Photo ID: A backlit person looking at the rising sun with their arms raised with a picture of Jo Muirhead to one side and text overlay

Why Do Therapists Feel They NEED to be Coaches? – An Interview with Jo Muirhead

Curt and Katie interview Jo Muirhead about the increasingly common trend of therapists becoming coaches for other therapists. We talk about what coaching actually is, mistakes therapists make when pursuing coaching, how therapists can identify if someone is a good (or bad) coach, problems with some coaching for therapists, and how therapists can future-proof their business (rather than turning to coaching for the answer).


Click here to scroll to the podcast transcript.

An Interview with Jo Muirhead

Photo ID: Jo MuirheadJo Muirhead is a purpose-driven connector, inspiring and innovating to help people find their calling. She’s an author, writing “The Entrepreneurial Clinician” and creating “The Book Of Evidence”. As CEO of PurpleCo, she leads a team of specialists dedicated to restoring lives after injury, illness, and trauma through work. With a degree in Rehabilitation Counselling, Jo believes in the power of meaningful employment for everyone, including health professionals in private practice. She’s an international coach, mentor, consultant, and speaker, known for founding the Future Proofing Health Professionals symposium!

In this podcast episode, we look at the therapist-coaching-other-therapists trend

We’ve received feedback from listeners that they are overwhelmed and disillusioned by some of the business coaching available for therapists. We reached out to our friend, Jo Muirhead, to talk through the current landscape and how therapists can find (and be) better business coaches.

What is coaching?

  • Coaching is working with someone to help them become the person, professional, etc. they would like to be
  • A Coach is someone who helps you with your mindset or helps you with how you think
  • Coaching is not training
  • Mentorship

What are mistakes that therapists make when pursuing coaching for themselves?

  • Unreasonable expectations
  • Lack of implementation support
  • Seeking out lots of free consultation (versus paid consultation)

How can therapists identify whether someone is a good or bad coach?

“If you need a good coach, you need a good coach for YOU. You need somebody who is going to help YOU.” – Jo Muirhead

  • You need to know how you learn, so you can find someone who matches your learning style
  • Coaching should make you feel uncomfortable
  • Understand whether you’d like a done with you approach versus a done to you or for you type of program
  • Avoid people who focus only on themselves and what they’ve accomplished versus helping you find the right path
  • Find someone who can help you think (not tell you what to think)

What are some problems with coaches who work with therapists?

“I see some very inexperienced coaches or people calling themselves coaches thinking that their job is to tell you what to do, based on the one success they had once.” – Jo Muirhead

  • They create a program based on a single success
  • They believe that they have to tell people what to do
  • Marketing practices, manipulation

“Social media, which is a point of connection, not a point of sales, has become something that we’re now fearful of who we’re connecting with. Because if I express a genuine desire to want to get to know somebody because I want to be connected, they’re gonna shut me down because it’s like, ‘Oh, hell. Don’t sell me anything.’”  – Jo Muirhead

  • Urgency as a tactic works, but can feel manipulative at times
  • Fake friending is not effective and pretty awful
  • Failing to deliver on promises
  • Becoming a business coach because they are tired of listening to peoples’ pain
  • If you’re too tired to be a therapist, don’t coach
  • There is a problem with their relationship to work
  • Needing coaching clients rather than identifying best match clients

How can therapists future-proof their businesses?

  • We need to listen to the experts who are focusing attention on how the business is advancing
  • Understand that we’re not “fit for purpose” based on the changes in the industry


Resources for Modern Therapists mentioned in this Podcast Episode:

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!

Future Proofing Symposium for Health Professionals – Jo’s symposium

Jo’s Future-proofing health professionals – Facebook group

Jo’s website

Jo’s Facebook and Instagram


Our Linktree:

Relevant Episodes of MTSG Podcast:

Clinician AND Entrepreneur, An Interview with Jo Muirhead

Episodes on Burnout


Who we are:

Picture of Curt Widhalm, LMFT, co-host of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcast; a nice young man with a glorious beard.Curt Widhalm, LMFT

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:

Picture of Katie Vernoy, LMFT, co-host of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcastKatie Vernoy, LMFT

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 a former 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 with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement:


Buy Me A Coffee

Podcast Homepage

Therapy Reimagined Homepage





Consultation services with Curt Widhalm or Katie Vernoy:

The Fifty-Minute Hour

Connect with the Modern Therapist Community:

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:

Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

Transcript for this episode of the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide podcast (Autogenerated):

Transcripts do not include advertisements just a reference to the advertising break (as such timing does not account for advertisements).

