356 episodes

The Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide: Where Therapists Live, Breathe, and Practice as Human Beings It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. We are human beings who can now present ourselves as whole people, with authenticity, purpose, and connection. Especially now, when clinicians must develop a personal brand to market their private practices, and are connecting over social media, engaging in social activism, pushing back against mental health stigma, and facing a whole new style of entrepreneurship. To support you as a whole person, a business owner, and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.

The Modern Therapist's Survival Guide with Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy Curt Widhalm, LMFT and Katie Vernoy, LMFT

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.4 • 207 Ratings

The Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide: Where Therapists Live, Breathe, and Practice as Human Beings It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. We are human beings who can now present ourselves as whole people, with authenticity, purpose, and connection. Especially now, when clinicians must develop a personal brand to market their private practices, and are connecting over social media, engaging in social activism, pushing back against mental health stigma, and facing a whole new style of entrepreneurship. To support you as a whole person, a business owner, and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.

    When Your Client is a Little Bit Famous: The unique needs and perspectives for working with content creators in therapy

    When Your Client is a Little Bit Famous: The unique needs and perspectives for working with content creators in therapy

    When Your Client is a Little Bit Famous: The unique needs and perspectives for working with content creators in therapy
    Curt and Katie chat about the unique needs that content creators (youtubers, podcasters, onlyfans performers) bring to session. We look at the development stages of being a creator, what exactly a “content creator” is, pros and cons (for mental health) of being a content creator, and how therapists can work more effectively with these folks. We also talk about the safety concerns and ways that therapist scan support content creators in protecting themselves. This is a continuing education podcourse.
    Transcripts for this episode will be available at mtsgpodcast.com!
    In this podcast episode we talk about therapy with content creators
    Content creators and influencers have their own sets of mental health challenges. Therapists working with content creators have many factors to consider when it comes to the particularly unique influences that this occupation has on a person’s mental health. This workshop explores how content creation, streaming, and parasocial relationships affect the mental health and worldview of creators in ways that are both similar and different to other types of performers.
    Receive Continuing Education for this Episode of the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide
    You can find this full course (including handouts and resources) here: https://moderntherapistcommunity.com/podcourse/
    Continuing Education Approvals:
    Continuing Education Information including grievance and refund policies.

    Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement:
    https://linktr.ee/therapyreimagined

    Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:
    Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/
    Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano https://groomsymusic.com/
     

    • 1 hr 12 min
    The Power and the Peril of Pop Psychology

    The Power and the Peril of Pop Psychology

    The Power and the Peril of Pop Psychology
    Curt and Katie chat about pop psychology. We look at what it is, how it influences society, the dangers of leaving it unchecked, and how therapists can support their clients in navigating through all the different self-help content. We also challenge the use of Enneagram and Myers Briggs as “identity” and talk about using pop psychology as a starting point for conversation rather than taking it all at face value.
    Transcripts for this episode will be available at mtsgpodcast.com!
    In this podcast episode we talk about the dangers of pop psychology
    Curt has had a bee in his bonnet about pop psychology and the potential harms of watering down psychology for the public. We decided we’d take a critical look at what’s out there, including self-help, business, and news content that may be harming the public.
    What is pop psychology?
    ·      Researchers sharing their findings through popular media using lay language
    ·      Applied psychology – practical self-help created by psychology practitioners geared toward improving your life
    ·      Targeting people with mental health concerns to decrease suffering – may be created by people with lived experience and is self-help in the place of therapy
    ·      Applying psychology to other realms (like business or sales, spirituality)
    What are concerns with pop psychology?
    ·      Overemphasizing the importance of specific pop psychology principles and claiming these things as identity
    ·      Not going back to the evidence base or looking at who the authors are (is it their research or is it a good storyteller who is extrapolating)
    ·      The impact of the audience on which stories or psychological findings are shared
    How does Malcolm Gladwell fit into this conversation about the dangers of pop psychology?
    ·      He was enamored with the “Broken Windows” theory of policing and his writings influenced the use type of policing in New York (including Stop and Frisk)
    ·      He ignored the criticism of these policies, like the racial bias that was seen
    ·      He chose not to write about policies that were working to decrease the over prescribing opioids
    ·      He has not recognized the influence on those who read his work
    What role can therapists play in supporting our clients around pop psychology?
    ·      Talk with our clients about what they are reading and use it as a starting point
    ·      Bring the evidence-based science into the conversation
    ·      Help them to create a unique, tailored plan for your client to use what works for them
    ·      Correcting misinformation (e.g., the stages of grief)
    ·      Putting out content that is accurate
    ·      Staying current on what is being talked about in popular media
    Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement:
    Our Linktree: https://linktr.ee/therapyreimagined
    Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:
    Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/
    Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano https://groomsymusic.com/

