Therapy for Entrepreneurs: Help Your Business by Protecting Your Mental Health

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By Chandler Chang, Ph.D.

Increasingly we see individuals seeking therapy for entrepreneurs and large corporations offering mental health benefits for their own employees. Running a business can be stressful, especially when navigating today’s volatile economy and “always on” business culture.

If you are an entrepreneur you know what we are talking about…the immense pressure, terrible work/life balance, etc. However, if running your own business is taking a toll on your mental health, you don’t have to deal with it alone. Whether you are a small-business owner or a startup founder, here is how therapy can help entrepreneurs.

Are entrepreneurs more likely to struggle with mental health?

The short answer is unfortunately yes.

In 2015, Dr. Freeman at UC Berkeley led a ground-breaking study examining entrepreneurs’ strengths and vulnerabilities from a psychological perspective.  The results revealed substantial differences between entrepreneurs and a comparison group of non-entrepreneurs.  In summary, nearly three-quarters (72%) of entrepreneurs had mental health concerns, and 49% had experienced one or more mental health conditions (depression, ADHD, substance use conditions, and bipolar diagnosis). One could imagine that these numbers might be even higher if the study were completed after the recent COVID-19 pandemic. It’s no wonder that therapy for entrepreneurs is becoming more prevalent.

What makes entrepreneurship challenging for one’s mental health?

The previously mentioned statistics may not be that surprising if you are aware of the multitude of stressors that founders face.  Building a business can be tough on the mind and soul. Many entrepreneurs encounter:

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  • The looming threat of failure
  • The pressure to stay innovative
  • The isolating nature of leadership
  • Disagreements with others on the team
  • Working 70+ hours a week
  • Lay offs
  • Other difficult decisions…and so on

It’s no wonder that burnout and potential depression are common psychological conditions associated with business ownership.

Despite the pervasiveness of stress and anxiety in business, it may be difficult to trust that you are not alone, given how silent the business community has been historically regarding mental and emotional health.  Those in leadership positions often feel afraid to disclose their struggles to anyone, because they might come off as “weak” and become vulnerable to others’ judgment.

Whether you are a business leader who is ready to open up to the world about your struggle or not, you may find therapy extremely helpful.

How can therapy help entrepreneurs?

Therapy for entrepreneurs can be useful in a number of ways, but at a high level, it can provide founders with a non-judgmental space to discuss their worries and develop coping skills for the future. Here is a short list of ways that Therapy Lab can help:

  • Protecting your mental health through “the grind” and typical entrepreneurial pressures
  • Improving your mental fitness to help your mind and body work with you, not against you
  • Navigating the “near death moments” of a new startup without it crushing you personally
  • Facilitating effective communication with a co-founder and strengthening relationships with your team
  • Improving work sustainability and work-life flow to prevent burnout and breakdown


As you can see, addressing your own mental health does not have to be the only goal of connecting with a therapist.  A large portion of challenges faced in startups has to do with co-founder conflict or other interpersonal dynamics. We can help enhance your communication with your team or meet with both you and your co-founder to foster open communication and protect the business venture. Or sometimes having an unbiased third party who can help steer you in the right direction is the need of the week.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a highly effective, results-based approach that we believe can be extremely helpful to entrepreneurs struggling with mental health and the ups and downs of owning a business. If you are interested to learn more about how Therapy Lab can help your situation, book a free consultation.

Want More?

Check out Dr. Chandler Chang on The Founders Live Podcast as she discusses “Mental Wellness For The Entrepreneur AND Their Family” with Nick Hughes.

About Us

Therapy Lab is an innovative therapy platform offering treatment packages to help companies and clients meet specific goals. With an upfront timeline, we prioritize structure, efficiency, and results. We measure clients’ progress as we go and apply science-based principles to the therapy process. Our Founder, Dr. Chandler Chang, has worked with a wide range of corporate partners, from Fortune 500 companies to early-stage startups.

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