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At Least 3 Reasons Continuing Education Sucks

Curt and Katie chat about why continuing education is usually pretty ineffective. We dig into a listener question related to repackaged, introductory level, uninspiring presentations. We look at the systemic concerns related to CE standards as well as the difficulty balancing high quality education with affordability. We explore research that shows that continuing education (especially when it is solely didactic) does not impact client outcomes. We also share ideas to improve continuing education for the next generation of clinicians.

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.


Click here to scroll to the podcast transcript.

In this episode we talk about problem with continuing education:

  • The problems with continuing education rules and what that means for the types of education modern therapists often can find
  • The ways in which presenters repackage others’ material

“There’s no evidence that continuing education improves client outcomes.” — Curt Widhalm, LMFT

  • Continuing education is not proven to improve client outcomes
  • CE standards that limit the innovation and interactive capability
  • How most CE is very general and appropriate for all levels of clinicians (not solely intermediate to advanced therapists)
  • The type of didactic training that might be impactful or effective (but may not be CE worthy)

“We can go and we can be very inspired for a few days after a one time presentation. But without practical use of training, this just becomes all at best theoretical knowledge…it doesn’t lead to practically being able to go and take those skills to those clients to be able to improve their situations.” – Curt Widhalm, LMFT

  • The problem with not having practical applications involved in presentations
  • Learning, practicing and then doing
  • Why effective continuing education is expensive and whether they make a difference in being better therapists
  • Deliberate practice and the effectiveness of spending time outside of session (and training) practicing skills
  • Practice-based evidence (measuring how well our clients are doing) and why this is the strongest way to do better work
  • The importance of giving accurate feedback to CE providers
  • The acknowledgement and acceptance within the system that CE doesn’t really work – and the push back and reasons why people within the system don’t want to fix it
  • Assessing competence and engagement in training (pros and cons)
  • The balance between accessibility and accountability
  • The shelf-life of graduate education and the need for continuing education

“Trying to make [continuing education] more experiential, more practical, so that people can actually learn and potentially having opportunities for learning beyond kind of the initial offering.” – Katie Vernoy, LMFT

  • Our vision related to continuing education and learning


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Resources for Modern Therapists mentioned in this Podcast Episode:

We’ve pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below might be affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking below, we may get a little bit of cash in our pockets. We thank you in advance!

The Cycle of Excellence by Tony Rousmaniere

Dr. Joy DeGruy

Why TED Talks don’t change people’s behaviors: Tom Asacker at TEDxCambridge 2014

Scott Miller, PhD: Deliberate Practice

Dr. Ben Caldwell, LMFT – Ben Caldwell Labs


Impact of Formal Continuing Medical Education

Does Professional Training Make a Therapist More Effective?

Relevant Episodes of MTSG Podcast:

All Deliberate Practice episodes

Be a Better Therapist

Finding Your Blind Spots

The Fight to Save Psychotherapy

Who we are:

Picture of Curt Widhalm, LMFT, co-host of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcast; a nice young man with a glorious beard.Curt Widhalm, LMFT

Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, 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:

Picture of Katie Vernoy, LMFT, co-host of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcastKatie Vernoy, LMFT

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. 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 with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement:


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Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:

Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

Transcript for this episode of the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide podcast (Autogenerated):

Transcripts do not include advertisements just a reference to the advertising break (as such timing does not account for advertisements).

… 0:00
(Opening Advertisement)

Announcer 0:00
You’re listening to the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide where therapists live, breathe and practice as human beings. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, here are your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy.

Curt Widhalm 0:15
Welcome back modern therapists. This is the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide. I’m Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy. And this is the podcast that deals with all things therapists: the way that we are, the way that we practice, the way that we learn. And on that last idea, we are taking some listener feedback. Today we were posed the question of hey, Curt and Katie, why does continuing education suck? And specifically, maybe using a little poetic, little poetic license on my half of the specific complaint was when we’ve been to a lot of continuing education classes, why does it seem like so much of it is just repackaged other stuff. And Katie and I were in agreement that there is a lot of repackaged stuff. And we wanted to explore why the whole system around continuing education kind of forces things into this direction, and maybe offer some different ways of looking at things. And that is really what we’re here to explore today. So Katie, why does continuing education suck?

Katie Vernoy 1:29
Well, I mean, I’m a bad person to ask that; both because I get really bored in continuing education. And I’m also a producer of primarily repackaged…

Curt Widhalm 1:40
Bad continuing education?

Katie Vernoy 1:42
Oh, no, no, no.

