We’ve written before about how important it is for a psychotherapist to have adequate sound insulation and noise reduction in order to do their jobs in their best capacity. Mental health professionals need great acoustic insulation to provide the best working conditions and maintain privacy for their clients. One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to acoustic insulation is the confusion between sound masking (white noise) and sound cancellation. Here are some ways to differ the two and know which is the one you want for you psychotherapy office.

Sound cancellation

In the process of sound cancellation, incoming sound waves are altered so that they can be minimized or completely eliminated. A microphone will pick up the soundwave and it gets analyzed by a microprocessor. Then a speaker in the sound’s path emits a mirror image of the sound, cancelling it out. This is a rather complicated procedure which works well for smaller spaces but does not work for office space. In fact, there can be no complete soundproofing or sound cancellation of any office space, as even the best methods and practices still leave fractions of sound leaking out. Thus, sound cancellation is not possible for office spaces.

Sound masking

A completely different process, sound masking functions in a way where you place additional noise in an environment. Adding more noise makes speech less intelligible. This is what white noise machines do – they fill in the sound spectrum in an office with unstructured noise which your brain will tune out. The goal is to make the noise unstructured enough not to be noticeable, but loud enough to omit you from hearing and perceiving conversation going on around you. Because this system covers the sound instead of attempting to isolate it or completely stop it, white noise machines and similar devices attack the problem at the destination instead of the source. Most importantly, sound masking works and it is a great an affordable solution for your office.

If you’re looking for psychotherapy office space in New York, check out our available spaces. Our offices all come with excellent acoustic insulation, making sure that you can fully focus on your work.