NewPsych Psychologists shifts office into a custom-built natural oasis in Newcastle's CBD

Tree change: NewPsych founder Tarnya Davis in her new office in Hunter St, Newcastle. Picture by Simone De Peak
Tree change: NewPsych founder Tarnya Davis in her new office in Hunter St, Newcastle. Picture by Simone De Peak

VETERAN Cooks Hill business NewPsych Psychologists has left its Queen Street terrace for a “green” city office eyrie.

Founder Tarnya Davis says the new office space on level four, 77 Hunter Street, on the corner of Bolton Street, has been fitted out carefully as a natural and lush space to benefit of staff and clients. 

“Nature is the most relaxing environment and we know that being in nature is calming and triggers relaxing brain responses,” says the psychologist. 

“We have created a green oasis with trees and plants, a peaceful Australian rainforest scene in all the rooms and there are speakers in the hall ways playing rainforest, water and bird sounds. “

Ms Davis said the fitout by local company Skelcon Constructions with the assistance of Flourish Interior Design was perfect for her team of 35 an a “respectful” space for clients. 

“Mental health [rooms] have tended to be a bit medical, and a bit basic, and I think we’ve moved it into something quite lush and respectful for people to come and sit, and I think that’s important,” she says.

“We are sending the message to clients to say we care enough about you to provide you with a nice space.”

Ms Davis founded her practice 20 years ago, a sole trader taking bookings via her mobile. After two years she moved to premises on Darby Street then to a bigger site in Queen Street, where space also became limited. The new has 15 consultation rooms – an increase of five. 

 Ms Davis says the demand for her team’s services correlates to a mixture of factors, from the introduction of Medicare assistance for those seeking counselling to the general promotion of mental health. 

 “People like Jeff Kennett who have talked about depression and other sporting celebrities who talk more about mental health has created a greater level of acceptance,” she says. “Our own Craig Hamilton has done a wonderful job of creating acceptance of mental health and workplaces are acknowledging that the mental health of their staff is important for their company’s health and so a lot more have an employee assistance program to support their staff.”

The new office has a theaterette waiting room, where vintage chairs in rows face a screen showing Youtube and other video talks on all things psychological: “It means that people aren't uncomfortable waiting and avoiding eye contact, it maintains their privacy and they start their journey of learning new ideas as soon as they arrive.”

There’s also a youth room, with astroturf, clouds and fairy lights: “Providing a safe place for people to feel comfortable is the first part of therapy - so they can get better quicker.”