Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental health but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Denise Duval Tsioles, Ph.D., LCSW, founder of Child Therapy Chicago, located in Chicago, IL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Kids are really struggling with anxiety and other intense feelings and behaviors these days, more so than I’ve seen in years, which actually makes sense given our high-tech, fast-paced social media intense culture and the huge expectations placed on kids today. Parents are feeling lost as to how to help their kids, too.

Child Therapy Chicago is a counseling & psychotherapy specialist practice working exclusively with kids from toddlers through teens and parents. We use play and talk therapy to help kids manage big emotions and behaviors like anxiety, sadness, fears, tantrums, aggression, and social issues and feelings related to divorce. Our goal is to get to the underlying reasons behind our kids’ big feelings; if we can resolve those, behaviors change as well.

Tell us about yourself

Child Therapy Chicago started out as my private psychotherapy practice. When I had my daughter, I made a choice to bring on other clinicians to work directly with the kids and families we see in the practice so I could work from home and be with my daughter. I run the practice and supervise all the clinicians from home, and I get to do it with flexible hours so that I can be home with my own kiddo too.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Child Therapy Chicago has grown from a handful of clients who I personally provided therapy for to a practice with 3 locations in the Chicagoland area - our original office is in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, a second office in downtown Naperville, and our newest office in the North Shore - downtown Northbrook. I have eight clinicians working for me between these offices, and we are able to help hundreds of stressed-out kids and families every year. I see this as a huge success, especially given the pandemic and all of the other social issues over the past couple of years.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The biggest challenges to owning a business are being responsible for the work of other people to ensure quality services and knowing how to establish boundaries so that the business doesn’t overtake all other aspects of individual and family life.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be flexible, creative, and willing to continually think about your business in new ways to keep up with changing times and people’s needs.
  2. Set and keep some work/life boundaries to avoid burnout and to have the mental space to keep the business thriving.
  3. Connect with other business owners doing similar things, as they are not only great resources but excellent sources of support when you just need someone to chat with and share your struggles and your wins.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

There will be frustrating and overwhelming days when you question whether the business is worth it, but those days will pass, and good ones will follow.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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