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Princeton psychotherapists Dr. Michele Kinderman and Dr. Kelly Yanek have launched Wellness Outside the Box, a unique practice based on a psychotherapy model they developed to reduce practitioner burnout, increase professional satisfaction, and improve patient outcomes. 

Kinderman, a licensed clinical psychologist, and Yanek, a certified school psychologist, utilize the Dual Therapist Model (DTM) in which two therapists conduct sessions together with an individual, couple, or family. Unlike traditional therapy where one client meets with one clinician, the DTM allows the mental health professionals to model healthy communication during sessions while combining two skill sets for a more well-rounded approach to treatment. 

As Dr. Yanek pointed out in their recent TEDx talk, they offer their clients “double the attention, double the support, double the nurturing, and double the love.”  

At their cottage office located on a serene 20-acre farm just miles from downtown Princeton, Wellness Outside the Box combines traditional psychotherapy tools and techniques with meaningful activities and experiences. Counseling can be provided outside the traditional office setting, incorporating nature and the outdoors in the healing process.  

For mental health professionals, using DTM prevents burnout by incorporating joy into the work daily. 

“We’ve been known to work on our book, return emails, or catch up on notes on a blanket at the beach, on a bench next to the giraffes at the zoo, or even at a table in an arcade,” said Dr. Kinderman. “We have fun each day and we help our clients connect with the things that bring them joy. We’ve taken our clients out in nature, to hiking trails, to rock climbing gyms, and even to ice cream shops.” 

The doctors have shared their ground-breaking approach to preventing burnout, increasing job satisfaction, and improving productivity by connecting with others via podcasts, at corporate workshops, and through keynote addresses.  

Wellness Outside the Box also offers a DTM training program for mental health clinicians. The four-week, 12-hour course includes modules designed to help mental health professionals develop the skills needed to work with a DTM partner and master the intricacies of a DTM approach to treatment. The next four-week training program is scheduled to begin on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Dr. Kinderman and Dr. Yanek are also working on a book that highlights their personal and professional journey.  

For more information about their practice and the Dual Therapist Model, visit their website.