… 0:00
(Opening Advertisement)

Announcer 0:00
You’re listening to the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide where therapists live, breathe and practice as human beings. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, here are your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy.

Curt Widhalm 0:12
Welcome back modern therapists. This is the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide. I’m Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy. And this is the podcast for therapists about the things that go on with our practices, the things that we do in our lives. And this episode’s working title is: Why does it seem like every therapist has to be a coach for other therapists? Like it seems like you know, in the development of therapists, we go through certain rites of passage. We go and have arguments with ourselves about where the Kleenex box goes. We go through, you know, a bunch of licensing hoops, we burnout in some sort of agency kind of work. And then we decide that we’re just gonna sell other therapists: Here’s how you develop your niche private practice sort of thing. So we are joined today in this discussion by returning guest, somebody that we love, Jo Muirhead. Thank you so much for joining us.

Jo Muirhead 1:16
Thank you, Curt and Katie. And I am so nervous, because I’m gonna call you Kate and Curty. So I’m just gonna say it now. So that everybody knows that that is a faux pas I am likely to make and if you’re not watching, you’re not watching this…so I just move the Kleenex box because I, like Curt, I’m a little bit sick of those conversations. But thank you for having Kleenex available for your clients. Thank you for having me back. Let’s get sucked into this conversation.

Katie Vernoy 1:45
Yes. Well, before we get started, we’re going to ask you the question we ask everyone because not everyone maybe has heard your first episode, we will link to it in the show notes. But who are you and what are you putting out into the world?

Jo Muirhead 1:58
Okay, so my name is Joe Muirhead. I’m an Australian which is why I sound like this. So Good day mate. For all of those of you who needed that little intro introduction. I am now referring to myself as a career loving mum. It has taken me a really long time to actually get comfortable with how I’m a mum, and I love my career at the same time, my son’s 23. That’s how long it took me to get there. But I’m a career loving mum and he is an awesome human being. So I’m a rehabilitation counselor by qualification. I graduated from the University of Sydney in 1994. I have been a health professional for you all quickly doing the mathematics. It’s nearly 30 years. Yes, I have become one of those people. I also learned how to coach, I developed my skill set in coaching, and have been coaching other health professionals now for over 10 years on what it’s going to take for them to build a private practice that supports their lifestyle, rather than practicing in a way that totally consumes them. That’s who I am and what I’m putting out to the world.

Curt Widhalm 3:12
So obviously, we’re starting this episode very just, I don’t know, what’s the energy that we have here. Angsty or just kind of like, cuz, sort of, some of this did start with an email from a listener that was just kind of like, I have been to seemingly all of the coaches, they all seem to just get to kind of the same point in their programs. Like what separates the good coaches from the bad? So we usually have some sort of question towards the beginning of of this, like, I don’t know let’s just jump to like, what makes good coaching, what makes bad coaching?

Jo Muirhead 3:51
I think where we need to start is let’s be clear on what we are calling coaching, and is it really coaching?

Curt Widhalm 3:56

Jo Muirhead 3:57
And I think that’s part of the really big problem. Coaching is a skill set. Coaching is not just: I don’t want to be a therapist anymore, I can’t handle the, you know, all the state border licensing control, therefore, I’m going to do all of my therapy, but call myself a coach. That’s not coaching. From a business perspective, business coaching is what do you need to do to become the type of business owner that you want to be? So I see people asking for coaching or reference and coaching and I look at it and go, that’s training, you’re actually giving people a training program, you’re teaching them some knowledge, you’ve even structure that in a way that looks like training. And then we’ve got people who are into mentorship and I guess how I work is probably a blend of the two where it’s kind of like so you want to do what I’ve done, or what you think I’ve done, okay, I can mentor you, but I’m actually going to make sure as your coach that this is going to serve you. So I actually think we’ve got some problems with this burgeoning new thing that is fairly unregulated, where we’re calling ourselves a coach, when we really are we coaching? Are we consulting? Are we training? Are we sharing? Are we bored? Are we burnt out? Like, I think there’s that that’s, that’s my list. So I think, you know, that’s one of the first things. That the other the next thing that comes up is I think people, consumers or customers of coaching, we have completely unrealistic expectations. So I have people who get they come to me for one of my free consults, because they’ve been hurt, burned, betrayed by other coaches, and then a double, okay, and I’m not gonna name names, because I don’t do that. And I’m not into a gossip fest.

