Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maria Dellapenta, Founder of Vaughan Counselling and Psychotherapy Inc., located in Vaughan, ON, CA.

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

Vaughan Counselling and Psychotherapy consists of both Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Social Workers that provide psychotherapy to individuals, children, couples, and families. Moreover, we provide career counselling, life coaching, and naturopath service. We try to assist clients in any aspect of their life that causes them distress and decreases their overall well-being. We have many different therapists that can assist with Anxiety, Depression, DID, BPD, Addiction, Grief and loss, Work-related stress, Self-esteem, and other struggles.

Tell us about yourself

Vaughan Counselling and Psychotherapy Inc. was established because we understood that a sizable population struggles with mental health and that therapy could help them improve their overall well-being. We wanted to start by assisting within our community in Vaughan but soon found that many other communities needed our help, so we expanded in the GTA. The clinic was established in the Summer of 2019; in a short span, I created a team of 15 therapists and 2 Administrators that have assisted over 1000 clients in the GTA. What motivates me is the number of clients who have received help in our clinic and have found a therapist that has helped them through the healing process.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is that I feel that we now have such a diverse clinic. We thrive on having our clinic staff reflect on the world around us. Diversity is essential as these differences play a part in one's experiences, perceptions of their experiences, and norms. Though all therapists should acknowledge these differences, having a therapist who can understand that first-hand can be very beneficial for clients to avoid certain blind spots and biases and avoid having to explain further. In addition, some clients are instantly more comfortable expressing themselves, specifically if the therapist speaks their first language. Many feel their first language has the exact words they need to express their experiences and emotions. Finally, some studies show specific populations are less likely to seek mental health services, so having someone in that population that provides the service can be a start to promoting that change.

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

That you want to do it all! As a business owner, it is important to realize that we can't do it all, but you can find great, experienced people that can help you, and you have to "delegate" for you to focus on what is truly important.

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

No matter your circumstances, your background, and your experiences, believe in yourself. Create a business plan and explore what is truly important to you.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Vaughan Counselling and Psychotherapy Inc's commitment to our clients sets us apart from our competitors. All calls that come into our clinic during hours are responded to within 5 minutes. If clients feel that they need service immediately during our hours, we always provide some therapy options from our clinic. If a client thinks our clinic is not the best match, we try to assist clients in finding external services for them even if they don't receive assistance from us. Even though Psychotherapy services are currently not covered by OHIP, we always find ways to help our clients by providing a "Sliding Scale," which is a lower/no-cost session to assist them and help them access therapy, regardless of their financial hardship.

The clinic provides training opportunities for its employees to instill the best service to the clients. We constantly keep up with the clients to see if there are any issues with the therapist or financially and to check in on them. This is vital as it is easy to fall out of therapy. We are with clients throughout each step in their journey of improving their mental health, let it be the therapy, follow-up, and check-in with clients or assisting with technical difficulties.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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