Outside Obsessions

Outside Obsessions

Curt and Katie talk about how therapists’ outside passions and pursuits can come into the therapy room. We talk about the thought, consideration, and intention that can help these elevate your practice, rather than hurt your clients.

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:

  • Curt’s obsession with running marathons and talking about running in his therapy sessions
  • How your outside identity, hobbies, obsessions, etc. can impact your therapy sessions, your branding
  • How to identify if you can bring your outside stuff into the room
  • Acknowledging things that are obvious to clients, but with sensitivity and conscientiousness
  • When you need to align your niche with your outside passions
  • The possibility of triggering your clients and how to handle that
  • When your outside activities positively impact your work
  • The need to avoid over-identification when sharing hobbies or obsessions with your client
  • Self-disclosure is for the benefit of the client
  • Identifying what is yours and what is your client’s
  • How deliberate practice informs this decision
  • Grounding yourself before session, refocusing and making sure you stay present during session
  • How these activities can make ideas and interventions more tangible
  • The danger of advice giving when you are truly passionate about your activities
  • Making sure to be intentional about your relationship and your treatment by reviewing treatment goals prior to each session
  • Deliberate practice as a mechanism to make sure these obsessions don’t come into session in a negative way
  • Shared interests leading to connection and then short-hand that helps to move the relationship forward
  • Honesty and authenticity in the therapeutic relationship

Our Generous Sponsor:

Thanks again to our sponsor, Ben Caldwell Labs!

Ben Caldwell Labs offers MFTs a fully-online prep program for the California MFT Law and Ethics Exam that can have you ready for your test in as little as seven days. His program is clear, useful, and best of all, less than half the cost of competing programs. And if you purchase by March 31st, 2019 and use code MODERN at checkout, you’ll get it at an even better price.

Visit BenCaldwellLabs.com/California for complete details.

Relevant Episodes:

What Clients Want

Being Truly Mindful

The Neuroscience of Stress

The Danger of Poor Self-Care for Therapists

Self-Care, Self-Compassion, and Self-Awareness for Therapists

A Bit of Advice

Resources mentioned:

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

 Scott Miller’s Feedback Informed Treatment

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: http://www.curtwidhalm.com

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: http://www.katievernoy.com

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 https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano http://www.crystalmangano.com/

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