Off-Duty Therapist

Off-Duty Therapist

Curt and Katie talk about how therapists can be called into action in their off time. We look at how being a therapist can impact our relationships, how to put boundaries around your therapist role, and the risks of crossing boundaries between personal and professional roles with your friends and family members.

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:

  • The different things that therapists might complain about with their therapist friends
  • How to identify what role you play with the people in your life
  • How to not do therapy with your friends or others who are seeking “free therapy”
  • Limit-setting, navigating your loved one’s needs
  • Becoming a resource, not a therapist
  • Giving referrals, supporting connection
  • Specific tactics about how to avoid being the “counselor” for your friends and family members
  • The importance of empowering the people around you to soothe themselves
  • When it is hard to take off the therapist hat
  • Determining how you engage, what emotional energy you have to give after a therapy day
  • When you may decide to step across the line
  • Determining which role your friend or family member actually want you to play
  • How perspective-taking can start irritating the people in our lives and may even lead to you losing your sense of self and identity
  • The expectations that others can have of us
  • How to set the boundaries with your friends and family members
  • The impact of how the role we played in our family of origin can mean a bit role shift after we train to be a therapist
  • How being an emotional hub can impact you as a therapist in the room
  • When it is okay to use some of your therapist skills in your relationships
  • How compassion fatigue and bias can make you a less empathic to your loved ones

Our Generous Sponsor:

Therapy Reimagined 2019: The Modern Therapist Conference presented by SimplePractice

October 18th and 19th in Universal City, CA – Hang out with the cool #moderntherapists! We are sponsoring our own podcast because we are so excited about the conference!

Grab your continuing education for the year and get trained up on business building, diversity, technology, self-care and all-around amazing professional development this October! Come join us in-person for the same fun we bring to the podcast!!

Use the promo code MTSG50 to get $50 off your full conference ticket.

Resources mentioned:

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

Curt told you there weren’t any resources – why are you looking here?!?!?

But we did actually talk about The Spoon Theory

Relevant Episodes:

The Mental Load of Therapists

Connect with us!

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Therapy Reimagined 2019

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

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