Curt Widhalm 1:42
Are you admitting this?

Katie Vernoy 1:43
No, I’m not saying we provide bad continued education, I actually really like what we do. I’m obviously very biased, but like, I think about the work that I do. And I try not to just repackage and use other people’s smiley faces, or, or some of the content that I’ve received in other places, but oftentimes, I’ll read several books and I’ll kind of repackage it into something that makes sense to me and applies to therapists. So I’m looking forward to our conversation, because I think that there’s ways to make continuing education better. But I also think that there are some systemic issues with it, where the CE standards and the ways in which that people traditionally are kind of forced to comply with a structure kind of suck. I mean, I think about the the talk I did last year for Therapy Reimagined 2020 and the first portion of my talk was basically CE is wrong, we need to be focusing on you as the therapist and how you set up your practice, how you set yourself up as a clinician, and even how you set up your business to help our clients. Like focusing all of our education on specific checkbox, you must do this thing and it has to all be client focused, I think is very limiting. But I think that the conversation today, we’re going to go deeper than even just that, where it’s not just like, hey, let’s focus on us as clinicians. But also, let’s actually do better quality continuing education if we can.

Curt Widhalm 3:11
I will link some stuff here in the show notes today, you can find those at But I’m going to start out by citing the book, ‘The Cycle of Excellence’ by Tony Rousmaniere who’s one of my favorite researchers, movers and shakers out there in the field. And there’s a chapter in this book about continuing education that goes very much in depth, and I’ll boil it down for the listeners here. There’s no evidence that continuing education improves client outcomes. Now, there might be a little bit of cognitive dissonance that we experienced in hearing that. Well, why must they force us to sit through as much continuing education? But some people may even be saying, well, I got something out of this one course this one time. But when we start to actually look at its impact on the ways that clients perceive their treatment to be going, overall, continuing education has no correlation to improved client outcomes are no demonstrable proof there. Now, for those of you who have learned something in these courses, I’m guessing that it has some sort of a practical learning benefit to it. Something where you actually have to practice it. It’s not just done in a didactic learning style. And unfortunately, that is the way that most continuing education is conducted. It’s somebody who’s standing in front of a room of people or a video camera for talking about virtual continuing education, where you just kind of sit there and it’s somebody who’s providing a baseline knowledge to an audience. And this goes back to this listener question here. Why why are things seeming so prepackaged? And this is, you know, a little bit of a peek behind the scenes to become a continuing education providers, that all continuing education speakers need to cite relevant research. And that is something that they have to base their presentations on. We can’t just provide continuing education, let somebody wander onto a stage and just start rambling for a while. There are speakers who do that anyway, but at least in their applications to go and speak, they have at least cited some relevant research in order to be able to get up there. Those applications to speak also require that a target audience is identified for the presentation. And this is usually broken into three levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. And for people who attend a lot of workshops or a lot of conferences, you might see that the target audience of this presentation is beginner to advanced therapists. And that’s gonna be probably a very general sort of baseline education sort of thing that might get into some nuance that some more seasoned practitioners might be able to pick up on, but very rarely do I see a lot of presentations that say this is solely for intermediate or solely for advanced clinicians. That I don’t think that there’s a understanding of where the different levels of learning are. And then I think that there’s also a hesitation to really market things that might be just labeled as advanced for fear of scaring off, you know, a potential market of people who are there to buy CEs.

Katie Vernoy 6:25
You said a lot there. So let me process.

Curt Widhalm 6:28
I did. And I recognize that and I stopped there just to let you process and to have some reactions, because I have a ton more to say.

Katie Vernoy 6:37
Oh, goodness. So the things that I’m hearing is, well, first off, there’s the the piece around compliance with CE standards, the evidence base, the objectives and outcomes, all of those things, and the requirement, and I think this may be something that you’re gonna say, too, but the requirement that a lot of the content, you know, for an hour’s worth of content, there’s only a small portion that can be kind of off topic or not really learning and so even experiential activities for virtual is practically impossible. And for in person, oftentimes, those activities actually have to be almost with the whole group before it can really feel like it’s a steady, you know, continuing education offering. And for me, I do think, and I agree with this, that there, there is a huge benefit to an experiential, you know, I’m working on my own processing and getting the things in there or we’re working as a group or there’s, you know, a practical demonstration or whatever. But I actually would push back that that didactic, can’t be impactful. I think it typically is not. But one of the speakers, one of my favorite speakers in the world is Dr. Joy DeGruy and I just recently saw her speak extemporaneously, almost she has her content in a beautiful PowerPoint, and it wasn’t repackaged. It’s her stuff. It’s her study, it’s her experience, but it was also impactful outside of regular kind of continuing education outcomes and those things because it was stories and it was hugely impactful as far as perspective. And I think the pushback on repackaging other content, I think, speaks to that. I think if you’re going to repackage content, and be didactic, most people are going to say thank you for the reminder. And you just sit. You’ve had you know, the the content is more top of mind and you go home and you go to sleep and you forget it the next day. I think if it’s perspective changing, and I think this is like TED talks or like folks who are just really great storytellers, are able to put stuff together. I think there can be powerful didactic content, but I think it’s rare. So I just wanted to kind of distinguish that out a little bit, because I think that there is a lot to gain from experiences. But I think the way that the CE system is set up, oftentimes just make sure that we’re checking boxes.

