Photo ID: The point of view from someone sitting at a desk writing in a notebook with a picture of Celina Caovan to one side and text overlay

How Therapists Can Manage a Sedentary Job: An interview with Celina Caovan, DPT

Curt and Katie interview Celina Caovan about physical self-care for therapists. We talk about how to mitigate the impacts of a sedentary job as well as the benefits of physical therapy and consistent physical activity. We also look into what physical therapy is, how clients can advocate for it, and how therapists might collaborate to support the physical and mental health of their patients.


Click here to scroll to the podcast transcript.

An Interview with Celina Caovan, DPT

Photo ID: Celina Caovan, DPTCelina Caovan received both her undergraduate degree and Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Southern California. She has been practicing in an outpatient orthopedic setting in the South Bay in California for the last two years and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

In this podcast episode, we talk about how therapists can take care of their bodies while working in a sedentary job

Many therapist friends of ours have described low back pain and challenges in maintaining physical health when much of the work we do is while sitting.

What should therapists know about physical activity and physical therapy?

“Physical therapists are trained movement experts… we can diagnose, we can treat using hands on skills, patient education, and then we prescribe individual exercise for a bunch of different injuries, the ultimate goal being to improve the way someone moves and emphasize injury prevention. And the cool thing about physical therapy: it can be an alternative to pain medication, in a society where they prescribe a lot of a lot of pain medication, and then surgery as well.” – Celina Caovan, DPT

  • There are a number of subspecialties in physical therapy to support all different elements of improving movement
  • The importance of moving outside of a sedentary job
  • US Department of Health guidelines on activity levels

What can therapists do to take care of themselves during the work week?

  • Getting out of the chair, some chair exercises
  • Stretching and gentle movements during the breaks between sessions
  • No drastic differences in activity from the work week to the weekend (i.e., avoid weekend warrior behavior, especially when extremely sedentary during the week_
  • Slowly increase activity and gradually increase cardio or resistance training
  • Stretching (static and dynamic), warming up, and cooling down

How can therapists think about physical therapy for their clients?

“Someone’s physical and mental health – that’s interconnected… that mind body connection. And I think this would be a really great opportunity for us to create this interdisciplinary relationship where we can approach it from a physical and mental standpoint.” – Celina Caovan, DPT

  • Referrals and direct access to physical therapy
  • Psychoeducation and support for advocacy to obtain physical therapy
  • Chiropractors versus physical therapists
  • How physical and mental health therapists can collaborate to support patients


Our Generous Sponsor for this episode of the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide:


Thrizer is a new modern billing platform for therapists that was built on the belief that therapy should be accessible AND clinicians should earn what they are worth. Their platform automatically gets clients reimbursed by their insurance after every session. Just by billing your clients through Thrizer, you can potentially save them hundreds every month, with no extra work on your end. Every time you bill a client through Thrizer, an insurance claim is automatically generated and sent directly to the client’s insurance. From there, Thrizer provides concierge support to ensure clients get their reimbursement quickly, directly into their bank account. By eliminating reimbursement by check, confusion around benefits, and obscurity with reimbursement status, they allow your clients to focus on what actually matters rather than worrying about their money. It is very quick to get set up and it works great in completement with EHR systems. Their team is super helpful and responsive, and the founder is actually a long-time therapy client who grew frustrated with his reimbursement times The best part is you don’t need to give up your rate. They charge a standard 3% payment processing fee!

Thrizer lets you become more accessible while remaining in complete control of your practice. A better experience for your clients during therapy means higher retention. Money won’t be the reason they quit on therapy. Sign up using if you want to test Thrizer completely risk free! Sign up for Thrizer with code ‘moderntherapists’ for 1 month of no credit card fees or payment processing fees! That’s right – you will get one month of no payment processing fees, meaning you earn 100% of your cash rate during that time.

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 may 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!
Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans from the US Department of Health and Human Services

Beach Cities Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Reach out to Celina Caovan, DPT: celinaDPT at

Relevant Episodes of MTSG Podcast:

Managing Chronic Pain and Illness: An interview with Daniela Paolone, MFT

How Therapists Promote Diet Culture: An interview with Rachel Coleman, LMFT, CEDS

What You Should Know About Walk & Talk and Other Non-Traditional Therapy Settings Part 1, Part 2

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. Katie is also a former President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. 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:


Buy Me A Coffee

Podcast Homepage

Therapy Reimagined Homepage





Consultation services with Curt Widhalm or Katie Vernoy:

The Fifty-Minute Hour

Connect with the Modern Therapist Community:

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

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):

Curt Widhalm 0:00
This episode of The Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide is brought to you by Thrizer.

