Therapist Haters and Trolls

Therapist Haters and Trolls

Curt and Katie talk about haters, heated online discourse that seems to delight in shaming other therapists, Schadenfreude, and the laziness of taking other people down while squandering the opportunity for creativity and positive discourse.

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 backlash from haters that is created when you step out as a therapist
  • The different theories: dehumanizing therapists, protecting the public from bad therapists, pushing back against innovation
  • Characterizing this dynamic as Schadenfreude (and defining it)
  • The irony that therapists are not showing positive, healthy communication online
  • How jealousy and impostor syndrome can show up
  • The ways that therapist training may contribute to these unhealthy conversations
  • Dehumanizing people into brands or when people become intertwined with their concept and the idea is humanized
  • The entitlement that people can feel when interacting with brands, forgetting that there are people behind these brands
  • The emotionality and righteousness in the communication
  • The act of bringing other people down in a public forum, rather than raising up own arguments
  • The plea to bring in alternative perspectives to add to the discourse, rather than focusing on taking the other person down
  • The laziness in just saying that you don’t like something, a passive “take down”
  • The reinforcement that trolls get (likes, comments, arguments) and a call to action to stop feeding the trolls
  • How the bystander role might be relevant
  • Responsibilities of original posters and commenters
  • The impact of social media on professional reputation
  • Curt’s plea to #CitetheStatute
  • The way that social media can feel like we’re talking to ourselves, or to people who are far removed and somehow not impacted by us
  • The lack of emotional resources that can impact how we engage with our community of therapists online
  • The possibilities when we are able to use these social networks for creativity and discourse

Our Generous Sponsor:

This episode is sponsored by SimplePractice.
SimplePractice is a HIPAA compliant all in one practice management platform where you can schedule appointments, use paperless intakes, file insurance claims, meet with clients remotely using our integrated Telehealth system, and do so much more.

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Resources mentioned:

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

Scott Miller’s article on Breaking Down Trauma Treatment

The Science of Internet Trolls

Trolls Just Want to Have Fun

Is there a psychological reason for people being mean on the internet?

The Internet Trolls Have Won. Sorry, There’s Not Much You Can Do

Why Is Everyone on the Internet So Angry?

4 Reasons the Internet Has Made Everyone an Entitled…

Relevant Episodes:

Is CBT Crap?

Connect with us!

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Therapy Reimagined 2019

Our consultation services:

The Fifty-Minute Hour

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 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 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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