Changing Places

Changing Places

By Maggie Mulqueen

November/December 2019

When I started my practice, 30 years ago, I didn’t expect to spend my entire career in one office. But the brownstone and location were great, and I never felt the desire to move: that is, until the noise from a family who’d moved into the apartment above it became intolerable. Once clients started looking at the ceiling whenever the toddler jumped out of bed, I felt compelled to find a new space.

Moving isn’t something I take lightly or do easily. Since my parents’ divorce, when I was young, I’ve had a strong nesting instinct, and my office had become a source of comfort. When I was pregnant, I’d nap on the couch between sessions. As I’d close the door each evening, it soothed me to know I’d find the office in the same tidy condition the next day, free from normal household clutter and the accoutrements of young children.

It saddened me to leave this space, but I was fortunate to find a beautiful new office just three blocks away, with large windows and my own waiting room. I signed a five-year lease and told myself that the transition could engender important lessons for me and my clients. But in the weeks leading up to the move, I felt uncharacteristically unsure of myself.

To manage my anxiety, I sought out therapists who’d gone through a similar move. We all agreed that our attachment to our offices was a byproduct of the deeply meaningful work we’d done there, and that…

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