Katie Vernoy 0:03
Thrizer is a modern billing platform for private pay therapists. Their platform automatically gets clients reimbursed by their insurance after every session. Just by billing your clients through Thrizer you can potentially save them hundreds every month with no extra work on your end. The best part is you don’t have to give up your rates they charge a standard 3% processing fee.

Curt Widhalm 0:24
Listen at the end of the episode for more information on a special offer from Thrizer.

Announcer 0:29
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 0:42
Welcome back modern therapists. This is The Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide. I’m Curt Widhalm, with Katie Vernoy. And this is the podcast for therapists. It’s all of the things that affects us in our practice. And admittedly, from time to time on the podcasts, Katie and I invite guests on because these are things that we want to consult on for ourselves. And being in a profession where, frankly, we just sit on our butts for a lot of the day, I’ve experienced and a lot of my colleagues have experienced way too early in life things like lower back pain and hip problems. And we see all sorts of discussions about buying $12,000 chairs in some of the Facebook groups. So we invited our friends Celina Caovan, and she has a doctorate in physical therapy, to tell us how we can do better in our practices, and also about the interplay between physical therapy and mental health. So thank you very much for joining us.

Celina Caovan 1:41
Glad to be here. Thanks, Curt for that introduction.

Katie Vernoy 1:45
We are so excited to have you here. I will claim you. You are my physical therapist, and absolutely the best ever. And so I’m so glad you agreed to come on and share your knowledge with everyone. Not just me. But the first question that we ask everyone is who are you? And what are you putting out into the world?

Celina Caovan 2:04
That’s a great question. So as Curt said, my name is Celina, Doctor of Physical Therapy. I graduated from the University of Southern California, and that’s where I got my degree. I’m currently working in an outpatient orthopedic setting as a physical therapist. And the question to answer as a physical therapist, what I put it out into the world, my goal is to educate people about you know, their bodies, their movement. And by doing this, hopefully managing their pain and preventing further injury and just improving overall quality of life. And I do also want to say, you know, I admire what you two do as mental health therapists as well. And I feel honestly grateful to be here to provide tips to, you know, help therapists, like you help yourself so you can help others. So I’m happy to be here.

Curt Widhalm 2:50
Awesome. Flattery will get you everywhere on the show. I know that physical therapy, some of our audience has experienced it before, can you first just kind of lay out how physical therapy fits into the health world. What it is and how people can benefit from it.

Celina Caovan 3:09
So to sum up physical therapy, we have an official catchphrase, so we say ‘physical therapists improve the way you move.’ So that’s our catchphrase. So physical therapists are trained movement experts pretty much so we can diagnose, we can treat using hands on skills, patient education, and then we prescribe individual exercise for a bunch of different injuries. So but the ultimate goal being to improve the way someone moves and emphasize you know, injury prevention. And the cool thing about physical therapy, it can be an alternative to, you know, pain medication in a society where they prescribe a lot of a lot of pain medication, and then surgery as well. So some people would come in, they go through physical therapy, and they can actually avoid surgery, which I think is really, really great. I think people that can benefit from physical therapy, honestly, is everyone to a certain capacity. So I think to address you know, current physical impairments, you know, looking at their current physical activity, you can address current injuries and prevent future ones. And another great thing is that there’s physical therapists in all different types of settings and specialties. So not only in this orthopedic, you know, situation that we’re talking about, which is musculoskeletal, but we’re looking at like neurology, physical therapy. So that’s people that have Parkinson’s disease, MS, things like that. There’s therapists in the pediatric setting, cardiopulmonary, so I think a lot of people can be affected by physical therapy in a good way.

Katie Vernoy 4:35
I think there’s a lot we can get into with physical therapy. I think it’s amazing. I’ve told you I’ve become like a physical therapy evangelist, because it’s been so helpful to me because I, you know, I joke, my body’s kind of a mess. And so I’m basically working on everything. So I’m getting the full benefit of Celina’s skills. But I think part of what you and I’ve talked about is I just sit all day and Curt was already mentioning this, that we’re therapists are pretty sedentary except for folks that are doing some sort of movement or getting outdoors and walking and those types of things. Were pretty sedentary. And so I think that the question that we typically ask is what a therapists get wrong, but I’m going to just switch this around. And so what if What are the worst things that people can do when they have a sedentary job?

