Published on May 23rd, 2018 | by Chad T.0
Roseann Bennett – Co-Founder of the Center for Assessment and Treatment
Roseann Bennett is the co-founder and executive director of the Center for Assessment and Treatment, a nonprofit mental health agency. The New Jersey-based licensed marriage and family therapist is experienced in marital and family therapy, treatment planning, case management and crisis management, and she has been working with adolescents and their families for over a decade. Roseann is an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Approved Supervisor and ACS Approved Supervisor. Roseann currently serves as the Northern Chapter President of the New Jersey Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
What led you to establish the Center for Assessment and Treatment?
I had been working in the community for several years doing in-home therapy. Once I was transferred to outpatient therapy, I realized that the wait for treatment was anywhere between six to nine months. Prompt mental health services that focused on helping low-income individuals were scarce. Those families and individuals ultimately almost always returned to see me because there was a lack of continuation of care. My husband and I wanted to change that and established the Center for Assessment and Treatment. It is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization focused on treating and advocating for people and families from all walks of life paying special attention to those who are disenfranchised or marginalized by their community.
How did you go about expanding your business?
Our approach was modesty. We started conservatively. After obtaining our licenses, my husband and I set up our offices using furniture from our own home. We did not focus on appearance such as fancy letterhead or other expenses that would bleed the company of cash. We reached out to potential clients by being active in the community through attending meetings, and we were open six days a week, 11 hours a day, from 9am to 8pm. We really focused on understanding the need for our business and why there was a demand for the products and services we were offering. We looked at our competition, focusing on both the things they were not doing and the things they were doing wrong. We tried not to do those things. And we also never ever turned down a client, regardless of the circumstances.
Can you elaborate on how the experience of starting your own business affected you as a person? What lessons did you learn?
This is not as specific as it seems at first, and I wish I could narrow it down to one concrete thing such as a habit that really makes the difference. Rather, it is more about lifestyle. Our nonprofit was a large part of and a strong focus in our lives. The most profound lesson I learned is that one has to really care about and truly love what they do in order to remain committed and not get worn down by the long hours. Otherwise, the time put in will no longer be worth it.