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Mar 22, 2021

Why Therapists Quit Part 2

Curt and Katie chat about the response from listeners to our episode on why therapists quit. We look at the differences in responses (those who felt angry and those who felt validated) as well as our reasons for doubling down. We also dig into the differences between pessimism and realism, pairing our realistic take on the current problems with a call to action that aspires to change the systemic problems we’ve started to outline.     

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:

  • Responding to listener feedback on Why Therapists Quit
  • The critical feedback we received related to the “negative tone” we put forward
  • The positive feedback from listeners who felt seen
  • The different stages of individuals’ careers and how they responded
  • Assessing whether we are doing the profession a disservice by speaking the truth of our experiences and the problems we see in the profession
  • How the knowledge of the information that this job is hard can impact the relationships with our clients, consultees, supervisees, etc.
  • “Saving Psychotherapy” by Dr. Ben Caldwell
  • The individual responsibility that clinicians are taking for systemic issues
  • The problem when we don’t understand the system before we’re deep into the career
  • The expectation that therapists must be good all of the time – which is unrealistic
  • How we’re looking for ways to improve the therapy system, the mental health profession, etc.
  • The responsibility we feel to help change
  • How critical it is to frame the problem before you can solve
  • Why it is important to opt in to a job, warts and all
  • The problem of idealizing the profession
  • Our plan for a new series that talks about the state of mental health care
  • Differentiating between realism and pessimism
  • The values systems for therapists that can be challenged by the system
  • The response from therapists who may be more pessimistic than Curt and Katie are at this time
  • A call to action to reach critical mass in order to make a change
  • The people who don’t make it into the profession for many different reasons
  • The shifts in the smaller systems (improving work environments)
  • Whether our clients listen and what they might think about what we’re talking about
  • Our responsibility in our role in this podcast, to make the profession better
  • How we’ll be moving forward in an upcoming series, looking for solutions


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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!

Saving Psychotherapy by Dr. Ben Caldwell

From Decisive by Dan Heath, Chip Heath: 40 studies of realistic job previews. Jean M, Phillips (1998), “Effects of Realistic Job Previews on Multiple Organizational Outcomes: a Meta-analysis,” Academy of Management Journal 41: 673-90


Relevant Episodes:

Why Therapists Quit

Toxic Work Environments

The Burnout System

Addressing the Burnout System

A Living Wage for Prelicensees

Structuring Self-Care


Connect with us!

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Get Notified About Therapy Reimagined 2021

 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, former 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 Past 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