Photo ID: a wooden tabletop with a map, sunglasses, a camera, and a leather and canvas bag and a picture of Ben Caldwell to one side with text overlay

The Fight to Save Psychotherapy, An Interview with Benjamin Caldwell, Psy.D.

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 Benjamin E. Caldwell, Psy.D.

Dr. Benjamin Caldwell is the author of five books, including Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs, which is now on its fourth edition, and Saving Psychotherapy, which has been the focus of several invited conference presentations. He serves as adjunct faculty for California State University Northridge and The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. In his role as Chair of the Legislative and Advocacy Committee for the California Division of AAMFT, he has been directly involved in California’s first-in-the-nation ban on reparative therapy for minors, and he drove the change in title from “intern” to “associate” for prelicensed MFTs and PCCs. For his advocacy work, he was awarded the AAMFT Division Contribution Award in 2013. He is a California licensed marriage and family therapist (#42723) and maintains a private practice in Los Angeles, specializing in working with couples.

In this episode we talk about saving psychotherapy:

  • Why psychotherapy needs to be saved, looking at the huge financial barriers to entering the profession and the diminishing amount of money spent on treatment.
  • The advocacy needed to address training requirements, outdated laws and ethical codes, etc.
  • The importance of being clear in communicating what we do, how we’re different from each other, and why we do what we do
  • Why people don’t like or trust therapists
  • How Evidence Based Practices are impacting the field
  • Why we’ve not become more effective as a profession
  • The need to improve therapists, not treatment protocols
  • The “way of being” of a therapist is more important than the clinical interventions used
  • Deliberate Practice
  • How to improve workplaces to take better care of therapists
  • How to advocate at each stage of your career

Resources mentioned:

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

Curt’s almost weekly mention of Scott Miller and his work (and Ben chimes in a lot this time)

The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference

Saving Psychotherapy by Benjamin E. Caldwell

Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs by Benjamin E. Caldwell

Ben Caldwell Labs

Psychotherapy Notes

Our events:

The Brand Called “You”: Legal and Ethical Issues in Developing Your Personal Brand

The Therapy Reimagined Conference in Los Angeles in October 2018!!

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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