Why you'll love this course

Some elements of therapist culture are confusing and even laughable to outsiders. Angela Caldwell uses humor and a light touch to remind us of this perspective -- and why clients are turned off by some of the confusing and even contradictory messages we send.

Course description

Despite our intentions to help, therapists make assumptions about their clients and their work that ultimately drive people away from psychotherapy. There is a wealth of research demonstrating that a great many people with mental and emotional problems choose not to go to therapy, or discontinue soon after they start. In many cases, we know the reasons. This seminar will engage participants in a series of self-reflective exercises to examine common practices in psychotherapy that transmit a message of arrogance and elitism to the public. It will challenge contradictions prevalent in the field that confuse and anger the people it aims to serve, and invite participants to make changes not just in their practice, but also in their fundamental conceptualization of the work we claim to do.

1.5 hours CE. Recorded Video Format (non-interactive).
Content advisory: Explicit language.

This course was recorded from a live presentation at the 2019 Therapy Reimagined conference in Los Angeles. For information on past and future Therapy Reimagined events, visit therapyreimagined.com.

Learning objectives

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

  • List at least three assumptions that therapists make about their work that distance them from the public

  • Identify at least five “original rules” of psychotherapy that may actually be turning the public off

  • Describe at least two studies examining the reasons why individuals with mental health needs choose not to attend therapy or discontinue after one session

Course outline

1. Assumptions of grandeur

2. Things we do to make ourselves feel important

3. Arrogance in the form of laziness

i. Treatment planning

ii. Utilization of knowledge

4. Our baffling devotion to the original rules

5. Unreasonable restrictions on help

6. Superiority to other fields

7. Infuriating contradictions

8. How to fix it



Angela Caldwell, MA, LMFT

Angela Caldwell, MA, LMFT is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#45163). She serves as founder and director of the Caldwell Family Institute in Los Angeles, specializing in family-based treatment. She is an adjunct professor at California State University Northridge, teaching systems theory and related courses. She has specialized training and experience in family-based treatment for non-suicidal self-injury.

Additional Information

Format and Length:

Video format (non-interactive); Total running time 91 minutes

Topic Area:

Clinical Practice

Instructional Level:

Intermediate. This course assumes graduate-level knowledge of clinical processes, diagnosis, and research methods.

Completion Requirements:

To obtain your CE certificate, you must progress through all course segments, complete a satisfaction survey, and obtain a score of 80% or higher on a course completion quiz.

Who Should Attend:

Psychologists, counselors, clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists.

Publication and Review Dates:

Course Published: February 24, 2020 

Financial Support Statement:

SimplePractice Learning pays course providers. This course is from the Therapy Reimagined conference. There is no other financial support for this course.

Conflict of Interest Statement:

There is no potential conflict of interest or outside commercial support for this course.

Refund Policy:

Click here to see our policies on attendance, refunds, grievances, and accessibility, and other frequently asked questions

Continuing Education Approvals:

SimplePractice is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SimplePractice maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course provides 1.5 hours of continuing education (1.5 CE credits) for psychologists.

SimplePractice has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6961. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. SimplePractice is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

SimplePractice is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LPCCs, LCSWs, and LEPs (CAMFT CEPA provider #145276). SimplePractice maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

SimplePractice is approved as a Rule/Statute Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling. Note that we do not automatically report CE completion to CE Broker at this time, so certificates of completion must be manually uploaded. Click here for more information.

SimplePractice LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0582.

SimplePractice is approved to provide continuing education activities for Social Workers in the state of Texas. Social Work CE Provider Number 7678.

This course is not part of our continuing education program approved through NAADAC. Click here to view our complete CE approval information, or check out our collection of NAADAC approved courses.

This course is not part of our ASWB approved continuing education program.