Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Elise Hagan, Founder and CEO of Chrysalis Counseling Centers, Inc., located in Culpeper, VA, USA.

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

Chrysalis Counseling Centers, Inc. has been serving the Northern and Central Virginia areas since 1993, providing quality mental health services to meet the needs of children, adolescents, and adults. Through an integrative approach, Chrysalis Counseling Centers utilizes various therapies and treatment modalities to rebuild individual lives and stabilize family functioning in order to create a new sense of hope.

Chrysalis Counseling Center’s philosophy is to create an environment whereby individuals can realize their potential in their lives. Chrysalis, the casing in which a caterpillar encloses itself before it becomes a butterfly, is a very important symbol for my company. It is the final stage in the butterfly's metamorphosis, where many changes occur inside the casing creating a new life of rebirth and discovery.

Chrysalis Counseling Center is a place to create a foundation for a new beginning in your life. A place to transform yourself and create the life you desire. A place that provides guidance and support in achieving your life goals.

Our staff is committed, devoted, and dedicated to assisting you in your life goals. Compassionate, empathetic, and caring in our treatment. Competent, capable and skilled in providing you with quality services. And our clients are cherished, valued, and esteemed through the therapeutic process.

Life can feel like a struggle to survive at times. Chrysalis Counseling Centers understands the challenges that life can bring and is here to assist in developing personal and emotional growth in a creative and healing way so that your life can be transformed as you desire.

Tell us about yourself

I established my counseling business in August 1993. After working in various clinical settings, I discovered that many mental health providers did not feel appreciated or supported in the challenging work they were providing in their work environments. As a psychologist, I understood the overwhelming emotional needs in our local communities and wanted to establish a company that provided a place of healing for clients and a supportive work environment to clinical staff who are helping support our community.

Having worked in many diverse clinical settings, I learned what was needed to create a healthy work environment for mental health professionals to grow and feel supported. I also received my MBA as I had seen counseling businesses fail due to their lack of understanding of the complexities of running a business. My father, who was a physician and was the founder of a very successful national and international company, was a talented mentor. He shared his knowledge and insights on how to effectively run a business in an ever-changing world.

What motivates me each day is the awareness that the hard work my staff and I are achieving is making a dramatic difference in the lives of others, in addition to strengthening our communities to be more resilient. Seeing the ongoing positive changes that occur and the many lives that are touched by our inspiring staff makes me excited to come to work every day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is continuing to develop clinical services and treatment interventions with amazing clinical staff who remain optimistic and motivated to help provide effective clinical interventions with compassion. Our clinical team continues to thrive during these challenging times in our world through incredible collaboration of various service delivery.

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

One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is the realization that you cannot control certain factors which impact the business. For example, insurance companies continue to change their policies and procedures regarding how to complete required paperwork which has created more challenges in getting needed clinical services to help those who are struggling to survive in this world.

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

Remain determined, stay optimistic, and identify your resources. Don’t give up, even when things look impossible. Don’t focus on the challenges; instead, look beyond the storm to find the rainbow on the other side. Always remember that you are not alone. Other people have already been traveling down the road you are on, so make sure to connect to others in your industry. Also, stay connected to your staff, who have brilliant ideas and feedback to help the company thrive.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

As a Christian, I often pray for my company and my employees. God is the best resource that anyone could ever find. My faith keeps me optimistic and determined to continue my business and life journey.

Where can people find you and your business?


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