Counselling For Business Owners

wise owl symbolising counselling for business owners

Counselling For Business Owners

What is counselling for business owners?


Why would a business owner benefit from choosing a counsellor who specialises in working with entrepreneurs, business owners and freelancers? Surely, therapy is therapy, right? No. On the contrary, I’m going to explain why specifically choosing a psychotherapist who works with business owners, entrepreneurs and freelancers makes sense if you are one too. The truth is that therapy is about you and your own unique situation, and anyone in business will already have a set of circumstances that sets them apart from the rest of the employed population. Circumstances that include:

A high level of decision-making

Business owners have to make decisions, all of the time. This high level of decision making can lead to decision fatigue, not only by the end of the day, but in general. Responsibility rests on your shoulders,and at times it can feel overwhelming.

Increased reasons for anxiety

Whether you are solely responsible for marketing and bringing in your own income, or heading up a firm and responsible for bringing in the cash that will ultimately pay the mortgages and bills of others, there will often be a low level of anxiety, even when things are going well. In moments when the economy looks wobbly and bills are sky-rocketing, this will naturally increase. While those who work for someone else may have a little more insulation, you are on the hard edge of it.  Anxiety is very real, with tangible reasons to feel it.

Isolation can lead to depression

cat as lonely business ownersMany solo business owners and freelancers lead an isolated life. Head down, they get on with things and bring the money in. However, coffee cooler chats and lunches with colleagues may be few and far between, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which in turn creates the circumstances where depression thrives.

No safety cushion

If you experience a death in the family, you still have to get on with it. If you’re ill, you end up working from your bed. If you’re struggling with feelings of anxiety and depression, you force yourself to power on through. Now, sometimes this reason to get up and get on with things can be good: it gives us meaning and purpose. However, we are not machines, and long-term we all know that it will have consequences.

People Pleasing

When our clients pay our bills, it can be easy to slip into people pleasing behaviours. This includes things like letting boundaries slide, working long hours (scope creep), or playing safe and choosing boring, mind-numbing work because it’s easy to get and you know it will pay the bills. None of these actions are helpful for our mental health.

Risk Taking

Some entrepreneur and business owners are naturally high risk takers, which is how they got where they are. However, risk taking has been associated with pushing down feelings which may stop you from going ahead (Heilman et al., 2010; Panno et al., 2013), which is not a good pattern to adopt for mental health. Habitually taking high risks can also seep out in other high risk behaviour, like drug taking, or getting into dangerous situations.

It’s not all bad…

However, entrepreneurs, business owners and freelancers have some amazing strengths and working with a therapist who specialises in this area means that they understand and can help you use them. These include strengths like creativity and imagination, an ability to see patterns, build rapport, see things objectively, as well as your own experiences and learnings from business and life.

My additional work as a business psychologist allows me to bring business strategy and planning into our therapy. After all, any decisions you are making about your life and future are going to impact your business, and vice versa. I work individually with business owners, and also offer consulting and training to businesses. Book in a chat today to find out more, or contact me here. I see clients in Folkestone and Canterbury, Kent, and online.


Heilman, R. M., Crişan, L. G., Houser, D., Miclea, M., and Miu, A. C. (2010). Emotion regulation and decision making under risk and uncertainty. Emotion 10:257. doi: 10.1037/a0018489

Panno, A., Lauriola, M., and Figner, B. (2013). Emotion regulation and risk taking: predicting risky choice in deliberative decision making. Cogn. Emot. 27, 326–334. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2012.707642



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