Curt Widhalm 6:55
I haven’t seen Joy DeGruy speak so I can’t speak about what you’re talking about here. But I’ve listened to plenty of other great names who have gone out and given very wonderful storytelling presentations. And A: as somebody who’s written a number of CE applications myself with a bunch of the CE approval bodies. Most of those are not CE presentations. They’re people…

Katie Vernoy 9:12
I know, which is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous because you learn so much more from stories and experiences and perspective.

Curt Widhalm 9:45
They don’t necessarily translate to client outcomes. That a shift in perspective doesn’t actually translate to things that you do in sessions, and then improve client outcomes. And this is got a couple of names for it. In fact, you bring up TED Talks. My favorite TED talk is the one about how TED talks don’t actually impact people. There’s also the other name for this, the Tony Robbins effect, where we can go and we can be very inspired for a few days after a one time presentation. But without practical use of training, this just becomes all at best theoretical knowledge or a juicy story to drop in the middle of a session to convey that you understand somebody’s perspective. But it doesn’t lead to practically being able to go and take those skills to those clients to be able to improve their situations. And so, you know, we’re both speaking to these are systemic issues around the continuing education process, and largely shows why it’s so easy for many people to just kind of either meet all of the requirements and have to kind of recycle a bunch of stuff to actually do the quote, unquote, proper CE or if they are veering out of it, that it’s not a CE presentation, even if it is something that could be helpful. And and it’s done in ways that largely haven’t been shown to be good teaching techniques when it comes to actually having clinical competence to help clients. Now this is a fairly newer conversation within the field of psychotherapy. But this is a long held conversation within the medical field that studies around continuing education for doctors show that didactic learning about, you know, the newest techniques doesn’t necessarily show better medical treatments, as much as going and practicing the techniques. Practice makes better. And so some of the aspects of what makes a good continuing education is not the lecture part of didactic learning, but it’s the practical skills of practicing on each other. And that often is what creates a another barrier within continuing education, and especially the virtual environment is, if you don’t have the opportunity to practice, you’re going and you’re taking that information, and then you’re doing it to clients. There’s no practice in there, you’ve gone straight from kind of learning to just doing. But to do a proper continuing education roleplay sort of thing, if you have a large audience, then you’d need other people who are trained in this to go and you know, supervise little practicum groups within the training. And I’m thinking of something like EMDR training. This is part of what drives the costs of continuing education up is that it has to be an investment in the learning process and the structures around it. And unfortunately, most of us are kind of cheap asses and we take whatever the cheapest continuing education courses are to check our boxes off rather than really investing in opportunities to practically engage with the material with other people in a practice sort of way. So that way, when we go and do it with clients, we’re not doing it for the first time, we’re more likely to follow through on it and be more true to the models that we’re using.

… 13:09
(Advertisement Break)

Katie Vernoy 13:11
Is there research that supports that the way that EMDR or DBT, or EFT or some of these kind of richer models that have the more expensive training and the you know, the sub trainers that are doing these kind of practicum groups, so to speak, is there evidence of that works? Or is that just what you’re thinking?

Curt Widhalm 13:32
Let me introduced to you possibly for the first time, all of the research about deliberate practice. If you’re new to our podcast, we have a host of old episodes, but this is a lot of the career of researcher Scott Miller. And even before him, Anders Ericsson. Scott Miller is primarily within the field of psychology about, we need to practice in order to get better. We need people who supervise or consultants or coaches who know what we’re doing, and the level at which we practice in order to do things better. This is basically just learning theory of getting feedback on how we practice and how we’re actually doing and reviewing that. And then being able to correct those mistakes from our learned practical experiences of this.

