20 Thoughtful Gifts for Therapists, According to Therapists
Before you scroll down to shop, however, it's worth noting that it's not actually always appropriate to give your therapist a gift. You can do more of a deep dive into the etiquette and boundaries involved, but the tl;dr version of it all is that if you want to give your therapist a token of appreciation that goes beyond a card, you'll want to just check in with them first to make sure it's okay for them to accept it. It's awkward, but spending money on something that's only going to be rejected due to policy would be kind of a bummer, especially given how much you likely already pay for therapy each week.
Once you've got that green light, though, it's time to pick the perfect present. Scroll down to see 21 of the best gifts for therapists and start handling your holiday list stat.
20 of the Best Gifts for Therapists
“Meditation and mindfulness cards are often treasured by busy therapists who may forget to make time for their own daily mental health timeouts,” says psychotherapist Carla Marie Manly, PhD.Each of the 50 cards in this cute little deck features an uplifting phrase and a quick-and-easy mindfulness exercise, and is divided into one of four categories: rest and balance, insight and awareness, curiosity and joy, and kindness.
And on that tip, this guided journal is all about mindfulness, and gifting it acknowledges that just because your therapist is a professional, doesn’t mean they’ve got themselves all figured out and properly situated emotionally. The 344-page book includes education on the mind-body connection, journal prompts, guided exercises, and action plans to enable fully present, mentally healthy living.
Bath soaks are a pretty safe gift to give someone who knows you a lot better than you know them, and Odacité’s new concoctions are some of the best in the biz. This “soul soothing” blend is made from Himalayan salt infused with French lavender, patchouli, and neroli essential oils. The latter ingredients ensure skin is moisturized and softened while soaking while the former helps to ease muscle cramps and joint stiffness while improving circulation. Even if they aren’t a bath fanatic, this gift will also serve to remind your therapist that they should be seeing to their own well-being, too.
“A bouquet of flowers—fresh from the garden or from the store—brings a treasured dose of color and vitality to a therapist’s office,” says Dr. Manly. If your therapist can’t accept purchased gifts, hand-picked flowers are a great option (though I wouldn’t advise stealing them from your neighbor’s yard or anything). Otherwise, any non-red-rose (LOL) arrangement will do—this one from FLOWERBX would look stunning in any office.
In a similar vein, you could opt for a stylish plant such as this Monstera Deliciosa from The Sill—it’s sophisticated, fun, and bright. Also, it makes a statement in any room, and would look equally at home in your therapist’s office or in their house.
‘With telehealth becoming a more common way of doing therapy, you and your therapist might have met each others’ pets,” says clinical psychologist Aimee Daramus, PsyD. “Pet treats could be a welcome, budget-friendly gift.” She recommends these tasty cat treats—though to be clear, she hasn’t sampled them herself or anything!).
For dog parents, this super cute treat-dispensing toy is also an option. It features multiple treat cavities to accommodate both dry food and spreads (such as peanut butter) simultaneously. You can also buy multiple of these, allowing the pet parent to link them together for an easier game of tug of war (and avoid having to touch the slobber-covered part of the toy, too).
Okay, so hand cream is a bit impersonal or generic as a gift, but it is *actually* useful, especially now that we’ve finally figured out just how often we need to wash our hands. Aesop makes a soap that actually feels luxurious to use, and its scent is warm and earthy. Made of botanical extracts and finely milled pumice, it’ll clean, exfoliate, and refresh your hands all at once. Your therapist can use this in their office, or at home.
“If you and your therapist share a favorite art or craft, buy them a new toy,” says Daramus. “If you both knit, for example, maybe some beautiful knitting needles [would be appropriate].” These bamboo needles give you smooth performance (if that’s the right word to use when it comes to knitting), and they’re lightweight, too.
Or, since handmade gifts are less likely to make your therapist feel weird about accepting goods from a patient, one idea would be just to knit them a little something. Scarves are some of the easiest pieces for beginners to nail, and this kit from We Are Knitters makes it super easy to learn the ropes (or, yarns, as the case may be). There are more advanced options available if you want to get fancy—e.g. sweaters, blankets, cardigans, etc.—but if you’re a novice, either the scarves or blankets are probably your best bet.
“Something that recognizes a shared value between you and your therapist could be fun,” suggests Daramus. “If you’re both eco-conscious, for example, you could get them some cute beeswax wraps for leftovers.” Bees Wrap is a pliable, reusable wrap that folds around your lunch (or leftovers, produce, etc.) and keeps them fresh. When you’re done, you can throw them in the dishwasher.
Is a $30 bar of Chanel soap a bit silly? Yes. Is it a great go-to for sophisticated gift recipients to whom you aren’t particularly close, that won’t break your budget? Also yes. And honestly, after listening to people talk about their lives for hours on end each day, your therapist deserves to bathe in luxury soap, no? I appreciate mine so much that I’d buy her an actual bag, if I could.
“A small plant—such as an easy-to-care-for succulent—offers a refreshing , uplifting dose of nature for hardworking therapists,” says Dr. Manly. The Bouqs’ cute succulent duo is the above-and-beyond version of this gift idea, and incudes a Haworthia succulent (zebra plant) and Echeveria Blue Prince.
Your doc may not be into Traditional Chinese Medicine, but in my experience, it’s hard to resist applying gifted ear seeds regardless…just in case. They apply pressure to various points in the ear thought to address issues like stress, hormones, digestion, and more. Still not sure what the heck ear seeds are? Watch this video for an in-depth investigation.
Have you ever seen a gift more perfectly suited for a therapist in your entire life? The only thing I can think of that would be more on brand would be therapy—as in, gifting your therapist with her own therapist. But since that’s cost prohibitive (and a smidge boundary-crossing), this is the next best option. The print is based on a limited-edition, hand-painted tissue box by designer Ellen Van Dusen, and it’s guaranteed to add a little style to the decidedly unglamorous business of weeping in front of a relative stranger.
If you’re concerned about making your therapist feel awkward about accepting an actual gift and don’t feel like asking them about their policies on the matter—or you just have no money to spend because it’s all going to your therapy bills—a simple card can go the distance toward making them feel appreciated. Society 6 offers a vast array of designs that range from sophisticated to cheeky and beyond, so you can tailor yours to the specific relationship you have with your mental health care provider.
“Candles—a personal favorite—are inexpensive gifts that add a soothing glow to a therapist’s office,” says Dr. Manly. While she declined to play favorites, this candle is a personal love of mine. It’s obviously gorgeous, but it’s also refillable which is a huge plus given how wasteful candle vessels can otherwise be once their wax has burned out. If pink isn’t your therapist’s vibe, this beauty is available in a stunning black marble, too.
If, you know, $90 candles aren’t your thing, this Voluspa one is a more budget-friendly option. You can choose between French Cade Lavender, Mokara (floral), Goji Tarocco Orange, Panjore Lychee, and the candle comes in a glass jar decorated with floral designs.
If your therapist is a parent or works with children—or you are friendly with a therapist who is/does both—Molly Nourmand, LA-based licensed psychotherapist (LMFT #87373) and founder of Life After BirthTM, recommends gifting this book. It teaches children about body boundaries, both theirs and others, to empower them to set and respect said boundaries from an early age. If only this had been required reading for the past, I don’t know, forever!
Nourmand also recommends this book for therapists with ties to childcare. It helps caretakers navigate the challenges of raising wee ones using Buddhist teachings and principles, which basically just means it can help you calm TF down when times get tough. It can also help mothers navigate often difficult shifts in their identity post-baby, which means it can help your therapist help moms struggling through this common transition, too.
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