Privileged and Biased

Privileged and Biased

An interview with Jeff Guenther, LPC, about how therapy has been whitewashed and biased for a very long time. Curt and Katie talk with Jeff about his efforts to use his privilege to increase inclusion and diversity and to shine a light on biases that we all hold.

It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. We are human beings who can now present ourselves as whole people, with authenticity, purpose, and connection. Especially now, when therapists must develop a personal brand to market their practices.

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.

Interview with Jeff Guenther, LPC

Jeff Guenther, LPC, is a therapist in Portland, OR. He has been in private practice since 2005. Jeff is the creator and owner of Portland Therapy Center, a highly ranked therapist directory. He also hosts a podcast called Say More About That about trending mental health topics. Jeff has launched a new progressive therapist directory at TherapyDen that fights racism, homophobia, transphobia and all other forms of discrimination. Sign up for a profile at TherapyDen and get your first six months free.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Jeff’s entrepreneurship and his focus on creating access for mental health
  • Therapy directories and how he came to identify the need to use the directory to fight against racism, transphobia, homophobia, etc.
  • Using privilege for good and to support inclusion and access for mental health services
  • Looking at the controversy in developing a progressive therapist directory
  • The goal to be inclusive, not solely politically progressive
  • White privilege and bias
  • The problems with Psychology Today and how this directory is slowly seeming to respond and start addressing racial and gender diversity
  • The white washing of therapy and the fight to increase access and diversity
  • Understanding the bias that is being reinforced by Disney Movies
  • How bias can show up in the therapy room, your marketing, and in your intake
  • Addressing systemic bias
  • The history of therapy and how it continues to influence bias
  • Looking at how implicit bias can be addressed by individual therapists
  • The biases that are less understood or addressed
  • The responsibility of therapists to actively work toward societal inclusion
  • The ability to change things in one generation

Our Generous Sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by Center For Discovery.
Center For Discovery provides evidence-based treatment for eating disorders, binge eating disorders, mental health, substance use, and co-occurring conditions nationwide. Discovery offers gender inclusive and gender-specific treatment with separate programming for adolescent and adults. Programs have a high staff to client ratio because individualized attention is critical when it comes to providing effective and efficient treatment. Learn more about these clinical programs at Discovery offers free resources including weekly support groups, a recovery app, free evaluations, and treatment scholarships. Learn more about Discovery’s Free Weekly Support Groups, for those struggling and loved ones, at Center For Discovery is a preferred provider and in-network with all major insurance companies.

Relevant Resources:

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

Racism in Psychology Today

Psychology Today Magazine Loves White People


Say More About That Podcast

TherapyDen Blogs

From TherapyDen: 12 Ways White Therapists Can (and Should) Use Their Privilege to Help People of Color

Contact Jeff:

Relevant Episodes:

Health At Every Size

Therapy is Dope

Let’s Talk About Race

Let’s Talk About Race Again

The Modern Therapists Group on Facebook

Therapy Reimagined 2019

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 about Curt 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 about Katie 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:


Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

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