We Can't Help Ourselves

We Can’t Help Ourselves

Curt and Katie talk about how difficult it is for therapists to take care of ourselves. We look at why we struggle with the self-care that we teach our clients, including shaming in our field, lack of connection to our shadow-self, and where we seek support.

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:

  • Why the Giving Tree is a bad role model
  • Road blocks therapists put in their own way
  • Katie’s notion of Sacrificial Helping
  • The wounded healer concept
  • The reasons we do not take care of ourselves
  • How we define our value, especially related to the idea that our value is to help others
  • The harm of valuing productivity over all else
  • The search for meaning – what we do is meaningful to us
  • Volunteering on top of the work we do
  • The idea that you can be impacted by the therapy you do
  • The role that the shadow self plays
  • The strict, externalized parent and oppositionality
  • The shame for not “self-caring” enough or believing in the “right” form or health from our field
  • Burnout’s effect on decision-making
  • The lack of training on how to use the coping strategies on yourself
  • How to make decisions better about self-care as a therapist
  • Opening space for mistakes in our field
  • How relational therapies can be a solution for therapists who are grappling with their own stuff
  • Where to seek support (and where not to seek support)
  • Intention versus reactivity

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 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 Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Lori Gottlieb, MFT

Irvin Yalom, MD

Therapy Reimagined 2020 Call for Speakers

Relevant Episodes:

Self-Care, Self-Compassion, and Self-Awareness for Therapists

Vulnerability, Mistakes, and The Imposter Syndrome

The Danger of Poor Self-Care for Therapists

Compassion Fatigue

Therapists in Therapy

Toxic Work Environments

Managing Vicarious Trauma

The Burnout System

Addressing the Burnout System

The Mental Load of Therapists

All Kinds of Burned Out

Impaired Therapists

Therapist Suicide

When is it Discrimination?

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: http://www.curtwidhalm.com

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: http://www.katievernoy.com

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 https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano http://www.crystalmangano.com/

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