    • 38 min
    Is AI Really Ready for Therapists? An interview with Dr. Maelisa McCaffrey

    Is AI Really Ready for Therapists? An interview with Dr. Maelisa McCaffrey

    Is AI Really Ready for Therapists? An interview with Dr. Maelisa McCaffrey
    Curt and Katie interview Dr. Maelisa McCaffrey of QA Prep about her assessment of the AI tools available for therapists. We chat about the high expectations many clinicians have for note writing tools (and whether these expectations are really reasonable right now). We also look at what therapists are getting wrong when starting to use these tools, exploring some concerns related to HIPAA compliance and who is actually putting together these tech tools.
    Transcripts for this episode will be available at mtsgpodcast.com!
    In this podcast episode, we talk about the development of AI tools for therapists
    Curt and Katie asked Dr. Maelisa McCaffrey to come on and talk about what she thinks about AI for documentation.
    What are therapists getting wrong about AI?
    ·      Therapists believe that AI can do their notes, but it is often a lot of work and/or is an expensive application is required
    ·      There is a choice when using a free platform and/or an untrusted platform is that you are either writing an insufficient note or adding PHI, which causes you to break HIPAA
    ·      AI for notes takes a very long time due to how slowly they process the information as well as your need to review and edit each note
    ·       Some platforms are claiming to be HIPAA compliant and are not
    What are the different ways that AI works to provide documentation?
    ·      AI listens to the session and/or you upload the recording or a transcript
    ·      You enter the information on what happened in the session and AI writes the formal notes
    What do therapists need to know about an AI platform before using it?
    ·      Checking for actual HIPAA compliance versus a false statement about HIPAA compliance
    ·      Understand how it is telling you to use the software
    ·      Do they give you a BAA?
    ·      The pricing is relatively similar to an EHR - $10-$40 per month
    ·      This is not an electronic health record or practice management system
    ·      Some of the AI applications do not have access to the diagnosis, assessment, treatment plans, so you will have to insure that you prove medical necessity and demonstrate the clinical loop
    Are these AI platforms really ready for therapists?
    ·      The tech experts are taking care of data security
    ·      Many companies are still figuring these things out
    ·      All of the platforms Maelisa tested created fake elements of sessions (i.e., put things in the notes that did not happen)
    What else can therapists use AI for?
    ·      Creating templates for progress notes (i.e., not for a specific client, no PHI)
    ·      Creating resources for clients
    What do therapists need to do for their clients if they are using AI?
    ·      You must inform your client that you are using AI (informed consent)
    ·      AI is experimental, so it must be optional for your clients to opt in
    ·      You must insure that the platform is actually secure and HIPAA compliant
    ·      Ethics codes aren’t really saying anything, but some statements could be coming out soon on the ethics of how to use AI with or for clients
    What do therapists need to know about AI?
    ·      It is very new and changing constantly
    ·      This is going to happen, so we need to understand and participate in this transition
    ·      New resources will be created through AI
    Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement:
    Our Linktree: https://linktr.ee/therapyreimagined
    Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:
    Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/
    Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano https://groomsymusic.com/

    • 42 min
    Are Therapists to Blame for Ineffective Workplace Wellness Programs?

    Are Therapists to Blame for Ineffective Workplace Wellness Programs?