Curt Widhalm 5:49
So, it’s okay. We edit. We’ll totally cut them out later.

Jo Muirhead 5:53
But no, and it’s not about that culture that consultant because what I find is that the consumer or the therapist has gone to this person is seeking something that’s completely unrealistic. They go for they ask for one session of coaching, to help them achieve something that I know that they can’t achieve, unless they’ve put six months into it. I get frustrated by that. And then they come to me crying and angry, and they’ve lost all their money. And because they’ve invested and they got a list of things to do, but no help to implement along the way. So then again, I go, how are we defining as coaching? How do we as a profession want to be coached? Because to me, coaching fits into a lifelong learning approach to us doing this work.

Curt Widhalm 6:46
For a lot of our audience who might consider looking at somebody to help them build out a private practice, How do you tell the good coaches from the bad? I get, you know, I have a my Facebook, for example, I get, you know, a lot of targeted ads for like, you know, fill your, you know, practice, you know, become a 7 figure, 10 figure, you know, therapist in five days by following our coaching program. Like, how do you tell what’s good versus what’s bad when everybody’s using kind of the same language here?

Jo Muirhead 7:20
So how do you guys do it for therapists? How do how do people choose a good therapist or a bad therapist? So it’s an uncomfortable question, but I think, I think the where I go is people around this. And this this a question that gets asked in multiple forums, which is, I’m looking for a business coach, what recommendations do you have? And invariably, I get tagged in that post, and I go, Oh, my God, this post is gonna have 230 million comments, all these people going I can, I can, I can help. And the poor person who’s put the post in there is as confused as ever going How the hell do I make a decision here? So rather than ask it right now, the first part of this answer, I think, is how do you like to learn? Right, because if you need a good coach, you need a good coach for you. You need somebody who is going to help you. So you need to know how you learn. You need to know what you’re like when you get stressed,. You need to know because coaching should be making you uncomfortable, it should be supporting you to get through that discomfort. It should be helping you put strategies together, not doing it for you, doing it with you, enabling you, empowering you. It should be a done with this is my coaching done with you approach, not done for you, not done to you not done, because you clicked buy now, and then you get your 10 lessons to go through and then you turn up for one, you know, Q&A session. That’s not coaching. So if you can work out how you like to learn, sometimes we need help to do that as well. Right? We need to go find some how do I like to learn? So I know I like to learn while I’m doing. Katie is a perfect example of that. She’s been helping me with the symposium. We had a session together. She helped me identify what my some barriers were to my thinking. She helped me realize there were some things I thought I wanted to do that I really didn’t want to do. Then we set an agenda together. Then I went away and implemented but as I got stuck, I went back to her and said, right, we need to meet again. I need more help here. Because I know that’s the way I like to learn. There are other people who just like to learn because they’re so good at: they watch information. They learned from information. They can go and implement information and they go with it. That’s great. You’re awesome at learning that way. That’s not me. So I think part of the answer is you’ve got to know how you learn. The next if you find a coach or somebody professing to be a coach, that is all about them. Stay away. I help you do this seven figures in 60 days, because that’s what I did. Stay away. If you can find a coach that helps you think, from their content, from the way they turn up in the world, because that’s what you know, the true definition of coaching is somebody who can help you with your mindset, somebody who can help you think. If to find a good coach, you’ve got to find somebody who can help you think, not telling you what to think. And I’m really, really passionate about this. Because I see some very inexperienced coaches or people calling themselves coaches thinking that their job is to tell you what to do, based on the one success they had once.

Katie Vernoy 10:47
Oh, my gosh, that is so accurate. Oh, my, okay, I just have to jump in here and comment about this. Because I think, to me, what I’ve seen are a lot of folks will go through a program, and then jump off and do a similar program. They’re like, Okay, I did it, I learned from someone else, I did what they told me to do, and now I’m going to train somebody else, or I’ve had this one success, and I’m going to teach you how to do it. And I know that there are times and I like the distinction you made between training and coaching. But there have been times when I said I want to learn how to do this thing. And I took a course and I learned how to do that thing. But I think when you’re really in conversation with someone who’s truly a coach, it isn’t about you doing exactly what they have done. It’s about them helping you think about how you can do what you’re trying to do. And that’s so so different than I think how a lot of folks are even trained to build out coaching programs.

