Wear a Mask as a Therapy Directive

“Wear a Mask” as a Therapy Directive

Curt and Katie chat about COVID, science, and critical thinking in an anti-intellectual, post-truth era. We look at what therapists’ responsibilities are to the greater good, whether we should tell our clients to wear masks, and how to help clients navigate very challenging decisions that must balance mental versus physical health as well as individual versus societal needs.

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:

  • Should we tell our clients to wear masks?
  • How do we help our clients navigate the complex decisions related to risk
  • Client autonomy, transparency of goals, decreasing therapist bias
  • How science and the greater good come into the equation
  • Is there a duty to warn? Or duty to protect?
  • Imminence, privacy issues
  • Should we try to change behavior around wearing masks in public?
  • How we address risky behavior with clients
  • The impact of the presenting problem on deciding what we do
  • Our responsibility to society, to our communities versus our clients
  • Psychoeducation and alternate facts
  • The process of making decisions around health and safety
  • Sorting through and gaining agreement on what is truth
  • Therapists needing to be informed and be able to sort through expert information
  • The importance of critical thinking and the scientific method
  • Anti-science, anti-intellectualism, and cognitive dissonance
  • How to meet your client where they are while also not colluding with unhealthy beliefs
  • Helping our clients to navigate the current challenges to balance physical vs mental health needs, individual vs societal needs
  • The responsibility to bring up healthy decisions for our clients through psychoeducation
  • The complexity of decision-making during these times

Our Generous Sponsors:


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Kelly & Miranda – ZynnyMe

Do you ever wish there was someone who could really tell you what the right path is for YOU in private practice so you could avoid wasting time and energy and get to what you love- helping clients? Kelly & Miranda of ZynnyMe are two therapists who just that!

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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 might 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!

Dr. Ben Caldwell – friend of the show

WHO – World Health Organization – COVID-19 information

CDC – Centers for Disease Control – COVID-19 Information

Article: Wearing of face masks can trigger trauma for some

Therapy Reimagined 2020:

Therapy Reimagined 2020 Conference

Therapy Reimagined 2020 Call for Sponsors

Relevant Episodes:

Returning to the Office

Is Therapy an Opiate of the Masses?

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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