It’s not always about logistically bringing an idea to life, but whether it’s sustainable, assessing risks, and whether the idea is executable within our scope of practice.”
Roseann Bennett is a licensed marriage and family therapist in New Jersey. She is a co-founder and currently the executive director for the Center for Assessment and Treatment, a nonprofit mental health agency in Hackettstown, New Jersey. Her extensive experience as a marriage and family therapist for over a decade, helping various individuals, has lead her to this position at the agency. Roseann has worked with individuals and has plenty experience in marital and family therapy, treatment planning, case management, and crisis management. The majority of her experience comes from working with adolescents and their families all across New Jersey.
In 2009, Roseann Bennett set out to help establish Center for Assessment and Treatment. When the doors opened in 2010, the agency began its mission to help people through life’s struggles, both internal and external, within their control and exceeding it, horrific and commonplace. The center is a 501 c(3) charitable organization, that is founded to treat and advocate for individuals and families of all backgrounds, specifically those who are are disenfranchised or marginalized by their own community.
Embodying the values that are instilled in her as a marriage and family therapist, Roseann Bennett considers a holistic and systematic view on problems that are encountered. The center is essentially a mirrored reflection of her own values. Due to how the organization was created and how it currently functions, they are able to treat individuals at a low cost, while still providing the quality mental health services they need.
She admits that creating the Center for Assessment and Treatment was not simple, overnight process.The organization is not funded and does not have extensive resources for funding. This does not stop the organization from thriving and continuing their mission and helping the community.
Roseann Bennett obtained her Master’s degree in Psychological Studies from Seton Hall University in 1998. She then went on and continued her education and obtained her Specialist in Education degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seton Hall in 2000. Roseann completed her AAMFT Approved Supervision Fundamental Course at Seton Hall in 2007.
Where did the idea for Center for Assessment and Treatment come from?
It was clear, having worked in the community for several years, that prompt outpatient mental health services that focused on helping a low-income individuals were largely unavailable. We wanted to change that, this is too important…
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day often begins very early in the morning. I generally strategize on what I am going to accomplish that day and how that relates to my goals of the week. My tasks vary greatly, from writing policy, to developing programs, to the more mundane, day to day tasks. First and foremost, I am a marriage and family therapist, the majority of my day often consists of providing this service to those in need.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Interesting question. I think the key here is a variation of intense attention/time, coupled with walking away/pondering, then revisiting the idea. This is how I develop solutions to most problems. It’s not always about logistically bringing an idea to life, but whether it’s sustainable, assessing risks, and whether the idea is executable within our scope of practice. I also need to make sure I am passionate about the idea. Simply because an idea might make sense, if there isn’t passion, I know it won’t survive.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Mindfulness. It is clearly a trend in mental health right now but it’s been around for 1000’s of years and I hope it only becomes more a part of mental health. In a world that is increasingly surrounded with dings, vibrations, and other distractions, being present is going to be of increased importance. That and Kale, I love Kale.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I wish I could summarize this down to one habit that really makes the difference. It’s more about lifestyle. The nonprofit that I developed with my partner, has been such a strong focus in our lives. You have to care about and love what you do, otherwise the long hours that are required for any entrepreneur will get to you. It will no longer be towpath your time unless you love it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
You will figure it out.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
Burglar (someone who steals something) is pronounced burgUlar
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Listen, always. You have to lose your ego and listen to what people are telling you.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Start conservative. You probably don’t need fancy letterhead, or other trappings that bleed your company of cash. Understand the symptom of why your product is needed. Why is there a demand for your product or service? Is there something your competition is not doing or is doing wrong? Learn from their mistakes.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
We brought on another mental health professional with a specific subspecialty. We marketed heavily that this person was part of our team and that this subspecialty was available. However, the phone hardly rang. It was a loss no doubt about it, but the losses were contained. We just had to keep moving forward.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I love anything that will make my life easier. To my knowledge this does not exist. Whenever I park in the city (always street parking, I refuse to pay) I am often faced with very complicated parking signs and I am often unclear about where is a “valid” place to park. An app that shows me where I can park and when (for example it will account for street cleaning, the hours stipulated on the sign etc…).
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A massage. Without a doubt. You have to schedule time to take care of yourself and treat it to be something as important as something work related. If I don’t take of myself, I feel it…my performance suffers, quality of work is compromised.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
How do you use it? For me, it is a pen and paper. I think best using that medium. I can’t really explain it. Sure, I use Google Drive, gmail, and our EMR (Electronic Medical Record), therapynotes, and they are all great but my truly productive time is spent with my notebook, where I can actually think about things beyond a day to day to do list.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working by Tony Schwartz. It’s interesting, research based, but most importantly, gives you practical knowledge that you can apply that day. I’ve read dozens of books about management, leadership, company development, etc, but often feel disappointed by the superficial nature of the content. This book is not that, it really helped me change my lifestyle and become not just more productive but more satisfied with what I do.
What is your favorite quote?
It’s the quote on our website, it’s by Viktor Frankl, “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” I work with people everyday who find themselves in horrible situations that they do not control. Often we seek out control nonetheless. I think this quote highlights the importance of shifting our perspective.
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