Jo Muirhead 11:43
Yeah, it’s really unfortunate. A lot of coaching training will say they go like, all you have to do is be one step ahead. And you can teach the person what to do. All you have to do is be one step. And I’m sitting there going that to me feel so unethical and unprofessional. And I have a problem with it. I won’t ever get somebody to do something that I haven’t done. And I will resource people to go like SEO, I know nothing about SEO but have people in my world who do.

Katie Vernoy 12:16

Jo Muirhead 12:16
Right. So I make sure that I have got good networks and good people around me that help, that I trust. So don’t come hit me up in your in my DMs by going Jo, I’m your SEO person, you’re not. Like I take the time to build relationships. That’s the danger here. Right? And we’re gonna get to, we’ll probably touch on that as well. Coming back to how do you find a good coach, you’ve got to find it the right coach for you the same as finding a therapist, you gotta find the right therapist for you. Right now, not coaching and therapy are not the same thing.

Katie Vernoy 12:49
But it is personality match, right? Like, I think there’s that of the personality match. The skill set match. And then also this other element of what do I need now? Because I know I’ve seen you, I get tagged on these things, too. And I’ve seen the Jo’s question almost invariably is, what are you trying to do? The business coach, and it’s like, that means a lot of different things.

Jo Muirhead 13:17

… 13:18
(Advertisement Break)

Curt Widhalm 13:19
Clarifying what it is that you want to do seeing who can do that. Now, I lovingly know some some great coaches. And Katie is not holding a gun to my head in saying that, neither is Jo. I know plenty of people that we’ve had on our podcasts. I also know some people that just they’re very good at sales. And they’re very good at it. And they can say that they have everything. Like, can we talk about this? I don’t know, what’s the ickyness that I’m trying to describe here? And how do we help people, you know, separate this out? Because even as you just said, you know, there’s the people who are gonna hit you up in your DMs or like, I’m the SEO person. Here’s my long list of seemingly sound credentials for this, but like, All right, good for you in teasing some things out, like help help our audience with this.

Jo Muirhead 14:14
Yeah. Okay. The marketing tactics that use and the sales tactics that you see have been around since the Mad Men era. Right. So they’re not new. These days? No, I’ll get to it. These are the same tactics that convinced us that smoking was good for our health. All right. So if you’ve…

Katie Vernoy 14:34
Into this more.

Jo Muirhead 14:38
Well, I have thought about this because I have been taught well, I’ve been a part of training, particularly coaching training, where they use some of these tactics that I feel are completely manipulative. And I got caught like I’m just gonna share this. I got caught last year. With the 10 years 12 years that I’ve been doing, so I got caught last year. I did I had a $4,000 spend on something was about Facebook ads, because I know nothing about Facebook ads. But the way this was presented to me was, it was going to be customized, it was going to be highly high touch points along the way, I was going to get actual ads. What I was delivered was cookie cutter, same ads, as I saw coming up in through my feeds with the same images and the same language language, building me a highly untargeted audience so that when I couldn’t close sales off the back end of those leads, that coach could come back to me and go, Well, yeah, it’s your sales problem. Here’s another coaching program that you need to buy, because you’ve got poor sales techniques. When I’m like, no, no, no, you’re not delivering on your promise here. So. So if you’ve been caught out, I got caught out last year. And a $4,000 spend was uncomfortable, I had to let that go and get over it. So we know, from a marketing perspective, we know that urgency works, and I know we all hate it. So if you don’t buy today, you’ll miss out forever in your wish that you’ve never been born like that sort of. Okay, so I’m prone to exaggeration because it stops people in their thinking, right? But that that sense of urgency works. So if you don’t like it, ignore it. Now I’m making a point at the moment in my mind, I will sometimes use that urgency piece, especially if there’s a short lead in time, right? So I’m selling something at the moment. It’s in a fantastic coaching program, but it’s also got training in it. And I’ve been doing organic marketing around that. I’ve been doing videos on it daily for a week. I didn’t do one today because I had this going on. But I know people aren’t buying because they don’t know the cutoff date. They’re not going to that they go oh Jo will tell me, the marketing will tell me when the cutoff date is. So we we’ve become accustomed to our marketing telling us when things are due. And we’re so reactive to a sense of urgency, especially health professionals, because we have just lived through three or four years you guys are in the US you doing this more often than you realize, you don’t make decisions unless it’s a reaction to something. And I’m being very generalized here. And I know you’ll get some hate for that. But I’m watching you this. That’s your level of hyper vigilance around your work. Right. How, can you be planning two weeks in advance six weeks in advance if you haven’t got some messaging, counteracting that amygdala in your brain going buy now, buy now, buy now, buy now. So as much as we say, we hate those tactics, we know that they work. The one that I think that we can all do away with is the fake friending.

