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Oct 29, 2018

Curt and Katie talk about termination of treatment, both when it is planned and when it is unplanned. We look at best practices, challenges, and how to handle it the best way you can.

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:

  • When to start talking about termination during treatment
  • Setting expectations for the end of treatment
  • How to address client’s instinct to “ghost” from treatment
  • Normalizing the different paths to ending treatment
  • Different reasons that you may not be able to complete treatment
  • Planning ahead to diminish negative impacts of abrupt terminations that are out of your control
  • Providing referrals, closure, and understanding that even that doesn’t always create positive outcomes
  • The elements of a positive termination
  • Managing expectations of what health and healing are and what would qualify someone to finish treatment
  • Highlighting strengths and progress as well as on-going goals and challenges
  • Acknowledging the relationship you’ve had with the client
  • Processing your own response to the termination
  • What to look at and learn when your client abruptly terminates
  • Requesting termination sessions when someone decides to end suddenly – things to consider
  • What to do when your client ghosts you
  • Closing the client’s chart

Our Generous Sponsor:

Thanks again to our sponsor, SimplePractice!

SimplePractice is an all in one platform where you can schedule appointments, use paperless intakes, file insurance claims, and meet with clients remotely using our integrated Telehealth system.

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Because running your practice should be Simple, so you can do the work that really matters.


Resources mentioned:

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

Therapy Reimagined 2019: Sign up here to get notified when the details are released.

Our consultation services:

The Fifty-Minute Hour


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 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 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 Survival Guide Group



Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano