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Dec 26, 2022

How to Manage Your Practice as a Traveling Therapist: An Interview with Kym Tolson, LCSW

Curt and Katie interview Kym Tolson, the traveling therapist.  We look at how a modern therapist can be a digital nomad, including what business logistics to consider as well as how to travel well.

Transcripts for this episode will be available at!

An Interview with Kym Tolson, LCSW

I'm Kym Tolson, I'm an LCSW and CSAC licensed in the state of Virginia. I have an online insurance-based therapy practice. I lived in Florida until 2/2/22 when we (my BF and I) became digital nomads. Now, we will live in Air BnB's and travel the world. During the COVID lockdowns, I had a lot of time to work on my "side-hustles". I still saw my clients, but I also continued to perfect my course, "DIY Insurance Billing for Private Practice". Over 950 clinicians have taken my course and I'm humbled to be able to guide so many therapists on a path of empowerment and knowledge in their practices. I truly believe it's imperative to have at least a basic understanding of insurance billing if you are going to accept it in your practice. In addition to my course, I created a supportive community, Bill Like A Boss, for therapists who are billing insurance in their private practices. Since that time, I've created 8 income streams to support my traveling obsession. Luckily, coaching other therapists through my courses, consultations, and membership has given me space to see fewer clients and make a higher income. I've been able to scale up and serve more people at the same time instead of being stuck in the 1:1 therapy model. Now I have the space and finances to be a digital nomad and actually enjoy the places I'm traveling to! Most recently, I started a Podcast!! The Traveling Therapist to share my journey as well as the stories of other traveling therapists. Please feel free to reach out to,, and if you would like to learn more.

In this podcast episode, we talk about working as a therapist when traveling

We reached out to our friend Kym Tolson who lives and works as a digital nomad.  

“It's kind of like being on vacation every day.” – Kym Tolson, LCSW

What are the most important considerations when working as a digital nomad?

  • Checking the Wi-Fi before booking your accommodations
  • How long to stay in each place (Kym says about 2.5 weeks)
  • Finding a schedule that works and only takes small tweaks when you change time zones
  • Planning around the seasons and ideal locations

What are the business considerations for traveling therapists?

  • Consult with tax attorney and accountant, where to register your business
  • Reach out to boards for the state you are traveling to (to determine if you can practice within the state)
  • Paying attention to state of licensure and state where you are working
  • Considerations for business write offs and expenses
  • Tracking business expenses, income, and the location these things happen

Managing work-life balance as a digital nomad

  • Finding the right times for work
  • Setting a schedule
  • Compartmentalize fun and work separately

What have been the biggest surprises in becoming a digital nomad?

  • The number of possibilities for each day
  • How hard it was initially in letting go of stuff and how easy it seems like it is to let go of stuff now
  • The feelings about not having a homebase

What are the necessities when traveling as a digital nomad?

“We definitely need multiple Wi Fi options… So we have two different hotspot carriers because if mine’s not working, his might be and vice versa. We can use each other’s spots. We also have another portable mobile hotspot that we can turn on and off as we need. It connects to any cell service that's local to where that hotspot is. So that's another alternative. So we definitely have that taken care of everywhere we go, because we both need the Internet to be able to work.” – Kym Tolson, LCSW

  • Specific creature comforts or life necessities (for Kym it’s pots/pans to manage Celiac disease)
  • Computer
  • Numerous Wi-Fi options (different carriers for cell-phone coverage and portable mobile hotspot)
  • Airbnbs have everything
  • Being organized
  • Understanding of the impacts of mode of travel and type of accommodations

How do clients react to therapists who are on the road?

  • Decide on the level of transparency on traveling or location
  • Virtual background for continuity
  • Clients are usually pretty flexible with traveling therapist

What are the biggest challenges when thinking about the traveling lifestyle?

  • Leaving family and home
  • Scheduling
  • Costs and money mindset
  • Loneliness if you are doing it on your own
  • Organization and planning


Our Generous Sponsor for this episode of the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide:


Thrizer is a new modern billing platform for therapists that was built on the belief that therapy should be accessible AND clinicians should earn what they are worth. Their platform automatically gets clients reimbursed by their insurance after every session. Just by billing your clients through Thrizer, you can potentially save them hundreds every month, with no extra work on your end. Every time you bill a client through Thrizer, an insurance claim is automatically generated and sent directly to the client's insurance. From there, Thrizer provides concierge support to ensure clients get their reimbursement quickly, directly into their bank account. By eliminating reimbursement by check, confusion around benefits, and obscurity with reimbursement status, they allow your clients to focus on what actually matters rather than worrying about their money. It is very quick to get set up and it works great in completement with EHR systems. Their team is super helpful and responsive, and the founder is actually a long-time therapy client who grew frustrated with his reimbursement times The best part is you don't need to give up your rate. They charge a standard 3% payment processing fee!

Thrizer lets you become more accessible while remaining in complete control of your practice. A better experience for your clients during therapy means higher retention. Money won't be the reason they quit on therapy. Sign up using if you want to test Thrizer completely risk free! Sign up for Thrizer with code 'moderntherapists' for 1 month of no credit card fees or payment processing fees! That’s right - you will get one month of no payment processing fees, meaning you earn 100% of your cash rate during that time.

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!

Kym’s Facebook Group

 The Expert’s Guide to Becoming a Traveling Therapist Course coupon code for 25% off is MODERNTHERAPIST

Bill Like a Boss – Kym’s Insurance Billing Membership

Relevant Episodes of MTSG Podcast:

How Can Therapists Actually Retire: An interview with David Frank

Partners of Therapists

Thriving Over Surviving – Growing a Practice Without Burning Out: An interview with Megan Gunnell, LMSW

Post Pandemic Practice

Who we are:

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:

Katie 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:


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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