Curt Widhalm 17:58

Katie Vernoy 17:58
Oh my, horrible.

Jo Muirhead 18:04
And it’s really unfortunate that there are people in our world who are teaching what I call fake friending as a tactic. So what I mean by fake friending is you’ll get somebody will slide into your DMs and they’ll go for example, Hey, Katie, I looked at your profile, love what you’re putting out into the world. You’re awesome. And Katie goes, Hi, Jo. Thanks for taking notice. The next part is, I’m a coach, and I want to help you expand, aka, I know nothing about you. And I’ve been taught how to do this. And this is probably a copy and paste message. And then Katie comes back and goes. Like…

Katie Vernoy 18:46
I actually wouldn’t have responded to the first one. But yes.

Jo Muirhead 18:49
Oh, okay. Yeah, so I know this is going on. And it makes it hard for me because as somebody who uses Facebook, I genuinely want to connect with people. So I didn’t realize how prolific this was, until people started ignoring my messages, because I’m going Hey, so great to meet you. Thank you for connecting with me. I’d love to know a little bit more about you. And then I went, Oh, shit. They think I’m just like all those other people. And I’m like, Oh, that’s so sad. That social media, which is a point of connection, not a point of sales has become something that we’re now fearful of who we’re connecting with. Because if I express a genuine desire to want to get to know somebody because I want to be connected, they’re gonna shut me down because it’s like, oh, hell don’t sell me anything. Like, stop. Stop it.

Katie Vernoy 19:49
Well and I think this isn’t just a problem within our profession. I mean, this is rampant everywhere. I get anytime I pop into LinkedIn I get tons of messages anytime I you know, Instagram and Facebook, I’ve tried to sort those so that, you know, unsolicited DMs are not coming in. But I would actually take it further even than this random, fake friending in the DMs. I think there’s also networking that happens that is strategic to the point of being excruciating. Where it’s not really about connection. It’s about, I see you as a target for my services. And so I’m going to become your Facebook friend. And that’s all it’s about.

Jo Muirhead 20:32
I’m sorry. No, yeah. And you’re and you’re right. And it just, it just saddens me, especially if we’ve got other therapists engaging in this behavior, right? Because, you know, the community looks to us as experts in human behavior, they look to us as having the answers to the emotional crisis driven world that we live in these days. Yet, you know, when it’s stuff like this, that makes me kind of go, please check in with yourself and ask what it is that’s driving you to adopt these practices. Because if you wouldn’t do it as a therapist, then why the hell you’re doing it as a coach?

Katie Vernoy 21:17

Curt Widhalm 21:19
But there are the people who do that. I mean, the people who who genuinely reflect on themselves, I don’t think, do those things. And so, you know, they’re, they’re too far a part of the cult, Jo. So we’re trying to speak to the people who are can be saved from the cults.

Jo Muirhead 21:40
Okay, so I think this comes back to the working title of this podcast episode at the moment.

Curt Widhalm 21:46
How to avoid grifting grifters who grift.

Jo Muirhead 21:50
Second working title, the subhead. I think we have to examine, personally and collectively, why it feels like every day I wake up, turn on Facebook, and there’s another coach, I found another one on Instagram last night. And I must admit, I burst out laughing. I think I even sent Katie a meme about it. I was just like, oh my god, there’s another one. Now that’s not to say that these people don’t have anything to offer. But it does feel like every day there’s a new coach turning up. So my questions around this this Why do you feel the need to become a business coach for therapists? If your answer is I can’t stand talking to people about their pain anymore, then that is not a good enough reason to become a business coach.

Curt Widhalm 22:43
Okay, so what is this a good enough answer? I have a captive audience of people that I have spent all of my waking hours with for the last like three to four years. And I know very much therapist culture, and I should just, you know, tell people who are three or four years behind me, like, here’s how to make the same mistakes that I did.