Celina Caovan 5:24
Right, so I understand the nature of your job is to sit for hours a day, that’s what you do to treat you and your clients or patients. But honestly, the worst thing you can do is to maintain a sedentary lifestyle, like outside of your job, right. So lack of regular exercise and having that sedentary habit and lifestyle can increase your health risk. And that’s, I feel like a lot of people do know that. So honestly, moving a little bit, increasing your physical activity, even if it’s by a little bit can actually improve your health benefits as well. Like some is better than nothing at all. So I looked up some physical therapy or physical activity guidelines from the US Department of Health, and they have something really structured so that we can, you know, work with here. So they say with increased benefits, obviously, people should try to move more and sit less throughout the day. That’s a given. But just to give it a little bit more of a guideline here, they say adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of like, moderate intensity aerobic exercise. So that’s, you know, that walking, that can be your biking, that can be your swimming, that’s your aerobic cardiovascular activity. And that’s about like two hours and 30 minutes, which I think is reasonable throughout, you know, a week’s time.

Curt Widhalm 6:33
And I’m assuming that doing that all at once, like on a weekend is totally appropriate.

Celina Caovan 6:40
Let’s discuss that next. Okay. That sounds like something Katie, would do really.

Katie Vernoy 6:47
Yes, it is it. As I am a weekend warrior.

Celina Caovan 6:50
She’s like, let’s make up for all this sedentary sitting. And let’s work out for five hours. So we’ll talk about that later on. But moderate intensity is just like you got to get your you know, your heart rate up, you’re you should be breathing a little bit, maybe break into a little bit of a sweat. But another component that people really do miss out on is the resistance training. So resistance training, at least two times a week, I think is really, really important. So resistance training is pretty much like a muscle strengthening exercise. And so that’s like weightlifting, that’s like elastic bands, that can be like bodyweight exercise or just using actual weights to. So weight bearing and you know, weight loading activities are really, really important for muscle growth, muscle strength and bone growth as well.

Curt Widhalm 7:33
We have oftentimes 10 minutes in between our sessions, where we’re supposed to write notes, we’re supposed to take care of ourselves, grab a snack, go to the bathroom, whatever else. What are some quick little things that people can incorporate during the day. Is just as simple as drinking more water so that way, you have to walk down the hallway to the bathroom every hour.

Celina Caovan 7:54
Hey, that’s great. Whatever it takes, you know, for you to get up. That’s drinking more water. That’s putting your phone across the room, like whatever it takes, honestly. So like you said, if between clients you have just a minute to get up, just standing up helps. Just walking around does really help if you have some stairs, go ahead do some stairs, get your heart rate up. But say you know you’re doing your notes, your documentation, you just can’t really can’t pull yourself away from the chair, honestly, just doing maybe a couple stretches and things like that in your chair could really help. So I’m gonna try to verbalize some exercises and we’ll see how that goes. Okay. And then people can interpret as they go.

Curt Widhalm 8:29
Google the things. Yeah.

Celina Caovan 8:32
Interpret, as exactly. So with this honestly, the bottom line is, the more you move, the better it is. So honestly, as people, if people are moving, that’s all I asked for as well. Okay, so the first thing we can do this together here as well, since we can, you know see each other but the first thing and we’re all sitting here you see how you know sitting after a long period of time and uses us for rounded posture right your spine is trying to become this cashew shape your head is jutted forward. So let’s do some exercises to counter that. Right. So the first thing is nice and tall. Katie should know this very well. Thank you, Curt. That looks great. So with the head you start from like top down, right, starting with the neck you roll your neck, you’re countering that forward head posture. Good. And then you go the other way, both direction this way you have 20, 10 and 20 times each direction, just moving. The next one shoulder rolls, pulling your shoulders all the way back making big circles with your shoulders, right? So you feel like your chest is opening up, the back muscles start waking up a little bit. That’s really the upright posture Yes, good. Another thing you can actually do squeeze your shoulder blades together. Katie knows this one very well. Squeeze it chest up. You see that just opens up your whole body right just opens up your chest. You’re sitting at the desk all day at your computer or doing your documentation. This pulls you the opposite way. Good. To get a little bit more motion we can do some rotations so like you said, you know a lot of people experience a lot of back pain and you know, spinal pain from a lot of sitting. So this one here you can cross your arms in front of you, just like this, and you’re going to rotate as far as you can to the right. Rotate as far as you can to the left. Oh, we look great right now that looks really good. You see, this is just a great way to start moving your thoracic spine, your lumbar spine as well. All right, we have a couple more, this next one reach up over, all the way up to the sky, you can interlock your fingers if you need to. Do you feel that good stretch there. So you’re opening up everything here, you lean over to your left side, good stretch, lean over to the right side. Great. And this last one, this is a little bit more of that weight bearing activity. This is a two step. So when you’re sitting in the chair, just work on standing up, sitting back down, standing up, sitting back down. So it’s a form of a squat or you know, just weight barring activity which I think would be really good for people.

Katie Vernoy 10:45
Those are so easy. And they don’t take that much time. I think it’s just remembering to do it. You mentioned that I’m a weekend warrior. I, I have I’ve talked about on the podcast, I like doing home remodeling and renovation. And so that’s I mean, it’s not even necessarily good physical activity, because it’s being in weird positions, hurting my hands, doing all horrible things.

Celina Caovan 11:07

Katie Vernoy 11:08
I am much more active on the weekends during the week. And then we’ve got Curt who’s like riding his bike into his office. And so he’s getting exercise and then sitting. So both of us have these kind of very drastic differences, is there anything to consider with that, and kind of what we’re doing to our bodies.

Celina Caovan 11:26
Yeah. Sure. And this is why Katie’s coming to see me. But for other weekend warriors out there, like we said before, it is really important to combat that sedentary lifestyle, right. But you know, any movement is better than none. So I don’t want you to stop doing everything on the weekends, I want you to keep doing that. But one big thing to know is that we’re not looking for this huge drastic change in our tip, right. So say you’re sitting all week, and then all of a sudden, you do like five hours of exercise in a day or two. So a common mistake is that people ramp up their exercise almost too fast and do harm before their bodies have adapted, and they’re ready for it. To reduce injury, overall, we have to increase this activity gradually and slowly, almost over weeks and months, you know, over time, right? So for example, you know, for sedentary people, mental health therapists sit a lot, say they’re like really not active at all. So you have to start off slow, you know, it’s okay, if it doesn’t feel like a lot. Slow is better. So say you can start off with for walking program, you can start off with five minutes, maybe a day, for maybe four to five to six times a week. That’s it feels like not a lot, but your body’s still, you know, adapting to that, you know, increase in activity. Or, you know, eventually when you feel like you’re a little more comfortable, you can bump up to 10 minutes of walking a day, three times a week, right? So you increase either your frequency in which you’re doing things or the intensity. So if you want to only walk for 5-10 minutes a day, maybe you increase your walking speed to you know, challenge yourself there. And I think one key component that people really do miss they think, Okay, I gotta get my cardio and I got it running, my walk or whatever. But they’re missing out on that resistance train, which is so so important, as Katie knows as well.

Katie Vernoy 13:05

Celina Caovan 13:05
So resistance training is super important for like the muscle building, the bone building everything that we said before, but for people that haven’t done it before, you got to start low. You can do one time a week with like bodyweight exercises, right? You can do a one time a week light exercises, it’s okay. There’s no shame in those, you know, those pink dumbbells, a one or two pounds, right, Curt like it’s okay. You can even use them. And then eventually, you get to like the two times a week, which is the minimum in which we should do and that’s going to be a little bit more heavier weights as well as you get more comfortable, but it’s just allowing your body to adapt to this load that’s being put on it. And it really does reduce, you know, the risk of injuries. So Katie, you know, workout through the week. So what we’re talking about.

Katie Vernoy 13:44
All right, all right.

Celina Caovan 13:44
So the more you can do during the week is great. And then like I said, just try not to go to that 110% ramp up over the weekend, but gradually get to that place.

Katie Vernoy 13:55
That makes sense.