Katie Vernoy 14:27
Okay, okay, fine. I know about deliberate practice. I was, I guess the the thing that I’m looking at being one of those cheap asses, I guess, is for the kind of the investment into these different models, because looking at what does impact clinical outcome some of it is, who we are and how we understand ourselves and our perspectives. And there are also the pieces around the model and adherence to the model, but those things are not necessarily higher or more important than how we show up as clinicians. And granted, there’s person of the therapist work and the deep work that goes there and the deliberate practice that can go there. So I’m not saying that we wouldn’t want to practice. I’m just saying there’s these hugely expensive trainings, the ones I mentioned, and others that have that are more effective at teaching these models. Do we have evidence that people who are adhering and doing these kinds of training are better therapists than the people who are just working on themselves and in doing the checkbox continuing education?

Curt Widhalm 15:35
So, to point to a couple of things that I pointed to on a bunch of previous podcasts is Scott Miller’s ideas or research that suggests most therapists are pretty just average, and many of them don’t improve past their first 100 or so client hours, because they don’t engage in deliberate practice type work. One of the other people outside a lot here is Dr. Ben Caldwell who we don’t have evidence that even just doing personal work on ourselves and how we show up in the room improves client outcomes. There’s a lot of qualitative feel good research out there that says that, yeah, we do. But we don’t have any quantitative research that shows that this stuff is effective either. And so for us to have this, and this is something where I will attribute it to Ben, and I’m sure he’s taking it from somebody else. But it’s being able to track how well we as individuals are doing with our clients, what Ben refers to his practice based evidence, not necessarily evidence based practices, because I can go out and I can do CBT. I might not do it well, but I’m using an evidence based practice. And that’s an example. But it’s measuring how effective we are in using those kinds of evidence based practices that really shows our transformation from the beginning of when we learn it through the practice of it, and then how we as individuals are in doing that work with our clients.

Katie Vernoy 17:10
Okay, so I’m going to shift it a little bit to kind of get back to continuing education as a whole. But what I’m hearing is that they’re the most effective thing that we can do to learn, to be become better therapists, that kind of stuff is deliberate practice, is training that includes deliberate practice, and oftentimes, those trainings are extensive, they’re expensive, they’re because we’re investing in a process that works. So I’ll I’ll allow that. And there are potentially evidence based practices like, you know, the CBT, DBT, EFT, ABC, EMDR, blah, blah, blah, that can help us become better therapists, potentially, we don’t necessarily have all of the evidence of kind of everything. And I obviously don’t know it well. But there is there are folks who, who want to really invest and get these trainings and feel very fulfilled by them. There are folks who don’t, and I think that there’s room for both of those folks. So the folks who want to invest and are doing really good continue education, they’re meeting their CE hours, and an off, they go good for them. For the folks who aren’t necessarily interested in a specific evidence based practice, who potentially are doing deliberate practice on their own, obviously, unless it’s within a CE program, you’re not getting CEs for that. They’re stuck with this continuing education system where you have to get a certain number of hours, they have to comply to some of these structures that don’t necessarily improve continued education. And there also are costs associated with trying to get that accomplished. And not everybody has the financial freedom to do some of these more investment worthy trainings. And so, I guess the question I have and a very long way around to it, so I apologize. But the question I have is, with the system that we have, and with the way that, especially now, with a lot of education becoming virtual, whether it’s, you know, kind of e-learning, or you know, virtual conferences, hybrid conferences, those kinds of things, how can people approach it so they actually either get something out of it or are minimally negatively impacted by the education they receive. Because I, I find it onerous at times to try to do this when I realize I’m not gaining anything here, but I gotta get this hour. So what do you recommend?

Curt Widhalm 19:35
First thing I want to do is I want to correct something that you said. You can’t do deliberate practice on your own. You actually need to go and get help from somebody who knows better.

Katie Vernoy 19:44
Sure, sure. That’s what I meant to say. So to clarify, what I was meaning is that as a as an individual, I get a consultant for my deliberate practice, versus doing it within a structured training like EMDR.

Curt Widhalm 19:59
Just because is there’s no evidence that this stuff is helpful doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily harmful. Yet sure, it might waste our time. Or we might be able to say that the biggest benefit of a CE hour is that we passed through several levels of Candy Crush sitting in the back on…

Katie Vernoy 20:19
Some, some trainings are harmful when they when they are not well put together. They have information that is oppressive, but that’s a whole other…

Curt Widhalm 20:28
Okay, yeah, I grant you that. To minimize this, though, we need to have part of this process. And this goes to where you as the consumer of these things have a responsibility to not do the very nice thing of just giving inflated grades on how well presentations are. That if a presentation sucks, don’t give them five out of five stars. At least theoretically, in practice, the CE providers are going to have to take that information and to be able to show that they are making overall programmatic adjustments based on audience feedback.