Jo Muirhead 23:03
Yeah no, it’s not good enough. It’s not it’s not good enough. It’s not a good enough answer. And it’s what is diminishing our credibility both as health professionals because and as as, as coaches. Sorry, Curt knew you were gonna throw something curly out there. Like, it’s, I think my concern is that we’ve got people going, they think it’s going to be easy. They think it’s gonna, it’s gonna be easier than therapy. It’s got to be easy. I built my practice, I learned how to write a Psychology Today profile because I did this person’s course in a week. Therefore, I’m going to teach all the therapists How to Write a Psychology Today profile. I can assure you that there are four people like that who are no longer promoting that service. The one person who is promoting that services, is the person who started it, who spent years thinking about it, and tailored away to help therapists all over the world understand how to write a pro a Psychology Today profile for them, not some copy and paste template.

Katie Vernoy 24:11

Jo Muirhead 24:12
Yeah. So, if we’re too tired to do therapy, don’t do coaching. Because all you’re going to do is take your fatigue, your energylessness, your dissatisfaction with your own life into another sphere, it you might get a dopamine hit from the first couple of sales that you make, but all you’re going to be doing is replacing one person in a chair with another person in a chair. And I can assure you that coaching therapists is not easy. You guys are smart, you rationalize, you intellectualize and then you pathologize and it all gets in the way of you being able to make the gains you want to make spoken by Jo. Well, you’re not You’re not on this podcast.

Curt Widhalm 24:19
But you’re not the only one that I’ve heard this from. I’ve heard from people that like, therapists, in general, make kind of the worst customers for a lot of these very reasons. That if we’re feeling like, we need to be convinced of something, then you’re going to end us, putting us in jail. Like, you’re, you’re gonna take our kidneys while you’re doing it, like. But, you know, it’s also just kind of like, alright, you might also, I hear kind of the subtext of some other people who get into this, it’s like, well, if I’m a coach, then it also validates how great of a therapist that I am. So that way, people will see me as a better therapist, because I’m out there coaching other therapists.

Jo Muirhead 25:03
Yeah, it feeds into a need that we all have putting myself in the same place. Health professionals all have a need to be significant, we wouldn’t be doing it otherwise. We want to help the world. By helping the world we feed our own need for significance, that is nothing to be ashamed of. But if you’re in your work, as a therapist, and it is draining you. If you’re waking up with coffee, going to bed with wine, if you crank at the kids all the time, if you just can’t be bothered to see the next person, Oh, you’re so friggin busy, you haven’t gone to the toilet in nine hours, like we’ve got extremes going on here. That is not I’m going to be a coach question and it’s going to save all my problems. That is a, I have a problem with my relationship to my work. And I need somebody to help me sort this out. That’s a very different decision. And it’s a much more sophisticated, mature, and in Jo’s words, ethical and professional way to advance your career.

Katie Vernoy 26:44
I want to go there, but I have one other thought to kind of expand into before we before we hit that. Because I think to me, one of the reasons that I’ve heard a lot of folks go into coaching is that they are constantly having other therapists ask them, How do you do it? And I probably fall into that. When I first started my private practice, you know, I definitely, I definitely probably stepped forward as a coach maybe before I should have. But there’s also a piece to our profession, as therapists, as health providers, where we’re constantly expecting someone else to tell us what to do and how to do it.

Jo Muirhead 27:26

Katie Vernoy 27:27
And oftentimes for free. But then there’s also this whole, like, you know, charge your worth, all the things and we’ve got other conversations where we talk about that where we get into this space, as professionals where we’re trying to be helpful, and answer questions of all these people. And then we recognize how much time it is taking. And so we start charging for it. And then now all of a sudden, all of a sudden, we’re a business coach for other therapists. And as the the Dunning Kruger effect tells us, we don’t know what we don’t know. And we’ve gone into this place where now we’re doubling down on trying to do this thing and make it work because, well, it’s a little bit easier to coach other therapists than it is to continue to, to continue to see clients who are struggling with intense trauma or intense things. And so, to me, I feel like as a profession, not only do we need to pay for coaching, but we also need to to recognize that we don’t deserve all of this free knowledge. We don’t deserve all of this free mentorship, just because we’re doing something amazing. Yes, we should have some of that. But that’s not, the sense of entitlement, I think is what drives it for me where it’s this, you know, just gonna pick your brain real quick, or let’s go…

Jo Muirhead 27:27
Oh, God.

Katie Vernoy 27:32
…and I’ll get all this stuff. And I think it I think it’s when you show leadership that can happen. And so I want to caution folks like me, like don’t step too far ahead into a coaching role just because you happen to be a leader and people want your opinion. You don’t necessarily know what you don’t know.