Curt Widhalm 13:56
You’re talking about cardio and about resistance training here. And admittedly, you know, I’m a cyclist. I’m a runner. I do a lot of what you’re talking about already, but also adding in. I hate stretching, like I hate warming up stretching, I hate cooling down stretching. I roll my bike into the office and turn on my fan so I stopped sweating and hop on a telehealth call, like, tell us about stretching and please.

Celina Caovan 14:28
Yes. I will say you most likely need a form of stretching your life Curt unfortunately, because you’re very active. You’re doing a lot of this aerobic cardiovascular activity, right? But how does your body feel? You know, before and after.

Curt Widhalm 14:43
Um, like, I have to hold on to the counter to like bend over and put my shoes on.

Celina Caovan 14:48
So I think you really just proved the point. Yes. You really confirmed what we’re talking about here. So yeah, stretching and then warming up is really, really important. So you’re really active, you’re doing a lot of this physical activity, but you need to be able to prepare your muscles to get to that level of activity. So going back to the warm ups before you go on this, I don’t know, one, a two hour bike ride one or two hour run your muscles in your body needs to prepare and get ready for it. It’s like you’re going into something cold, which is your muscles need to be able to stretch out, they need to warm up, they need to have increased blood flow to the area. So one thing about warmup it doesn’t always have to be the static stretching, it can be dynamic stretching, you’d be like hopping around, you know, moving while stretching. So before you know big workout, dynamic stretching is actually I think, more beneficial. But afterwards, as your muscles are in this warm state, it’s really important to you know, stretch out and use that the warmth and all that blood flow to the muscles to increase your mobility, right. So you’re saying it’s really, you feel really stiff, you can’t reach your toes. You can increase your mobility that way, and then almost like improve the way your, you know biking, running and doing everything like that, in order to you know, perform better, and then that can also, you know, prevent future injuries in the future. Right. So, for example, if you’re really, really stiff, you’re probably not using you know, the muscles that you want to be using, then your body can compensate, right so by maintaining the maximum amount of range of motion that you can. That’s gonna allow you to perform better.

Katie Vernoy 16:16
Do you have some some specific stretches that are good for folks who have been kind of in this cardio state for a while?

Celina Caovan 16:24
It definitely depends on every individual person, but for like just a generalized, you know, stretching program, a couple of ones that we did earlier where you’re just moving your body, that’s great, too. But you know, with cardiovascular exercise, it’s a lot of like lower extremity work, right. So that can be some, you know, standing hamstring stretches, I could do some standing quadricep stretches. That could be you know, bending down reaching your toes, just getting yourself moving in a dynamic way is going to be good.

Katie Vernoy 16:52
I love stretching. So Curt and I are basically the opposite. It’s prefer, like give me stretching all day long. But then that causes problems too.

Celina Caovan 17:03
Yeah, so Curt needs stretching. Oh, I know exactly. Curt needs stretching and then Katie needs strengthening. So there we go to work together as a team there.

Katie Vernoy 17:13
So, so therapists, it sounds like can really, if we can use that 10 minutes within sessions just to do a few stretches get up, maybe walk around, just kind of stay active during the week. And also make sure that we’re not ramping up too fast like I do on the weekends, we can we can take care of ourselves, we can feel better in our bodies. And I think probably even just one of the things you had said was kind of making sure that we don’t become that that cashew shape, you know, kind of crouched over at our desk or in our therapy chair. So I think that that helps a lot. But I think there’s this other element. And this is something I’m starting to see in the work that I’m doing with my clients is that and what and for myself, actually, I was not referred to physical therapy, I asked for it because I was going to be given some sort of pain medication. And it was surprising to me that it wasn’t something that was considered because it means I’m not taking, you know, heavy duty pain medication and it really helps. I think that there there’s a missed opportunity that a lot of doctors have, but I think psychotherapist also have insight into how folks are feeling. And so what should therapists know about kind of physical therapy referrals, how to kind of move through that? Because I think obviously, we’re not we’re not medical professionals. We can’t say, hey, you need physical therapy. But kind of what might that look like? Because I really feel like, not only has has physical therapy helped me physically, it’s helped my mental health. And so I think it’s something where I want us to, I want therapists to start thinking about this as a possibility because it is so beneficial.

Celina Caovan 18:51
Right now, that’s a great question. A lot of people don’t know what physical therapy even is, like you said, that’s definitely a missed opportunity. So just so you know, other health mental therapists know, physical therapy, in most states in the country has a form of direct access. So if something happened, and you’re like, oh, yeah, my back really hurts and you don’t have time to go see the doctor, we you can come to a physical therapist without a physician referral. So that’s something that can make it a little bit more accessible to everybody. However, if you know, patients want to go through physical therapy using their insurance, which is more of that common route and that common method, that’s what like Katie did, you have to go to your primary care physician or, you know, another orthopedic physician, and then they can get a referral for physical therapy. But I think for mental health therapists and you know, other health care professionals, I think that’s a really great point in order to, you know, advocate for your patients. If they go to their physician, and they’re like, Oh, here’s pain medication, or you know, I think he probably needs surgery in the future. You know, just do that. You can say, you know, you can suggest physical therapy as an option. I think that’s a great way to advocate like you said, for your patient as well.

Katie Vernoy 20:00
I think even just letting them know that that’s an option and being able to have them self advocate with their physician, because I just had to ask, and he’s like, oh, okay, and he wrote a referral. Now, my doctors cool. But yeah, but I mean, people I’ve talked to have done the same thing, and they’re able to get the referral. I think it’s just that, that a lot of people aren’t thinking about it. And it’s really more of a kind of organic, authentic way to, to kind of fix your body versus, you know, kind of medication to kind of cover symptoms or, or kind of the intrusion of surgery. So for me, it’s like, if you can do physical therapy and make it better, it seems like it’s a I’m obviously very biased towards physical therapy. But I think it’s something that therapists can kind of help folks think about it, because when we get folks that are that are chronically ill, or have chronic pain, they’re usually pretty hopeless.

Curt Widhalm 20:52
For a lot of the things that I’ve come across or I’ve, you know I have seen sports medicine, doctors, for things like this, in the past. That physical therapy, often in people’s minds ends up not being the first time they think I need to go to a chiropractor, and I’ve known from talking with physical therapists before, just like, a lot of what people are trying to achieve by going to a chiropractor are things that they should be thinking of going to a physical therapist first.

Celina Caovan 21:20
Yeah, that’s a common thought that we get to because chiropractors almost are like that. I don’t want to destroy the profession at all, you know, they’re a great chiropractors. Some of them practice in a really great way where they promote this physical activity, right. But a lot of people that go to, you know, chiropractic care, they’re looking for that quick fix, right, they have low back pain, they go in, they get manipulated, like all they feel great in that moment, but sometimes it doesn’t have like that long term persistent outcome. So with physical therapy, our focus, really, you know, we do a little bit of that manual work, but that’s to prepare you for that, you know, that active recovery, right, using your own muscles, you know, training your body and train that movement, to get that benefit and reduce pain for it and future injuries.

Katie Vernoy 21:59
We talked about this a little bit, actually, yesterday at physical therapy, and just kind of this idea of therapy, mental health therapy and physical therapy kind of being very beneficial to each other. Maybe we can talk a little bit about that here. What do you see as the the way that we might collaborate together as two different types of therapists.

Celina Caovan 22:21
Right. So though, as mental health therapists know, you know, physical health is really important, and really ties into mental health as well. So I know that, you know, some people can really have a lot of pain. And when people have pain, they’re not able to do the things that they want to do, they become dependent on other people, they, you know, it really affects them mentally. So with that physical therapy can potentially reduce the amount of pain they’re in, they can improve their movement, they can, you know, just get them to allow to allow them to return to a certain level of function, right? So we can create exercises to promote all those things. And like you said, I think this would be a great opportunity, because if, you know, they come into a session with you, and they’re like, Yeah, you know, all I can do is fixate on their pain, I’m in so much pain, my life is being affected, I don’t know what to do. That’s where they can advocate for themselves, or you can advocate for them, like, hey, you know, physical therapy could be an option for you. So then you can address that, you know, physical aspect along with that mental aspect. And then we can really promote that physical activity as well. And we know that physical activity can be great for people, it can be fun, people can be outdoors, they can be with their, their family and friends, and then that increases their energy levels as well. And I think one thing to really emphasize too, is like, you know, when people think of exercise, they’re like oh, no, what a drag. So they hate exercise, right? But I think we can really just start promoting physical activity can be fun, we can say that, you know, that’s walking with your friends, doing some yoga, swimming, playing tennis with some friends, running, if that’s fun for you, you know, Zumba dance class, I think it’s really important to find like a meaningful exercise or activity that people can enjoy. And then overall, we know the health benefits of physical activity, because with every movement, it can reduce anxiety, it could, you know, decrease, maybe depressive symptoms, decreased stress, all those things like that. And that all ties back to someone’s physical and mental health, like, that’s interconnected. That’s like that mind body connection. And I think this would be a really great opportunity for us to create this interdisciplinary relationship where we can, you know, approach it from a physical and mental standpoint.

