Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Anita Owusu, Founder of Therapy & Co., located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The motivation for building a Psychotherapy Practice derives from my personal experience with childhood trauma and the role that therapy played in my healing. This has given rise to an unwavering desire to lend a hand in other people's journeys. The human experience is unfortunately rife with pain, and having been blessed with the capacity to hold space for such experiences, I feel a sense of obligation to support others through their suffering.
Very seldom do you hear people speak about their work with complete adoration— fortunately, I am one of those lucky people. Therapy & Co is a reflection of who I am as an individual and what I love to do. The hand-selected therapists who are part of Therapy &Co. share similar values and passions.
My clients are beautifully diverse, ranging in age, ethnicity, and profession (students, actresses, executives, artists, mothers, therapists/psychiatrists, etc...). They have histories of trauma, abuse, anxiety, depression, stress, etc.
Tell us about yourself
At the start of my Social Work career, I imagined owning a practice but was uncertain about how or when. Following my first mat leave, I returned to my cushiony child welfare job. Though I had a deep appreciation for the work that I was doing, something felt amiss. Going into families' homes, I began to hear about the underlying traumas that informed the parent's behaviours and/or parenting. While they were met with compassion, my role in supporting them was very limited.
Subsequent to the birth of my second child, something shifted. I was no longer interested in working with clients in a coercive manner. I preferred to work collaboratively. Once I decided to open my practice, I reached out to people in my network. I obtained a mentor who provided much guidance, and the rest is now history. I am motivated by the idea that supporting one person can have a fundamental impact on the world. These individual changes have ripple effects for future generations.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
While the credit belongs to the clients and their efforts, I feel a sense of accomplishment when a client graduates. Sometimes clients come to therapy feeling like their goals are impossible to reach. For example, I have worked with clients due to debilitating anxiety. Most of them come to accept that living with anxiety is part of their fate until we are saying our final goodbyes.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
While the graduation of a client is a huge accomplishment, it is also challenging. As a human being, I become invested in my client's well-being; thus, it can be difficult knowing that I may never see them again.
Lastly, I am only reminded that I am running a business when a policy is breached (i.e., cancellations, no show, etc.), which can be difficult to enforce at times, primarily because it feels contradictory to my line of work because of the belief that business decisions are heartless.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do research Learn as much as you can about the business you venture into.
- Get a mentor (Connect with someone who has been in the field for some time and who has your best interest at heart).
- Network Building relationships can be the key to opportunities and sustainability.
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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