Partners of Therapists

Partners of Therapists

Curt and Katie chat about how our job and training can impact our partners. We look at the benefits like emotional intelligence, resilience, and perspective. We also look at the challenges therapists and their partners face when trying to navigate being in relationship while one partner is navigating this career. Suggestions about how to navigate conversations and confidentiality as well as possibilities for improving relationships are discussed.

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 impact of being a therapist on long-term relationships/partnerships
  • The insight into people and relationships that can be a benefit of partnering with a therapist
  • Expecting that the therapist will be the expert or do the emotional lifting
  • The concern that therapists overanalyze their relationships (don’t therapize me!)
  • Therapists breaking down characters in movies and books and ruining things for our partners
  • Positive communication and being able to navigate challenging conversations
  • The desire to talk about the relationship more frequently than our partners
  • The potential of differences when you start a relationship as a therapist or whether you start prior to becoming a therapist
  • Using our training to do what “successful couples” do
  • What might be different if one were to approach dating or starting relationships later
  • The challenge of not being able to talk about work at the end of the day (confidentiality)
  • Specific parameters around how to talk about one’s day (process versus content)
  • When partners aren’t part of our field, they don’t understand how our field works or what our job entails
  • The difficulty of processing trauma, countertransference, empathy fatigue
  • Gaps in the relationships with our partners related to partners not being able to process and handle challenging material
  • The challenge of leaving work at work, being able to relate to other people at the end of the day
  • The impact of the pandemic on childcare and balance of parenting and coparenting
  • Therapist dissociation and self-care
  • When our profession is overtaxed and we are overtaxed, our partners and kids can get pushed to the side
  • What therapists’ partners might need to be successful in these relationships
  • The lack of resources and resilience during the pandemic
  • The difficulty those who are in relationships with therapists understanding that they are human and that we are not always able to cope.
  • How our knowledge and resourcefulness can help with us taking care of ourselves and meeting the needs of our partners
  • The gratitude and love that we can share with our partners when we see how things go wrong
  • Our capacity to have challenging conversations to improve relationships
  • Emotional intelligence and perspective, self-awareness

Resources mentioned:

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

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Relevant Episodes:

Dating as a Therapist

Therapy with an Audience

Off Duty Therapist

Connect with us!

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Get Notified About Therapy Reimagined 2021

Our consultation services:

The Fifty-Minute Hour

Who we are:

Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, 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 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 Past 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:

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapist’s Group


Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

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