Photo ID: The hands of someone writing in a lined notebook with text overlay "Episode 291: Smarter than SMART: How therapists can improve goal-setting with clients"

Smarter than SMART: How therapists can improve goal-setting with clients

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Katie Vernoy, MS, LMFT and Curt Widhalm, MA, MS, LMFT|Smarter than SMART: How therapists can improve goal-setting with clients (1 CE hour)

Many therapists learn SMART Goals and objectives as the primary tools for creating treatment plans. Oftentimes, goal setting can be a check box for insurance or a frustrating activity that doesn’t seem to support clinical progress. We dig deeper into how to make SMART goals better (SMARTer goals?), and we will uncover and address the limitations of SMART goals. The current research on how to move past SMART goals to more effective and strategic planning for change also helps to make our clients dig deeper into the process of achieving their goals. We also explore additional goal-setting models to inform and create a more robust goal setting strategy…and we do it all with a demonstration on how to put it into action!

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify 3 benefits of goal setting activities
  2. Differentiate goal setting from behavior design
  3. Implement a robust structure for setting goals and creating treatment plans with clients 

Our Presenters

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:

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:


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.