    Are Therapists to Blame for Ineffective Workplace Wellness Programs?
    Curt and Katie chat about a recent New York Times article that claims that individual mental health interventions are not effective in the workplace. We explore that and other studies on workplace wellness programs, looking at what is ineffective, what actually works, and what roles therapists can play in improving outcomes for employees (and employers). We also take a quick look at the ethical or moral questions therapists face when being paid to do these programs.
    Transcripts for this episode will be available at mtsgpodcast.com!
    In this podcast episode we talk about a recent study on workplace wellness programs
    In a recent New York Times article, they talked about a study that shows little efficacy of workplace wellness programs in the UK. We decided to dig deeper into the research and see what therapists need to know when signing on to provide these programs.
    What does the research say about workplace wellness or individual-level mental health interventions on outcomes for employees and employers?
    ·      People in these programs are not better off than people who are not
    ·      Some desired outcomes (health markers, absenteeism, job performance) are not significantly better
    ·      Some positive clinical and employment outcomes from actual mental health programs
    ·      Individual solutions don’t solve systemic problems
    What are the dynamics at play in employee well-being?
    ·      Things that do work: more compensation, more say in how their work looks
    ·      The difference between convenience and work-place wellness
    ·      Typically, organizations are not assessing efficacy of their own wellness programs
    What is the therapist role in workplace wellness?
    ·      We know that many of these programs are ineffective – should we still continue to do them?
    ·      How should consumers of these products and programs inquire about efficacy or even completion?
    ·      Should therapists be concerned about whether people complete their course or find benefit from it?
    ·      Understanding what resources are available (and being encouraged to use them) may help folks to better benefit from them (as extrapolated from Curt’s undergraduate research)
    What can clinicians do to support actual workplace wellness?
    ·      Don’t co-sign on the idea that the onus is on the individual to fix the system
    ·      Provide actual mental health interventions for mental health needs
    ·      Facilitate conversations about systemic problems and solutions
    ·      Support positive interventions for individuals that are doable and effective
    ·      Exploring the ethics of providing these programs
    Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement:
    Our Linktree: https://linktr.ee/therapyreimagined
    Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:
    Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/
    Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano https://groomsymusic.com/

     

    • 43 min
    When Your Client is a Super Fan: Exploring parasocial relationships and their effects on mental health

    When Your Client is a Super Fan: Exploring parasocial relationships and their effects on mental health

    When Your Client is a Super Fan: Exploring parasocial relationships and their effects on mental health
    Curt and Katie chat about parasocial relationships. We talk about what parasocial relationships (and break ups) are, who is most likely to engage in these relationships, and the positive and negative impacts of these one-sided relationships. We also look at how to use these relationships within therapy. This is a continuing education podcourse.
    Transcripts for this episode will be available at mtsgpodcast.com!
    In this podcast episode we talk about parasocial relationships
    People develop relationships with celebrities, TV personalities, and others in the public eye. But do therapists assess the impact these relationships have on their clients and their mental health? This episode explores the ways that clients interact in one-sided relationships, the mental health benefits and drawbacks to engaging in these relationships, and ways for therapists to assess the potential impacts on client mental health and behavior.
    How can parasocial relationships show up (and be utilized) in therapy?
    ·      How to help clients identify appropriate role models
    ·      Using parasocial relationships as practice for social relationships
    ·      Ask what content clients are consuming to identify what messages they are receiving
    ·      Get very direct: ask about all of the content they regularly consume
    ·      Look especially at the content or influencers talking about things relevant to their presenting problems
    ·      Explore how clients with social anxiety are interacting with potential parasocial relationships
    ·      Staying abreast of news stories related to parasocial objects
    ·      Listening for certain types of unhealthy messages (like toxic masculinity)
    ·      Helping to expand your clients’ critical thinking and influences in their lives
    ·      Understanding why they are choosing these relationships and the meaning they are making from them
    ·      Using these relationships as practice or places to seek self-awareness and insight, especially related to identity and values
    ·      Grief work when there are parasocial breakups
    Receive Continuing Education for this Episode of the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide
     Continuing Education Information including grievance and refund policies.
    Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:
    Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/
    Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano https://groomsymusic.com/
     

