Chantel Cohen counsels professionals.
Buckhead resident and owner of CWC Coaching & Therapy Chantel Cohen is both a certified business coach and a licensed therapist. She opened her practice in 2011 to bring both skills together in support of business professionals and entrepreneurs, especially those from underrepresented communities, including people of color and women. As an African American woman, she felt there was a need for her services. Black therapists represent just 4% of the psychology workforce in the United States, according to a report from the American Psychological Association.
“I look at what we do as vitally important. Our work contributes to families staying together and to the economy by helping their businesses. Entrepreneurs are more likely to divorce and deal with unique struggles,” Cohen says.
CWC’s goal is to create a paradigm shift by supporting clients on a personal level with their relationships to self, business, co-founder and/or spouse, which in turn has positive repercussions for their businesses. Cohen often starts with individual therapy and then brings in the client’s partner in life or business as needed.
Cohen provides a hypothetical example of an entrepreneur struggling with delegation to describe American Psychological Association: “If you’re in corporate America, you have to trust and grow your team to grow your business. So we would talk about times when somebody may have failed them. It doesn’t necessarily have to have been in childhood; it could have been in another work situation or with a business partner or significant other,” she says. Cohen says if the professional isn’t willing to delegate, they might feel resentful, overworked and burnt out with no time for themselves.
“Those are the things that must be broken through so business leaders can be all that they can be. A lot of it is a head game, the way you view the world and what you tell yourself, not necessarily utilizing hard business tools,” Cohen says.
The therapist-coach feels passionately about supporting women in business in particular. CWC is a certified community partner of the Women’s Entrepreneur Initiative, which provides resources to emerging and aspiring entrepreneurs. “Women, no matter what race, only get 2% of venture capitalist money. Nobody is investing in us. Black women-owned businesses get only 0.31%,” Cohen says.
She adds that her female clients across the board face the distinctive challenge of balancing demands of family, children and community with their businesses. “The load on their shoulders oftentimes keeps them from being able to move forward as quickly as men. I want to help them succeed,” Cohen says.
CWC’s group of six coaches and therapists is often contracted by leading organizations such as Google, Coca-Cola, Lenovo and Coursera to provide vital mental health services for the founders and participants in their incubator and accelerator programs. They have done 2,500 sessions for Google for Startups’ Black Founders Fund, which allowed participants to seek support for the duration of their cohort, typically a year.
“We help with burnout, major anxiety, bouts of ADHD and fear of failure, all of which are common with entrepreneurs, as well as whatever the person needs,” Cohen says.
As for her own mental and physical wellness, Cohen has a rigorous routine. Since experts say that if you write something down, you’re more likely to do it, every Sunday, Cohen puts pen to index card with what she will do in the week ahead and X’s it out when she’s completed each task. Her routine includes four days of cardio, two days of yoga, five minutes of pranayama breathing four times per week, four days of reading for 20 minutes and transcendental meditation every day.
“I encourage my clients to do the same. Writing it all down really works,” she says.
CWC COACHING & THERAPY
PHOTO: Joanne Vitelli
Managing Editor and Wellness Columnist at Simply Buckhead. Blogger at Badass + Healthy.