My daughter Kerala, whose writing often (always?) outshines mine, has been publishing pieces on the online format Medium.com. This one was a bit out of character and baffled me. Stay tuned tomorrow to find out why.
Marriage Counselor Makes Millions By Telling Couples Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong
Dr. Woodburn‘s new therapeutic model hits the sweet spot between profitability and consumer demand
Dr. Amber Woodburn, LMFT, LP, has surpassed Esther Perel as the country’s highest earning marriage counselor, with a reported net worth of over 100 million dollars. Based in Tampa, Florida, Woodburn charges up to $25,000 for a single 45-minute session. She is currently booked 18 months out.
“When I started my practice, I tried everything I was taught in school,” said Woodburn. “You know, like giving couples tools to improve their communication skills and validating each other’s feelings and practicing active listening and all that jazz. But at the end of the day, I realized most couples really just wanted to know one thing: who is right and who is wrong.”
Like many entrepreneurs, Woodburn realized that she would need to pivot to meet consumer demand.
When asked how she determines who is right and wrong, Woodburn smiled. “If you learn one thing in my line of work,” she said, “it’s that in 99% of troubled marriages, one partner is consistently being more of an asshole.”
Despite the hefty price tag and long waiting list, couples flock from all over the country to meet with Woodburn, typically after exhausting more traditional counseling methods.
Alicia Paz of Tuscon, Arizona, a former client of Woodburn’s, had nothing but glowing reviews. “I had to cash out my retirement savings, and now I’m a single mom, but it was all worth it just to see the look on Daniel’s face when Dr. Woodburn told him he’d been wrong all these years.”
Paz’s former spouse could not be reached for comment.
Kevin Johnson of Reston, Virginia, who is currently #10 on Woodburn’s extensive waitlist, is, in his words, “absolutely sure” he’s right. “I just can’t wait to throw it in my wife’s face,” he said, rubbing his hands together with a look of maniacal glee. Johnson has no plans to divorce his wife, as he would like to continue throwing it in her face until death do them part.
“My partner and I tried many traditional counseling methods,” said Laurie Greer of Needham, Massachusetts. “But all the ‘I’ statements in the world didn’t change the fact that she is pretty much wrong about everything. Maybe I should have left her sooner, but I toughed it out for an extra year and a half while on Dr. Woodburn’s waitlist just for the satisfaction of being able to say, ‘I told you so.’ ”
When asked if she now shuns more traditional counseling methods, Woodburn said, “I think more traditional methods can work wonders if both parties come to the table with humility, empathy, and an open mind.”
Unfortunately, according to Woodburn, “most people kind of suck. They’re egotistical, insensitive, and close-minded. If I can’t change that, at least I can ensure that one person will walk away from each session happy.”
Mandy Bowman, a spokesperson for The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), admitted that Dr. Woodburn’s methods are “a little unorthodox.” But, she said, “considering the social forces that have led to significant increases in people sucking, this might be a direction that more marriage and family counselors will need to explore moving forward.”