Katie Vernoy 21:10

Curt Widhalm 21:11
And we’re all generally very nice. But oftentimes, too is this is another problem with the CE system is that a lot of the questionnaires we fill out are not how good or how timely is this information, it’s how well did the speaker do on conveying their learning objectives. And so if you take this, you know, step back from the process, if somebody is speaking for an audience, they’re asked to submit learning objectives. And participants in this workshop will be able to demonstrate three things. And as long as those three things are covered at some point in the presentation, they have done their job based on what the CE standards are. Now, whether or not those three demonstrable things are effective, are things that people actually do well, you know, the practical things that would actually help clients, part of it is, we have to feel more free to criticize the CE structure system in the first place. And a lot of this even comes around some of the ideas of mandated CEs. Now there is scant evidence that law and ethics CEs do make people more legal and ethical. And that’s, you know, requirements across most jurisdictions. But a lot of the other things don’t necessarily show better client outcomes. And it was at a California Board of Behavioral Sciences virtual meeting here in the last year. And one of the things that was up for discussion was about having a mandated six hour course on systemic racism. And, you know, it’s the very, you know, current topic going on right now. But one of the board members before I even got a chance stated in the meeting, even though we know that CEs don’t improve client outcomes, we think that it’s a good idea to have all of our therapists take a course on this.

Katie Vernoy 23:11
Yeah, that was…

Curt Widhalm 23:17
So there’s even just kind of this systemic acceptance of like, if we were to improve the CE system, it would become A: very costly for a lot of consumers of things, because cost to put on these workshops is going to go up to actually develop a competence based system, not just a reward for existing through a workshop based system. You know, to be able to create the systemic structures and if I was going to change CE systems, I would put more of the responsibility on the CE providers to have the attendees be able to demonstrate the skills. Now that’s going to drive up the cost of the workshops, which is going to drive up the cost of CE administration and this kind of stuff, all related. But it’s a lot harder for licensing boards to require competence than it is to require existence. This is where if there is a big gap in the systemic piece of this, it’s that it puts individual responsibility on consumer protection, not necessarily actually taking some of the steps from the consumer protection boards themselves. Let me rephrase that just based on the way you’re looking at me.

Katie Vernoy 24:31
It’s like I think I understand.

Curt Widhalm 24:32
What it does is rather than the consumer protection boards, the licensing boards rather than actually taking steps to say, here’s evidence that we know that would demonstrate that clinicians are doing consumer protection things. We’re gonna keep this threshold at the bare minimum, and we’re gonna pass on that responsibility and punish therapists who aren’t doing this themselves. Rather than preventing it from these consumer protection boards. They’re just going to kind of pass the buck along and regulate and enforce people who do badly.

… 24:59
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Katie Vernoy 25:04
I’m thinking about our experience with continuing education. And, you know, last year when we were working with SimplePractice Learning on our continuing education, there were some boards that just needed to know that you were there at the beginning and the end, and some that required these questionnaires or surveys. And we had to give these quiz questions. And they actually are somewhat competence based more, it’s like, were you paying attention, but some of them are more competence base. And even our modern therapists were commenting that the quizzes were too hard. And I get that, you know, I think that there’s, there’s a balance I’m seeing between making continuing education accessible financially, as well as to different levels of folks, people who are, you know, more and less familiar with the content, more or less familiar with being a therapist, all those things. And I think there’s also kind of from the consumer protection bodies and those kinds of things, a need to show that they’re making us do stuff that actually protects consumers. And so I just get lost in a lot of it, because I feel like, it just seems ridiculous to me to force people to do things that aren’t effective so that they can pretend like they’re protecting consumers. That we exist through these things that maybe we’ve taken something in, maybe we have paid attention long enough to even answer a quiz question. But does it actually show, and I think you’ve been saying no, so maybe I’m just kind of, you know, kind of just belaboring this point. But is there any evidence that clinicians who actively comply with CE requirements are stronger, more consumer friendly therapists than ones who do not?

Curt Widhalm 26:57
There’s, there’s no evidence.

Katie Vernoy 27:00
Yeah, so the, it feels like just a bureaucratic checkbox to say, hey, we’re forcing therapists to sit through stuff, even though we don’t know that that will make sure that they don’t hurt consumers.

