! No adjustable doodads. Nothing complicated. And it does mold to your back nicely. But I still seem to ache a lot, even with stretching and strength training.

How do you figure out which chair works for you? If you go to a store to try it out, it's not like you're going to sit there for 3 hours to see how it feels.

In the past, I've used a Mirra chair:

But the controls were too cumbersome, and it wasn't all that comfortable.

My husband uses an Aeron at his desk:

I've never found it that comfy.

I recently read about the second iteration of the Think Chair:

This looks promising, but again, how do you know until you've sat in it for several hours straight?

One day, in the far off future, when I have a big enough office to fit both a desk chair and a sitting chair, what I want is the Saarinen Womb Chair with Ottoman:

I also love the idea of an Eames Chair with Ottoman:

In all honesty, I'm crazy about this chair, but I've wondered what it would do to my back to sit in it all day.

That's the thing. There are all these different ergonomic desk chairs, but they're made for working at...wait for it...desks!

And the lounge chairs are more for reading.

It reminds me of doctor shoes. I learned this as a medical student and resident. There are great shoes for running. And there are great shoes for walking. But what you need when you work in a hospital are great shoes for standing. Because that's mostly what you do. I used to think those Dansko clogs looked silly on surgeons, and the Merrell clogs are ugly. But they work for standing.

Is there such a thing as a shrink's chair? One that's designed for attentive listening in a not completely reclined position, that lets you move around a little, and doesn't let you sink down til it's bad for your posture? This could be a challenge for Herman Miller.

Just for fun, here are some of my other favorite chairs:

The Swan

The Egg

The Marshmallow

The Flight Recliner

The Papa Bear

Do other people have similar sitting issues? And if so, how have you solved them?