Photo ID: a wooden tabletop with a map, sunglasses, a camera, and a leather and canvas bag and a picture of Paul Gilmartin to one side with text overlay

What Therapists Get Wrong, An Interview with Paul Gilmartin

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 Paul Gilmartin

We so enjoyed talking with Paul!

From 1995 to 2011 Paul Gilmartin co-hosted TBS’ Dinner and a Movie and has been a stand-up comedian since 1987. His credits include Comedy Central Presents: Paul Gilmartin, numerous Bob and Tom albums, comedy festivals and the Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Paul is a recovering alcoholic/addict and has been sober since 2003.  He is also an incest survivor and has been in treatment for depression since 1999.  He is a big believer in therapy and support groups.

Paul hosts a weekly audio podcast, The Mental Illness Happy Hour, consisting of interviews with artists, friends, listeners and the occasional mental health professional about all the battles in our heads; from medically diagnosed conditions, past traumas and sexual dysfunction to everyday compulsive, negative thinking.   It gets about 600,000 downloads per month, has a 5/5 iTunes rating where it frequently occupies the top spot in Self-Help, was chosen by Esquire as one of the best podcasts of 2016 and is featured in the 2013 PBS Documentary “A New State of Mind.”

You can learn more about Paul and The Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast here:

In this episode we talk about what therapists are doing right and wrong:

  • How Paul’s experience of covert incest and battle with depression led to creating The Mental Illness Happy Hour
  • Paul’s mission to decrease mental health stigma and provide a virtual support group
  • The power of conversation and community
  • The importance of empathy and validation
  • How therapists connect best with their clients
  • The survey Paul has on his website about what therapists are doing right and what they are really doing wrong.
  • What therapists are often missing when they become distracted or forgetful
  • How damaging it is when therapists minimize their client’s feelings, trauma, and abuse
  • The importance of overcoming “you’re only nice to me because I pay you” for therapists

Resources mentioned:

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

The Mental Illness Happy Hour Podcast

(Katie’s Episode on Mental Pod)

The First Day in Therapy Survey

Curt’s almost weekly mention of Scott Miller and his work

The Therapy Reimagined Conference in Los Angeles in October 2018!!

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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