Photo ID: Three potatoes with cartoon eyes with fire flaming around them and text overlay "Episode 317: Liability Hot Potato: Defensive Therapy practices that give clients inadequate care"

Liability Hot Potato: Defensive Therapy practices that give clients inadequate care

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Therapists facing difficult decisions in therapeutic treatment are presented with the competing tasks of providing quality care to clients while also trying to minimize their legal risks. This can lead to therapists who may choose courses of action that do not benefit clients while doing things to protect the therapist. This workshop explores the types of defensive practices that therapists take, how to recognize them, what steps can be done to protect therapists, and how to maximize client outcomes.

Learning objectives: Participants in this course will be able to:

  1. Define defensive therapy and the effect that it has on client outcomes
  2. Identify 2 types of defensive therapy
  3. Identify the best practice to maximize client outcomes while minimizing liability

Our Presenters

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:


Therapy Reimagined is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LPCCs, LCSWs, and LEPs (CAMFT CEPA provider #132270). Therapy Reimagined maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Courses meet the qualifications for the listed hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. We are working on additional provider approvals, but solely are able to provide CAMFT CEs at this time. Please check with your licensing body to ensure that they will accept this as an equivalent.