Therapy with an Audience

Therapy with an Audience

An interview with Doug Friedman, LCSW, the host of Your Mental Breakdown, on why he chose to record therapy sessions for his podcast. Curt and Katie talk with Doug about the logistics and benefits of publicly providing therapy. We also look at how podcasting can decrease stigma and open up flexibility to learn as a therapist (rather than rigidly holding to a modality or to an expert status that doesn’t allow for mistakes).

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.

Interview with Doug Friedman, LCSW

Doug Friedman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Los Angeles. He has spent nearly 20 years working with adults, adolescents and families with issues ranging from depression and anxiety to substance abuse, bipolar disorder and PTSD. He has supervised programs in community mental health settings and he continues to provide clinical supervision to therapists in his private group practice, Clear Mind Full Heart. Doug is the creator and co-host of the mental health/entertainment podcast, Your Mental Breakdown.

Doug received a Masters in Social Work from The Catholic University of America and a BA in Study of Religion from UCLA. Before becoming a psychotherapist, Doug worked for a music management company that oversaw bands like Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Beastie Boys, and Bonnie Raitt. Doug is also the artist and songwriter behind all the music heard on the podcast, Your Mental Breakdown.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Doug’s mission of normalizing therapy and decreasing mental health stigma
  • The importance of learning as a therapist and exploring mistakes or alternatives
  • The experience of being a therapist on a public-facing podcast
  • Why Doug doesn’t hold a modality sacred
  • How therapy serves the client as a focus for treatment
  • The logistics of setting up the podcast (laws, ethics, etc.)
  • Navigating the relationship with the client on the podcast (dual relationships, confidentiality)
  • The benefit of recording sessions and reviewing them later
  • Exploration of opportunities and different choices that we can make in the room
  • Cohost rapport and trust, inquiry, love, disagreement, calling out
  • The comfort level in being recorded for a podcast: shifting from one on one to a public audience
  • Creating a system to keep the work of making the podcast sustainable
  • Being vulnerable and authentic as a value
  • Being an expert does not mean having the right answer in the room, but knowing how to find the answer and seek additional advice
  • How other clients respond to Doug’s podcast
  • The possibility of the public persona and “fame”

Our Generous Sponsor


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Every visual representation of your brand is an opportunity to build a genuine connection with your ideal client. From your logo, to your beautifully and strategically designed website. But if you’re getting lost in the crowd or haven’t quite found your footing yet, you could be missing out on those big ol’ juicy pay days. Or at the very least, helping more people!

Visit Practicery’s website at to schedule a free phone consult and learn more about how their awesome team can help kick your marketing up a notch, or ten.

And join Practicery’s Facebook Group Therapists Who Brand for lots of great branding + marketing resources, expert advice, and networking opportunities.

*Mention this podcast episode to get $100 off your purchase of either a full branding or website package

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 may 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!

Your Mental Breakdown podcast

Doug’s therapy practice: Clear Mind Full Heart

Esther Perel’s podcast: Where Should We Begin?

Relevant Episodes:

Starting a Therapist Podcast

Grow Your Impact as a Therapist

The Brand Called You

Connect with us!

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Get Notified About Therapy Reimagined Conferences

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, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, 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 Past 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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