Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Rene Zweig, Founder of Union Square Cognitive Therapy, located in New York, NY, USA.

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

Union Square Cognitive Therapy is a private, outpatient psychotherapy practice I founded in 2010. USCT started as a solo private practice and, in the past year, has expanded to six therapists. Every therapist on my team is hand-selected for their warmth, professionalism, and expertise in providing quality cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Since I expanded my practice, we are now able to help more people receive personalized, quality mental health care. We see adults, adolescents, children, and families struggling with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, ADHD, body image disturbances, and other mental health concerns.

Tell us about yourself

I feel extremely lucky that I genuinely love my job! Every day, I get to meet with smart, interesting, motivated clients who trust me with their stories and struggles. Throughout our work together, I then get to watch them transform their lives. Of course, it took many years of education and training to get to this point. Graduate school was challenging and demanding, and those were not the best years of my life. However, I stuck with it and knew that the sacrifices made in my 20s would pay off later.

After getting my doctorate and completing my fellowship, I joined a prestigious group psychotherapy practice in New York City. I felt like I'd won the lottery because I loved my work, colleagues, and clients. After six years at that group practice, I left to start my own business. I enjoyed building something that reflected my priorities and values, that challenged me, and that clearly helped others. Importantly, it also allowed me a flexible schedule to attend to my family, friends, health, and other interests. A balanced life is so important— I try to practice what I preach!

Since expanding my practice last year, I now spend time mentoring and supervising (and learning from!) other talented mental health professionals in addition to my own clinical work. This has made my workdays even more rewarding. I enjoy watching the next generation of therapists build their skills and careers.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

It is so hard to choose just one thing. As a sole proprietor business owner, I do so many big and small projects every day. I have learned about taxes and payroll, and retirement benefit plans. I personally hire and mentor every member of my team. I make sure every client is receiving quality care. I network with other medical and mental health professionals and referral sources. And in early 2022, I completed construction and opened our beautiful new USCT office, which was a lot of fun!

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

I am always thinking about my business, and there is always something else to get done. I feel responsible for the livelihoods of my five team members, I want to be a good and fair boss, and I want our clients to have a positive experience and excellent therapy. At the same time, the point of being my own boss is to have flexibility with my schedule, spend quality time with my husband and children, and continue to enjoy my work. So I have to keep my work hours in check. Some emails or phone calls can wait until tomorrow!

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

  1. Be prepared to work hard. When I first opened my practice and then again when I first hired employees, I was working every waking moment.
  2. Enjoy it! It feels great to build something and look back on all that you've learned and accomplished.
  3. Be a good boss, not just to your employees but to yourself.

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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