The Mental Load of Therapists

The Mental Load of Therapists

An interview with Shira Myrow, LMFT about how therapists carry a mental load for their clients, in addition to the load they carry as entrepreneurs and people. Curt and Katie talk with Shira about how to identify (and intervene) when therapists uncover this dangerous burden.

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 Shira Myrow, LMFT

Shira Myrow is a licensed marriage and family therapist, mindfulness educator and founder of the mindfulness based Yale St. Therapy Group based in Santa Monica where she works in private practice.  Shira specializes in relationship intelligence—treating couples and marriages with a focus on rebuilding attunement, improving attachment, and creating emotional literacy. Shira also works with individuals in transition looking for love, in break up recovery or going through divorce. Shira has a special focus on treating adult children of severely mentally ill parents with attachment injuries, including parents with borderline personality disorder, bi-polar and schizophrenia. Shira is also a writer and a regular contributor for Goop online magazine.

You can learn more about Shira and contact her here:



Instagram:  @shiramyrowlmft, @yalesstreettherapy

In this episode we talk about:

  • The definition of Mental Load, with some of the history of the concept
  • Curt’s admission that Katie is carrying the mental load of this business relationship
  • Invisible emotional labor of managing daily lives and relationships
  • The invisible emotional load that therapists carry for clients and how that might be leading to less respect from other medical professionals
  • How the mental load from work can negatively impact personal life
  • The importance of intentional disconnection from the work when going home.
  • How the mental load can stay in your body, even when you mentally or emotionally disconnect from the work
  • How mindfulness can help address this challenge
  • The danger of privileging productivity above all else
  • The idea of how to incorporate this knowledge into therapist training
  • The complexity of business ownership, modern life, the connectedness afforded by technology
  • The onslaught of information that we get as individuals in the world AND as therapists
  • Attunement and presence in session, with self-regulation, so you can do the work without feeling cold and disconnected
  • Allowing versus suppressing emotions – so you can observe and have emotions pass
  • Tips for identifying when the mental load is having an impact, how to prevent or respond
  • The negative impact of stress on our bodies
  • How society has acclimated to unhealthy levels of stress and technology
  • The unreasonable expectations that come from being plugged in
  • Losing empathy and connection
  • The human struggle to incorporate mindfulness
  • Economy of effort
  • “Life shouldn’t be reduced to a to do list” – Shira Myrow

Our Generous Sponsor:

Thanks again to our sponsor, Ben Caldwell Labs!

The Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs is written in plain language that clinicians will understand. It’s easy to find what you need, and it won’t bill you by the hour. Rules on supervision, privilege, abuse reporting, marketing, technology, and much more… it’s all in there. It’s the book we wish had been available back when we were in grad school. The sixth edition is fully updated to 2019 law. You can get 25% off The Basics of California Law when you order at by March 31, 2019 and use coupon code ESSENTIAL at checkout.

Relevant Resources:

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!

The Mental Load: A Feminist Comic by Emma

Gottman Training

Pema Chodron

Thich Nhat Hanh

Yale Street Therapy

Relevant Podcast Episodes

MTSG Podcast episodes on Self-Care (All Episodes in this category)

The Neuroscience of Stress

Being Truly Mindful

The Call for Speakers for Therapy Reimagined 2019

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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