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Mar 23, 2020

Curt and Katie talk about how to prepare for economic uncertainty as one of the ripple effects from COVID-19. We talk about practical suggestions of what you can do now to weather a recession as well as continue forward with the practice you’d like to build.         

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:

  • The economic uncertainty as a ripple effect from COVID-19
  • Looking at the research after the Great Recession
  • The importance of self-assessment and business-assessment, being thoughtful about the decisions you make about your business
  • Moving beyond scrambling to telehealth into changes you want to incorporate longer-term
  • How to prepare for a changing world
  • How critical cash flow can be during these times
  • Tightening your financial practices (e.g., timely invoicing and charging credit cards, billing insurance, collecting copays)
  • Focusing on profit, not growing your business
  • Looking at your numbers (revenue, expenses, profit)
  • How to be agile without taking on too much risk
  • Understanding what you do that is the highest value offering (highest profit margin) and do more of that – maximizing your most profitable services
  • Pay off and minimize debt, cutting costs to improve financial position
  • Setting yourself with a rainy-day fund
  • Navigating to weather uncertainty
  • Exploring different business models that are focused on need versus luxury
  • Being intentional with how you adjust offerings and how you are flexible in your practice
  • Therapists’ requirement to manage their own needs (in therapy or otherwise) to sustain their therapy practice – clients need guidance and feel like they are getting what they are paying for
  • Pay attention to your numbers to continue monitoring what you need to do
  • The importance of the customer experience and maintaining your current clients
  • Communicating clearly with your clients and prospects
  • How to increase the quality of your offerings to sustain current clients and get new ones
  • Plan for the long-term of your practice

Our Generous Sponsor: GreenOak Accounting

You went to school to become a therapist, not an accountant! Your time is much better spent doing what you love–helping people–and not crunching numbers. That’s where GreenOak Accounting comes in! They specialize in increasing the profit of private practices just like yours, so you can reclaim precious hours each week! If you are interested in freeing up your schedule for more clients, or just to get some time back for yourself, if you’re behind on your books or ready to implement Profit First, or need someone on your financial team who really understands private practice and can help your business grow, go to to schedule a 100% free no-obligation consultation today or sign up for 5 days of profit-boosting emails.

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!

Curt’s Blog Post: Mental Health Workers After COVID-19

Article: Growth in Spending on and Use of Services for Mental and Substance Use Disorders After the Great Recession Among Individuals With Private Insurance (Psychiatric Services, May 2016)

Lynn Grodsky Psychotherapy Networker article: Recession Proofing Mantras

US Chamber of Commerce Article: Worried About A Recession? Do These 5 Things Now

NY Taxi Cab Drivers study

Saving Psychotherapy by Dr. Ben Caldwell

Forbes: The Best Business Strategy for Surviving a Recession?  

Harvard Business Review: How to Survive a Recession and Thrive Afterward


Therapy Reimagined 2020 Conference: Speakers!!

Therapy Reimagined 2020 Call for Sponsors


Relevant Episodes:

Barbara Griswold, LMFT: Busting Insurance Myths

Michael Blumberg, LCPC: Making Access More Affordable

Bad Business Practices


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:

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:

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

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano