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Community Highlights: Meet Emma Scheets of Rae Therapies

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emma Scheets .

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I was working in a general hospital in Western Wisconsin, as a certified child life specialist, when I decided I wanted to open a business. I had been furloughed for 16 weeks due to covid-19 and it gave me plenty of time to determine if I wanted to continue working with children in the surgical setting. It also gave me lots of time to decide that it was time to move away from Wisconsin’s cold winters.

I had friends help and a mentor from SCORE, but I do not have a business partner, so I wrote my business plan, obtained a loan, hired employees, and all the other necessary ‘to-do’ items to start this business on my own. It is important for me that people understand how difficult starting a business is, but that if you are passionate about what your business have to offer, it’s worth it. I grew up enduring physical abuse on a weekly to daily basis but I have the resilience that was necessary to go to college, graduate, work a professional job, and now, own my own business. I want to teach others that no matter what you have experienced, no matter how little resources there have been to assist you, and no matter what you think you are capable of, you can become the person you want to be.

I knew that I wanted to open a business that served children and their families, and over time the business plan developed into a mental health therapy center. I have many goals for Rae Therapies, including working with children and families who have experienced trauma and helping these families find strategies to help themselves heal. Additional goals include finding resources and assisting families with any situations they are experiencing so that no concerns ‘fall through the cracks’ and working with non-profits in the valley to help support families in need. In order to begin working on these goals, I began working on a business plan and the road to opening Rae Therapies from my apartment in La Crosse, Wisconsin, when I wasn’t working at the hospital. I worked every weekend as well, so that I could move to Phoenix to open Rae Therapies as soon as possible.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has been a difficult road at times, but luckily I have needed to be resilient for most of my life to have even gotten to the point of opening a business.

I feel as though some aspects have fallen into place almost naturally, such as finding a location for Rae Therapies. I hired a broker to help me find the perfect location, since I was still in Wisconsin when it was time for me to sign a lease. My broker only visited two locations, and we knew immediately that the second location was the right spot for the business. It’s beautiful and very well kept, as well as having recently remodeled suites. I didn’t know how it would work, signing a lease for a space I hadn’t been to in person, but I did, and it was the right choice.

Challenges have been frustrating, but I have had the ability to overcome them thus far, and will continue to do so. Some of those challenges include staffing. This is something that every business struggles with, especially as of late. I feel as though I have had some unique challenges as we are a small brand new business. I have luckily found some great employees who are very supportive, passionate, and want to see Rae Therapies succeed. Rae Therapies is looking for additional therapists so that we can offer a variety of hours to families, and so I am always looking for staff that would be a good fit. I am looking for therapists who want to part of growing a business from the ground up and understand that working for a brand new business is different than working for a business that has been open for 20 years. Its hard work but more than worth it!

As you know, we’re big fans of Rae Therapies . For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Rae Therapies is a holistic mental health therapy center for children We see children and teens, ages 3-19. We are unique in the different therapies and modalities that we offer to children of all abilities. Our theme is ‘under the sea’. I chose this theme for my brand for several different reasons. It allows for calming blue colors in the office and allows us to be your oasis in the desert. I am most proud that myself and my brand represent a passionate and empathic center for children and families.

We offer mental health therapy, art therapy, music therapy, and nutrition services with a registered dietitian. An example of modalities we provide include sand tray therapy, play therapy, and medical play. Medical is especially important for children who are medically complex or have an intense fear of reoccurring medical procedures. For example, I would work with children or teens who have a fear of needles, and come up with coping plans for blood draws and engage in play using medical equipment to provide mastery and control over the experience. This large variety in services and modalities sets us apart from other centers that provide more than one service.

Other ways that Rae Therapies stands out from other centers include our monthly events, our library in which clients and families can check books out from, our sensory room, and a toy check-out system. Our monthly events are insurance billable, just like our 1:1 sessions, and they have a different theme and activity. For example, our next event is a nutrition event in which children can play and experiment with food. This event could benefit every young child, as it is important to find fun ways for them to find new and healthy foods without causing anxiety and arguments at the dinner table. We have a page on our website that has a list of our future events and you can register for them on that page.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
I love the mountains, palm trees, and large buildings in Phoenix and the surrounding cities. Especially at night, when all the lights shine. I feel lighter and happier in the environment of Phoenix.

I appreciate all of the activity and food options there are here since I just moved from a town of about 50,000.

There isn’t anything that I dislike about Phoenix, but I am still getting used to the slow interstate speed limits. Between traffic and a slow speed limit, it’s a lot different driving here than it was at home!


  • We bill health insurance. If a family does not have health insurance, 1:1 sessions are $90 and group events are $45.

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