Shared Traumatic Experiences

Shared Traumatic Experiences

Curt and Katie chat about the potential that clients will take care of us because we’re all going through the global pandemic. We look at the humanization and boundary shifts that can happen. We also talk about how to handle the nuance of the changes in the therapeutic relationship to help sustain stronger clinical efficacy.

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:

  • How clients may become more aware of their therapist’s own challenges due to the pandemic
  • Clients testing to see if we have capacity to manage what is happening AND their issues as well
  • The reality of the additional disclosure that is happening with telehealth
  • How we’re managing the conversations about the human experience, the unique situations we’re facing, and our clients’ concerns
  • The disinhibition effect for both clients and therapists via telehealth
  • Discussions about availability and flexibility with clients
  • Research on Shared Traumatic Experiences
  • Boundary shifts that need to be discussed
  • How to handle the shifts in the relationship with nuance
  • The need for therapists to take care of themselves – more deliberately and differently than we might have done prior to the pandemic
  • The added stressors that are being put on therapists that our clients are likely aware of
  • The importance of not pathologizing our clients wanting to take care of us during this time
  • The positives for telehealth and some of the boundary shifts
  • The importance of community for therapists right now
  • Acknowledging that therapists who have stayed in the office require support as well
  • Risk factors for therapists who wear different hats and have different projects

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!

Article by Lori Gottlieb in the Atlantic

Article about the Disinhibition Effect

Article: Therapeutic Intervention in a Continuous Shared Traumatic Reality: An Example from the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Article: Negative consequences of helping and the length of work experience

Article: Shared Traumatic Reality and Boundary Theory: How Mental Health Professionals Cope With the Home/Work Conflict During Continuous Security Threats

Therapy Reimagined 2020:

Therapy Reimagined 2020 Conference: Speakers!!

Therapy Reimagined 2020 Call for Sponsors

Relevant Episodes:

The Brand Called You

Recession-Proofing Your Practice

Systems of Self-Care

Impaired Therapists

Trauma Informed Work Place

The Mental Load of Therapists

Vulnerability, the News, and You

Connect with us!

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Get Notified About Therapy Reimagined 2020 (and TR2019 Virtual Conference)

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, the 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 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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