Showing Up for Our Clients

Showing Up for Your Clients

Curt and Katie chat about the importance of therapists in the therapeutic process. We look at how the medical model, upon which the continuing education and ethical guidelines are built, is flawed leading to solely client-facing training and rules. We talk about the importance of optimizing your practices as well as the negative clinical outcomes when you aren’t taking care of yourself.

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 case for self-care as continuing education
  • The problem with looking at consumer protection bodies rather than the research
  • The goals of helping people and the problem with sacrificing ourselves in those efforts
  • How we protect consumers by taking care of ourselves
  • The importance of being strong clinicians, optimizing our performance
  • The problem with the medical model and framing ourselves as inconsequential to therapeutic outcomes
  • When we aim models or regulations around the minimally acceptable competence or performance
  • The benefit of seeing therapy as art versus as a science
  • How non-specific effects (therapist effects, client effects and effects of the therapeutic relationship) are more important than the specific treatment modality or adherence
  • Common factors and the Contextual Model
  • The requirement for a Bond for successful treatment
  • Pathways to change according to the Contextual Model: Real Relationship, Expectations, Specific Ingredients
  • How we practice at being better humans
  • Why we need to have more in our lives than being therapists
  • Showing up in resourced ways
  • Elements of burnout as specific predictors for clients having worse outcomes, dropping out, or not engaging actively in treatment
  • The importance of optimal performance in creating a therapeutic alliance
  • How we aren’t trained on optimal performance, focus, setting up our environment
  • The need to refocus our graduate programs to support the education that is needed to be a good therapist
  • How self-awareness can impact clinical work
  • The lack of humanity in the medical model and research based on it
  • Who we are makes a difference
  • The need to understand how to take care of ourselves and structure our practice

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Private Practice Grief

What if you could give them a true, meaningful experience… and never feel nervous or overwhelmed in the face of grief again? What if you had an expansive toolbox of resources and ways to help your clients navigate thru their pain? What if you had a solid framework to guide you? Private Practice Grief Trainings help you as clinicians and therapists to confidently address the devastating effects of grief so your clients can find hope and joy again. Debi Jenkins Frankle is the force behind Private Practice Grief Trainings and she is passionate about helping YOU transform yourself as a clinician. Grief comes in our offices every day. And once you recognize it and know how to handle it, you’ll be able to expand your practice so we can heal the world!! Advanced Grief Therapy Training for only $395

Want to feel more confident to address grief with your clients? Want to find out how to help them with feelings of guilt and remorse? You need more training, strategies and resources in specific areas of grief? Join Private Practice Grief Trainings for a 6-week comprehensive advanced online training which includes 20 CEU’s for LMFTs, LCSWs, and LPCC’s in California! $300 off the regular price of $695 with your attendee code for Therapy Reimagined 2020.

Check out her other courses and consultation available at

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!

Bruce Wampold & Zac Imel: The Great Psychotherapy Debate (2015 book)

Dr. Ben Caldwell: Saving Psychotherapy

Articles referenced:

Bedi, R.P. & Duff, C.T. (2014): Client as Expert: A Delphi poll of clients’ subjective experience of therapeutic alliance formation variables, Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 27:1, 1-18.

Heinonen, E. & Nissen-Lie, H. (2019). The professional and personal characteristics of effective psychotherapists: a systematic review. Psychotherapy Research, 30, 417-432.

Landrum B, Knight DK, Flynn PM. The impact of organizational stress and burnout on client engagement. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2012; 42:222-30.

Noble, A. & Rizq, R. (2019). “It’s led me astray”: How Cognitive Behavioural Therapists experience personal therapy in clinical practice. Couns. Psychother. Res., 00:1-10.

Wampold, B.E. (2015). How important are the common factors in psychotherapy? An update. (World Psychiatry. 14:270–277.

Wampold, B.E. & Imel, Z.E. (2015). The Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for What Makes Psychotherapy Work (Counseling and Psychotherapy). 2nd Edition. Routledge.

Zimmerman, D., Rubel, J., Page, A., & Lutz, W. (2017). Therapist Effects on and Predictors of Non-Consensual Dropout in Psychotherapy. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 24, 312-321.

Therapy Reimagined 2020:

Therapy Reimagined 2020 Conference

Relevant Episodes:

Irrational Ethics

Dr. Harry Aponte: The Person of the Therapist

Impaired Therapists

Burnout or Depression

Structuring Self-Care

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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