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January 28, 2022 2 min read

I dream of having my own therapy room.

In my imagination, it is the perfect size with good natural light (so that I don't need strip lighting). It has storage cupboards that can be closed and locked to hide distractions, but inside those cupboards are a treasure trove of everything I need for therapy!

I have a desk at the right height , with space for a laptop and paperwork at the same time! Oh yes - and the laptop works, and  is connected to a printer and  there is paper AND  ink in the printer.

It's a happy daydream. But it is a daydream because in a 20 year career I've never had all of those things at one time. Often I've had to work without any of them. No space, light, equipment.


The basics.

I used to accept it, even joke about it. The SLT in the broom cupboard or copyroom is such a cliché you have to laugh, or you would cry.


And that's just it, I don't think I can laugh about it and make light of it anymore.

Maybe it's my age.


Maybe it's just how I feel right now, but I've reached the point where it isn't funny. It's disrespectful, degrading and it impacts my ability to do a good job.

I have about 20 years of a career behind me and if I'm lucky, another 20 years ahead.


That has brought me to a point where I want to do what I can to take some control of the situation. So lately I've been analysing the factors that make it more or less likely that we will be assigned a “good room''.


These probably vary from job to job but in general I think one of the biggest issues for SLTs is that we are rarely in the one location all week. That means that unlike a classroom teacher or secretary, we can't hold a room by virtue of being in it everyday.


So I'm setting an intention to seek a position with a single base and an assigned team. I don't know that such a position exists in my area so I may need to create it by moving into private practice. At this point I'm open to that possibility

In the meantime, I need to get clear on my non-negotiables. Light, deskspace, equipment.


If I don't have these I can't work. I do no favours to my clients or myself or other SLTS by trying.


What are your non negotiables? Have you successfully advocated for a better work environment? I’d love to hear from you on this!

Interested in more? Here are some other posts you might want to read on this…


How SLPs are dealing with Small Speech Room Organization.

Speech Room Organization - Have Your Best Year Ever!