Jo Muirhead 29:03
You don’t We don’t know what we don’t know. And that’s that’s actually how I started my second year as a private practice owner. I had 12 women in a 12 month program, teaching them how to do what I did.

Katie Vernoy 29:16

Jo Muirhead 29:16
I go I and some of those people have gone on to be so successful. They’re all Australians so successful here in Australia, I look at them on Well, I wonder if they remember me like, it’s, it’s, you know, because that meets my need for significance. But now when I have my 30 minute free consult, people think they’re coming to shop for a coach. So I’ve had people go you’re seven coach, I’ve spoken to taking advantage of your free consult, thinking that I’m going to be impressed by that. I have to let you know that you’re not shopping for me. I’m actually going to make sure that you’re somebody I want to work with. So I think that’s another part curl into the question of what makes a good coach. I actually don’t need you as a client. I don’t need you. I might want to work with you, I might be able to do good with you, but I don’t need you. And I think the neediness because there’s bills to pay or I didn’t make payroll, so I’m going to, you know, become a coach and make $25,000 by sending something to my therapist email list. Come on. That’s using people.

Curt Widhalm 30:28
All right, we’ve spent the vast majority of this episode crapping on bad coaches. I’m just wanting to get to like the summary like of helping people make good coaching decisions. I think the very smart and impassioned people can smell out the bad ones. And the permission from Jo is, if it feels bad, don’t do it. But really, all right. So going going through the list of things that you should look for is people who legitimately can help you with the identified problem that you’re coming with. Get…

Jo Muirhead 31:10

Curt Widhalm 31:10
Get some reviews from some other people who have worked with them before. If it feels, you know, copy and paste or like they’ve generated all of their content on ChatGPT over the last couple of weeks, get your money back and run. If they, you know are spouting Napoleon Hill to run you’re what else is this?

Jo Muirhead 31:40
Oh, you are limitless. You are limitless. The only limits exist inside your mind. You are limitless. Please, please stop saying that to your fill of health professionals. We’re not limitless. We are over capacity. We are burnout, strung out like and I’m not saying I’m you know, some of us aren’t some of us are really healthy. But as a whole, I don’t think we still realize just how hard the work is that we do, that we turn up every day. And it’s why I’m so impassioned about what I’m doing here is because I want healthy health professionals. Selfishly, I want to move into my senior years and have good quality, very experienced, engaged health professionals willing to give me care. Because that’s that’s not going to be around in the next 30 years.

Katie Vernoy 32:32
Yeah, because all of the people who are experienced are going to turn into coaches.

Jo Muirhead 32:36
Or they leave the profession or they go. So I’ve just come back from Bali and yes, I wasn’t I’m in Australia, it’s only a six hour flight people It’s okay. I was in Bali, there is a whole community, a village in Bali that is known as the expats online life coach community. So you go to this village, this Balinese village, and you ask people the question, what do you do, I’m an online coach. I’m an online life coach, I’m an online business coach, some people might go into crypto, but you know, that it’s there’s memes about it all over the world.

Curt Widhalm 33:16
This place sounds terrible.

Jo Muirhead 33:20
And you know what they have the most trouble with illicit drug use, trafficking humans and rubbish and like environmental damage.

… 32:31
(Advertisement Break)

Katie Vernoy 33:33
So we don’t want all of the therapists to become coaches, because they’re one step ahead, they’re burned out, they don’t want to do therapy anymore. We don’t want them to, to fall into that space. We want them to be able to remain health professionals, therapists, all of those things. And I know you use the term future proofing and so yeah, how can therapists do that? And where can they seek trustworthy guidance? Because I think there’s this element of just it’s a foregone conclusion, we’re gonna burn out we need to stop therapists and…

Jo Muirhead 34:06

Katie Vernoy 34:07
And that’s very sad. And it’s also very hard for our, our world. I mean, it’s…

Jo Muirhead 34:14

Katie Vernoy 34:14
If we don’t have therapists, what do we have? We don’t have mental health providers that are experienced enough to do some of the work that really needs to be done.