Curt Widhalm 27:15
There’s some research that I will link in the show notes. It talks about the education that therapists receive in graduate school, which is usually the point where most therapists are going to have the steepest amount of learning that they accumulate all at once. That the average shelf life of therapists as far as where that knowledge helps them translates to about seven years of practice, and about seven years in is when the knowledge and expertise that they have is no longer currently relevant. This research was published in the late 1970s.

Katie Vernoy 27:51
So that would suggest that maybe continuing education is needed, because the shelf life of your knowledge is no longer…

Curt Widhalm 27:58
This is the basis for why do we need continuing education. The way that we implement continuing education doesn’t necessarily translate to having to do those educational things. And when I’ve taught workshops before, and had people do roleplays, and even within some of the consultations that I’ve done and doing roleplay is one of the pieces of feedback that I get is that a lot of these roleplays just feel like we’re back in grad school, which is where some of that steep learning actually comes from is actually practicing this stuff. Where I think we can end up in this place of just kind of this momentum of I know enough, or it’s too much of an investment for me to learn new skills as the field emerges. And I have a hypothesis that, you know, this is what was being felt in the 1970s, when we didn’t have as much new research being published and it wasn’t as accessible through things like the yet to be invented internet, that that shelf life now is probably much shorter than seven years, because the field does evolve and change so much more rapidly these days.

Katie Vernoy 29:07
So we need continuing education. We just need it to be better.

Curt Widhalm 29:12
Yes. And so what ends up happening and this goes back to the very original question is: to meet the basic standards, to keep cost down, to have as large of an audience available as possible. But just kind of tweak things a little bit and stamp our name on it’s not Katie and me individually, but it’s it’s really just kind of recreating the wheel in order to meet some of the systemic standards there without really pushing for actual good learning.

Katie Vernoy 29:47
So I feel like this is a very deep conversation that we’ll want to continue in different ways. But I think for myself, both as a consumer of continued education as well as a provider of continuing education, I think our theory, our philosophy has been pushing the envelope. Trying to make sure that we can stand behind the topics either we present or the speakers that we hire, that are actually relevant, current, maybe draw upon the evidence base, but also have a skeptic and outlier kind of take on it that creates a new perspective. I think it’s been hard. And I think we’ve had mixed results depending on you know, you know, kind of how our speakers have come forward, but but trying to make it more experiential, more practical, so that people can actually learn and potentially having opportunities for learning beyond kind of the initial offering. And I fully claim that I am a repackager, because oftentimes, the great body of work out there doesn’t apply to therapist. So I feel like applying it to therapists is my tweak, is my perspective change. But maybe it’s not sufficient. I don’t know. I got to do some deliberate practice there on that one. But I think it’s it’s something where pushing the envelope toward what actually is good education, while also trying to identify ways to keep it accessible to folks financially is an interesting concept. And I don’t know if it’s one that we can solve, but I think it’s something where maybe if we just focus on investing in really good education, and not throwing, you know, small chunks of money at a lot of things that are not very helpful to us, maybe that’s the answer. That’s what I’m taking. It’s kind of a hodgepodge there. But that’s what I’m taking from our conversation is that we can do the best that we can, we can try to make sure that we’re giving feedback on education that does not serve us well, whether it’s actively harmful to us because the old content, or it’s just not helpful, and we’re zooming through Candy Crush.

Curt Widhalm 31:52
We’ve long kind of had an idea of having a episode around being critical about continuing education. And some of our off air, sort of musings about this is we’re gonna wrap this up by encouraging people to check out our conference, the #moderntherapist, the Therapy Reimagined Conference that does provide some continuing education for therapists. But we also have a number of workshops that don’t, and that allows us to bring in content that is not necessarily about checking a box, but it’s actually about learning. And this is where I hope that a lot more of us feel free to engage in learning beyond the systemic checkboxes to actually be able to help our clients. And this is stuff that probably needs some policy change sorts of things and statutes and with our CE approval bodies, but this is saying where we can do better. And for those of us who want to do better, and those west we can demonstrate to do better. Here’s your evidence for it. So you can find our show notes over at Check out the Therapy Reimagined Conference, and that will be happening in September, both in Los Angeles as well as online. So for those of you who are stuck someplace due to continuing Coronavirus restrictions or just don’t want to, you know, come and hang out with coolest people ever. You can do that online as well. Join our Facebook group, the Modern Therapist Group, follow us on our social media. And until next time, I’m Curt Widhalm Katie Vernoy.

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