Beyond Selling the Couch

Beyond Selling the Couch

An interview with Melvin Varghese, Ph.D., on how he has created and nurtured three therapist-related businesses. Curt and Katie talk with him about how he decided what to create and how he manages these endeavors.

It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. We are human beings who can now present ourselves as whole people, with authenticity, purpose, and connection. Especially now, when therapists must develop a personal brand to market their practices.

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.

Interview with Melvin Varghese, Ph.D.

Melvin Varghese, PhD is a psychologist in private practice ( in Philadelphia where he works primarily with entrepreneurs and leaders.  He’s also the founder of Selling The Couch (, a podcast and blog that helps mental health practitioners build careers in and out of the therapy room. He has also started a podcasting course and a community for helpers and healers who podcast, called the Healthcasters ( He has also created the STC Directory (, a resource to help private practitioners better connect with one another.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How the podcast Selling the Couch got started
  • Additional options for therapists
  • The multiple income stream mindset for therapists
  • Melvin’s transition into being a father and how it impacted his businesses
  • Creating alternative revenue streams when life happens
  • Moving away from only being paid for “butt in seat time.”
  • The guilt when generating income without being present
  • Melvin’s immigration story and how it has impacted his business mindset
  • Deciding on income streams (it is profitable, is it scalable)
  • There is no such thing as “passive” income
  • How to sustain creative energy on new products or services
  • Thinking through the energy and time needed for the sustainability of the alternative income stream
  • Just because you have an idea, doesn’t mean it is a good idea (long-term and sustainable)
  • Building business around family (rather than fitting family in around business)
  • Thinking through how to start and then scale products
  • The upfront mental, emotional, and creative energy for launching alternative income streams
  • Setting an end goal
  • Focusing on one project at a time
  • Solidifying, streamlining, and delegating before moving to the next project
  • Time management, time blocking
  • How Melvin does market research
  • Testing products with Beta Testers
  • Where Melvin gets data, i.e., how do therapists get clients
  • Using and breaking down technology
  • Learning from mistakes
  • The difficulty in sustaining a lot of projects
  • Looking to make an impact and leave a legacy, rather than making money

Relevant Resources:

We’ve pulled together any resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links. Please note that some of the links below are 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!

Selling the Couch Podcast

Katie’s appearance on Melvin’s podcast

The Healthcasters Course

The STC Directory

Apple Insider (books on Steve Jobs)

Book: The One Thing

Book: 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

The Call for Speakers for Therapy Reimagined 2019

The Modern Therapists Group on Facebook

Therapy Reimagined 2019

Relevant Podcast Episodes

Open to Opportunities

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 about Curt 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 about Katie 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:


Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

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