Katie Vernoy 24:34
Well, I think the the converse is also true. I’m sure that there are patients that you have who are coming into physical therapy and seem fairly listless or they’re not compliant with the recommendations, those types of things. And so, one of the things that therapists can do is actually work on kind of building motivation and follow through and those types of things so that we’re both that both of our treatments are more effective. And I think for folks, you know, you and I talked about, you know, this is another potential, you know, kind of interdisciplinary referral that can happen. And I think, you know, kind of getting to know your local physical therapists is actually probably a pretty good, pretty good referral network.

Celina Caovan 25:15
I agree.

Curt Widhalm 25:16
What I’m hearing from you, I think is what we kind of are experiencing across a lot of the field and especially post pandemic of just kind of people trying to get into healthier lifestyles, establishing just kind of not being remote and telehealth and therefore, sedentary a lot. These things that are pretty consistent with what we’ve heard, as far as the physical, healthy lifestyles of you know, depression, you know, how much of how many of us refer our clients just to like, get more active, just like get out of the house and get moving just for depressive symptoms. And maybe we should have put this disclaimer at the top of the episode. But before any physical activity, make sure that you are checking with your own health care professional and physical therapists are one of those, especially if you are running into, you know, some of these issues yourself. But you know, this is where oftentimes, we can get on this show very much into what’s going on in the profession. But really having a focus of like, this is one of those self care things that allows us to show up day after day, it’s one of those things that we can very easily model for our clients of like, these are things that we do to take care of ourselves, it has an impact on improving us, definitely helps build back up with depression and anxiety symptoms. I’ve heard some things with some trauma clients as well that going to trauma informed physical therapists definitely helps as well. But this is such a vast, important piece of our profession and helping our clients get better. So thank you very much for sharing all of your expertise with us here today. Where can people find out more about you and your practice?

Celina Caovan 27:04
Sure. So as I said earlier, I’m currently working at an outpatient physical therapy clinic. It’s actually a physician owned practice. So it’s called Beach Cities Orthopedics Sports Medicine, and it’s located in Torrance and Manhattan Beach in California. But you know, those that aren’t local to LA, you know, honestly, I’m open to, you know field any questions or if you need any referrals to physical therapist or anything like that, feel free to send me an email. So that’s And I’m sure you know, Katie, and Curt can put that out there as well.

Curt Widhalm 27:37
We’ll include that link in our show notes. You can find those over at And until next time, I’m Curt Widhalm, with Katie Vernoy, and Celina Caovan.

Katie Vernoy 27:46
Thanks again to our sponsor, Thrizer.

Curt Widhalm 27:49
Thrizer is a new billing platform for therapists that was built on the belief that therapy should be accessible and clinician should earn what they are worth. Every time you bill a client through Thrizer an insurance claim is automatically generated and sent directly to the clients insurance. From their Thrizer provides concierge support to ensure clients get their reimbursement quickly and directly into their bank account. By eliminating reimbursement by cheque, confusion around benefits and obscurity with reimbursement status they allow your clients to focus on what actually matters rather than worrying about their money. It is very quick and easy to get set up and it works great with EHR systems.

Katie Vernoy 28:30
Their team is super helpful and responsive and the founder is actually a longtime therapy client who grew frustrated with his reimbursement times. Thrizer lets you become more accessible while remaining in complete control of your practice. Better experience for your clients during therapy means higher retention. Money won’t be the reason they quit on therapy. Sign up using and use the code “moderntherapists’ if you want to test Thrizer completely risk free. You will get one month of no payment processing fees meaning you earn 100% of your cash rate during that time.

Curt Widhalm 29:05
Once again, sign up at and use the code ‘moderntherapists’ if you want to test Thrizer completely risk free.

Announcer 29:15
Thank you for listening to The Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide. Learn more about who we are and what we do at You can also join us on Facebook and Twitter and please don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any of our episodes.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *