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What Are Financial Therapists and What Do They Offer?

By: Andrew Deen

 

Smiling woman talking with a coach to find the motivation to achieve the goals of financial success

Stress in nearly unavoidable in the world we exist in as humans, with money, health, family, work and so much more always expecting us to do the right things. Each stressor has different effects on people, and each one can be kept at bay with some form of therapy.

For financial woes, that can often lead to things like depression and thoughts of self-harm, financial therapy can be a valuable tool for overcoming these thoughts.

COVID-19

Though the deadliest part of the pandemic was, of course, the virus, many families had to deal with unfamiliar struggles caused by the financial turmoil surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a study by Harvard University, the COVID pandemic cost the U.S. economy more than $16 trillion and people who were often affected the most were those living from paycheck to paycheck who were forced out of work due to government restrictions or business closures that were results of stay-at-home orders.

This caused more than 14 million Americans to become unemployed, and that financial insecurity (mixed with the fact that that virus was still raging) led to a spike in depression in the country as well. Whether COVID-related or not, financial therapy can be a mental health cure and a path to better financial planning. Here’s a closer look at what they do.

Who Are Financial Therapists?

There are many types of counseling careers, and most are filled by either professionals trained in therapy practices, or people from a given field who can share their knowledge and support, somewhat like a concerned consultant.

Financial therapists can come from either one of these paths (i.e., counselor with financial training or financial specialist with counseling training), and both will tell you that quality financial therapy needs to involve a network of people, not just one individual.

If you seek out financial therapy, you’ll most likely interact with mental health professionals, and financial professionals connected to your woes (e.g., a tax specialist if you owe money to the IRS).

What Do Financial Therapists Do?

At the core, financial therapists’ first concern is getting you into a positive mindset, as it’s tough to succeed unless you’re confident in your abilities to do so. In addition to personal therapy, financial therapists also serve as mediators when a couple is struggling to decide what to do with their money.

In either scenario, after helping the individual or couple get in the right mindset to accomplish their financial goals, a financial therapist will help them with different paths to accomplishing those goals. This is often where other people in the therapists’ network would come into play, such as investors, tax advisors, or wealth management specialists.

Where Do I Find a Financial Therapist?

Similar to other areas of therapy, financial therapists can be found in many different places. It’s a fairly new field, so the more populous your area, the better chance you have at finding options. Some wealth management organizations have staffed financial therapists, and even some smaller banks. There are also private practices available, and more are expected to come out in the near future.

The aforementioned COVID pandemic did have the silver lining of providing more online resources for people stuck at home, and financial therapy services online are more readily available than they were before, making access to these services easier for those who don’t live near a large city.

Hopefully you don’t need financial therapy any time soon, but if you do find yourself feeling mentally down due to money problems for an extended period of time, there are people who want to help!

Published: September 14, 2021
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Andrew Deen

Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He implements lean methodology and is currently writing a book about scaling up business. Twitter @AndrewDeen14.

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