    • 1 hr 11 min
    What Is It Like To Be a Medicare Therapist? An interview with Gabrielle Juliano-Villani, LCSW

    What Is It Like To Be a Medicare Therapist? An interview with Gabrielle Juliano-Villani, LCSW

    What Is It Like To Be a Medicare Therapist? An interview with Gabrielle Juliano-Villani, LCSW
    Curt and Katie interview Gabrielle Juliano-Villani, LCSW, about what it looks like to take Medicare. We talk about common myths and what the actual experience is like. We also explore the business case for taking Medicare and why (and how) therapists can grow their practice by opting in as a Medicare provider.
    Transcripts for this episode will be available at mtsgpodcast.com!
    In this podcast episode, we talk about taking Medicare as a therapist
    Curt and Katie asked Gabrielle Juliano-Villani, LCSW to come in to talk about what it is like to take Medicare as a therapist.
     What is involved in being a Medicare provider?
    ·       Clientele on Medicare include elderly and disabled
    ·       There is a huge need to clinicians to take Medicare
    ·       You will get a lot of referrals – Gabrielle filled up her caseload and made 6 figures in her first year in private practice
    What types of clinical expertise is necessary for therapists who take Medicare?
    ·       Loss of independence and aging issues
    ·       Grief and loss
    ·       Chronic health conditions and illnesses
    ·       Loss of mobility
    ·       Dementia and cognitive issues
    ·       Family dynamics and estrangement
    ·       Understanding later in life logistics
    ·       Caregiver concerns
    What are the business or day-to-day elements of taking Medicare?
    ·       Referral sources are medical doctors, care managers, and other therapists
    ·       Website content designed with caregiver or family member in mind (who would be searching for the services)
    ·       Sorting through Medicare and Medicare Advantage (i.e., commercial insurance Medicare replacement) plans – clients don’t know the difference between Medicare and Medicare Advantage
    ·       Ask to see all of their insurance cards to identify what coverage they have:
    o  Bill Medicare directly for patients with Medicare – you are a Part B provider (outpatient) – you will get 80% from Medicare and the other 20% from the patient, a supplemental plan, or Medicaid
    o  Bill the commercial insurance plan for Medicare Advantage patients (like regular insurance billing)
    ·       Audits are not common and are navigable with good notes and ability to make corrections
    ·       Audits are more likely if you’re doing unusual billing practices
    ·       The application process is probably the most challenging part of taking Medicare

    Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement:
    Our Linktree: https://linktr.ee/therapyreimagined
    Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:
    Voice Over by DW McCann https://www.facebook.com/McCannDW/
    Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano https://groomsymusic.com/

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
207 Ratings

207 Ratings

Vitaliya McElveen ,

Impostor syndrome episode

Great topics however I am giving this podcast only 3 stars... bc the episode about the impostor syndrome was super important to me … but it felt like podcasters were constantly laughing at the struggles of people who deal with it :(
Perhaps it would be a great idea to be more sensitive to consider listener's feelings.

Aim5055 ,

Great for students

As a nascent student in Masters of Counseling desiring to become a competent colleague, I find this podcast educational, informative, challenging, and enjoyable. It's a favorite workout background! Beyond the books and syllabus are the carefully curated real-world experiences that bring balance and nuance to practicing.
I find their attitude, expertise, humor, and sensitivity as professionals to professionals refreshing.
Thanks for producing this content!

PODDoisseur ,

Enjoyable

I really enjoy listening to this podcast! The hosts are not only knowledgeable and insightful, but also entertaining. I appreciate the way they approach psychological topics with an openness, making the subject matter both engaging and accessible to the professionals and regular people who also tune in. Curt has a particularly interesting sense of humor that always manages to make me smile. I read a review that misunderstood Curt’s tone as condescending. I have found that often people who are not very intelligent mistaken sharp wit and humor as condescending 🤷‍♂️.
I highly recommend this podcast to anyone interested in psychology and looking for an informative listen.

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