Modern Therapists Strike Back

Modern Therapists Strike Back

Curt and Katie talk about union therapists and a strike in California. We look at antitrust, labor disputes, implications of striking, and how to improve working conditions, treatment, and outcomes.

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:

  • A strike by the Union of Health Care Workers at Kaiser Permanente in California
  • Historical perspective on Kaiser Permanente
  • Union statement on why they are striking
  • The Union asks from Kaiser
  • Our desire to be objective
  • The ideas that we support: increased mental health access, improved mental health treatment, and positive work environments, fair wages, and sustainable work standards
  • How union workers increasing wages impacts nonunion clinics
  • The different perspectives on what the discussion is about and why the strike is happening
  • How change can happen, what conversations might be happening
  • Being adversarial, being productive, and when they are mutually exclusive
  • Things to consider while therapists are striking
  • The offer for crossing labor lines and why that can be problematic clinically
  • The current state of Kaiser mental health care and the possibility of what could be
  • The financial priorities that Kaiser has put on their required improvements
  • Reflections on how the strikers may be feeling or handling the situation

Our Generous Sponsor:

Thanks again to our sponsor, Motivo!

Motivo provides clinical supervision online through a HIPAA compliant video platform. Motivo was started by Rachel McCrickard, a LMFT who attended Azusa Pacific University in CA. Rachel had a difficult time finding quality affordable supervision after graduate school. After state licensure boards began allowing online supervision, she became inspired to take action. Therapists are able to search through a directory of quality clinical supervisors, licensed in states throughout the country. Session rates range from only $40-60 per hour.

To find out more, go to or email You can also call them at 470-231-1256. Mention the Modern Therapist podcast and receive your first session for free.

Relevant Episodes:

The Burnout System

Addressing the Burnout System

Resources mentioned:

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

Article from San Francisco Examiner

Statement from National Union of Healthcare Workers

The Statement from Kaiser

Saving Psychotherapy by Benjamin E. Caldwell

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Therapy Reimagined 2019: Sign up here to get notified when the details are released.

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 Group


Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

3 replies

Leave a Reply

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