Addressing the Burnout Machine

Addressing the Burnout System

Curt and Katie talk about taking personal responsibility to decrease the impacts of the “Burnout Machine” that is the mental health profession. We look at what should go into an ideal work place and actions each of us can take to improve our own situation as well as the system as a whole.

It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Looking at how to create better systems for mental health workplaces
  • Magical places that could provide adequate pay, training, and emotionally-focused supervision
  • The importance of incorporating the appropriate employee support into budgets
  • Employee engagement versus turnover
  • The need for larger conversations with stakeholders to improve things systemically
  • Sorting through the challenges and benefits of efficiency and productivity
  • Looking at training supervisors
  • The faulty notion that therapy isn’t about the therapist
  • The need for the business or administrative aspects – we can’t get rid of them.
  • Employee, employer, or entrepreneur skills are required for the system to work
  • Balancing the focus on the clinician as a member of the system, a professional, and as an individual
  • The risks of human connection within an employment situation
  • The benefits of exploring the emotions and human connection on professional development, client outcomes
  • Looking at the expectations around supervision that are described in graduate school
  • Addressing the parallel process within the supervisor/supervisee and therapist/client
  • The power differential in becoming a supervisor and navigating the relationship
  • Knowing ourselves at all developmental stages
  • The impact of “Supervision of Supervision” groups
  • The unfortunate scenario where people are rushing to licensure without meeting their developmental stages
  • Being able to support prelicensees’ primary needs of survival (providing financial stability) so they can slow down and take care of their developmental stages
  • How to set up a career that works for you
  • How to identify opportunities to move the profession forward
  • Assessing your own capacities to improve your career and the profession
  • The problem of being cynical and complaining about the system instead of taking action
  • Taking a personal look and personal responsibility for your career

Our Generous Sponsor:

Thanks again to our sponsor, SimplePractice!

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Because running your practice should be Simple, so you can do the work that really matters.

Resources mentioned:

We’ve pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links.

EFT-Based Supervision

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs


Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Group

Relevant Previous Episodes:

Giving and Getting Good Supervision

Getting the Supervision You Want

Toxic Work Environments

Our event this year:

The Therapy Reimagined Conference in Los Angeles in October 2018!!

Our consultation services:

The Fifty-Minute Hour

Who we are:

Curt Widhalm is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is a Board Member at Large for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Adjunct Faculty at Pepperdine University, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at:

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant. As a helping professional for two decades, she’s navigated the ups and downs of our unique line of work. She’s run her own solo therapy practice, designed innovative clinical programs, built and managed large, thriving teams of service providers, and consulted hundreds of helping professionals on how to build meaningful AND sustainable practices. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at:

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.

Stay in Touch:

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Group


Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

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