Developing a Personal Brand: Legal, Ethical, and Clinical Implications

Presented by Curt Widhalm, LMFT and Katie Vernoy, LMFT on 01-28-2019 at 9 a.m. Pacific (noon Eastern) to 10:30 a.m. Pacific (1:30 p.m. Eastern)

Modern therapists face a challenge totally new to many of them: the internet – and more specifically, the way many people have integrated social media into every aspect of their lives. In earlier decades, clinicians used to hang up a shingle, have clients come into their offices, and maintain a blank screen presence during treatment. That is not the norm anymore. Clients are searching for therapists online. They are exploring online therapist profiles and examining the content therapists put on the internet. 

How clinicians present themselves online is becoming more and more important to the success not only of their therapy business, but also in their clinical work. Therapists have to develop a personal brand to effectively market their practices and navigate today's very plugged-in existence. Many therapists initially feel uncomfortable with the idea of a personal brand or the amount of self-disclosure that seems required to have a “strong marketing plan.” It may make clinicians feel vulnerable and like they have to walk a scary tightrope in order to maintain appropriate legal, ethical, and clinical boundaries. 

In this 90-minute marketing webinar, Curt Widhalm, LMFT and Katie Vernoy, LMFT will discuss the legal, ethical, and clinical boundaries of developing a personal brand and its impact on clinical outcomes. The workshop will explore the potential influence of a clinician’s branding on the therapeutic alliance. This will include recent research on how the impression clients have about the therapist (i.e., pretreatment role expectations about the therapist’s expertise and ability to help the client solve their problems) are impacted by learning publicly available information about the therapist prior to initial contact. 

Curt and Katie will also explore the necessities of developing a practice niche and the pitfalls of overstepping flexible boundaries. They will incorporate experiential and self-reflective activities in this course to help therapists navigate complex issues. This course is designed to educate master's level therapists on marketing in a legal and ethical manner to identify a target market, incorporate use-of-self techniques, and maintain ethical boundaries within therapeutic relationships in an online world. 

This introductory instructional level web conference is designed to help clinicians: 

  1. Describe the professional-public-private continuum for self-disclosure and distinguish what to disclose as clinicians when developing their personal brand.
  2. List four factors that influence therapeutic alliance.
  3. Assess three ways that self-disclosure in marketing can impact therapeutic relationships. 
  4. Summarize four laws and ethical guidelines related to advertising a personal brand. 
  5. Create a living therapy brand that speaks to the ideal client and begins to develop the therapeutic alliance before they come in for their first session. 

If you have questions about this course, please contact us here.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

1.5 CE contact hours will be provided by GoodTherapy for attending this web conference in its entirety.

GoodTherapy is an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within Counseling Services.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

Registration Information

Premium and Pro Membership with GoodTherapy includes access to this web conference at no additional cost. Not yet a member? Sign up for a Premium or Pro Membership, here.

Mental health professionals who are not members can attend this live web conference for $30.95 or access the homestudy recording for $15.50. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

If the event is canceled by GoodTherapy, registrants who purchased the event will be notified and the charge for the event will be refunded

If you have any questions or would like information regarding disability accommodations, please contact us.

Click here to
Sign In and Access

Meet the Presenters

Curt Widhalm, LMFT

Curt Widhalm, LMFT

Katie Vernoy, LMFT

Katie Vernoy, LMFT

Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy are both Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists in the Los Angeles area and co-hosts of The Modern Therapist's Survival Guide Podcast. They are also the creators of the Therapy Reimagined Conference - bringing together #moderntherapists to talk about how to build practices that welcome diversity, integrate technology and business systems, engage in advocacy for the profession, and how to grow yourself as a clinician by incorporating deliberate practice and self-care.

Both Katie and Curt have created successful private practices and are actively involved in the profession in many ways. Curt is a Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and they are both Directors for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Curt and Katie provide training and consultation to therapists who are entering the profession, starting and growing a therapy practice, and who are ready to step into leadership, all while navigating #moderntherapistproblems. You can learn more about their work at

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • Logo This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.

Earn CE Credit Hours

Live and homestudy continuing education courses are included with
Premium and Pro Membership!
Sign Up Here
GoodTherapy uses cookies to personalize content and ads to provide better services for our users and to analyze our traffic. By continuing to use this site you consent to our cookies.