Jo Muirhead 34:22
Yeah. And we have inexperienced, non regulated, untrained coaches trying to provide services to people who need more intelligent, more robust, more evidence based care than that. So. Okay, so I do talk about future proofing because during the COVID pandemic years, I had the opportunity to observe a lot of behavior and what was going on. And it became really, really clear to me that health professionals, so I work with, I work with mental health professionals. I work with us osteopaths, physical therapist, physiotherapist, speech pathologist, OTs osteopath, so I’m working with people who were whole body, physical parts of the body. And what I observed, right, is that we are no longer fit for purpose. We the purpose that we were engaged when we went to college university, what we were told and prepared for has changed. And what I mean? Like, what do you mean, I’m no longer fit for purpose. It’s like we went to university, and we were all taught how to work with people when they turn up with single issues. People turn up with single issues, one mental health diagnosis, no bio, psychosocial issues, just and that’s how we were taught. Now, I don’t know anybody who that’s what turns up to their practice. Right? So I feels like the rules of the game have changed a little bit. But we’re not necessarily keeping up with that, because we’re just keeping up with what we need to do on a day to day basis, right? So how do we have these conversations, because who’s got the time, energy or inclination to go and sit in and other masters program, who’s got the money to go sit in another master’s program? I don’t right? We don’t know where these people are sitting and thinking and learning about this stuff. And if we wait for everything to have a randomized control trial sponsored by a pharma company, we’re not going to get the type of information and research that we need. So we’ve got to start listening to people who are spending time being thoughtful about this, and people who are prepared to put their hand up a little bit and go, I can see a really great opportunity over here. Can we talk about it? So I’ve put together and I hope it’s okay for me to sprout this. Now I have the future proofing health professionals symposium 2023, happening in September, and the quality of people when I went to people and asked if they’d like to be involved, I was expecting a lot more nose. So we, I didn’t get them. So at the moment, we’ve got nearly 20, 20 different contributors from Canada, the USA, Egypt, I have this incredible woman from Egypt, who’s trained in the UK, who specializes in trauma, living in Egypt, having trained in the UK coming to talk to us about how we’re missing what it is to work with traumatized individuals. Like, that’s cool. I’ve got I just interviewed somebody this morning, who is building a game for high performing medical professionals and C suite professionals that will actually help be therapeutic when they’re looking for a brain break during the day, so they can perform at their next high intensity meeting. And then I’ve got somebody else coming along to tell us why we need to get people off the internet, and off social media. I’ve got so I’ve got I’m bringing together these people to talk about this stuff, to share with us and not preach at us. It’s a symposium. So it’s about engaging in conversation. It’s about starting a conversation. I’ve got a gorgeous woman, Alyssa, who is actually a newly graduated therapist, who is going to be interviewing people who have been in this work for more than 30 years, so that we can start gleaning that goodness from the people that have gone before us. So we don’t lose that knowledge. But then the new generations, the new people coming through can iterate on it. Because I must admit, I’ve been doing my work for 30 years. And we’re still talking about the same issues that were presented 30 years ago. So with all the advances in pharmacology, and medical science, there are days when I wake up and go, Wow, I need to become a better rehabilitation counselor and learn new things. Because I can’t wait for the government and technology companies and pharma companies to do it for me. I just can’t. So future proofing health professionals symposium 2023. That’s where you want to be. It’s I’ve started, someone else can pick it up and run with it and do the next thing that would be awesome.

Curt Widhalm 39:31
Where can people find out more about this?

Jo Muirhead 39:34
So if you are on Facebook, which I’m assuming a lot of your listeners are you can search for future proofing health professionals. There’s actually a free Facebook free Did you like that word free facebook now the symposium is not free, right? Because I’ve got some amazing talent coming on. But you know, putting these things together takes a lot of time and energy. Thank you Katie for that piece of information. So there’s a Facebook group you can also search me Joe underscore Muirhead. I’m on Instagram, I’m on Facebook, I’m on LinkedIn, you can find me at All of those places are going to be able to direct you to this symposium. And of course, in the show notes for this episode, there will be a link. I just did someone else’s job.

Curt Widhalm 40:20
Hey, if it makes my job easier, offloading it to other people, I’m more than happy to do that. So I just want to say thank you, I always enjoy the conversations with you. And so glad to have you on here sharing your wisdom with everything. So you can find those show notes over at where we will include those links and follow us on our social media. Join our Facebook group, the Modern Therapist Group to continue this conversation. And we always love listener feedback for topics that you might want to hear. So comment on any of our social medias, shoot us an email over at podcast @ And until next time, I’m Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy and Jo Muirhead.

… 41:05
(Advertisement Break)

Announcer 41:05
Thank you for listening to the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide. Learn more about who we are and what we do and You can also join us on Facebook and Twitter. And please don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any of our episodes.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *