Thursday, April 30, 2015

What IS Financial Therapy?

Financial Therapy is an emerging field of practice that blends the skills of mental health practitioners and the expertise of financial planners to treat people with emotional issues that are blocking their ability to reach their financial goals.  Some financial therapists have education and credentials in both fields; other therapists are teaming up with financial advisors to guide their clients down the therapeutic journey to financial success.

Financial Therapy pioneers, researchers, educators (Kansas State University), and practitioners Bradley T. Klontz, PsyD, CFP®, Sonya L. Britt, PhD, CFP®, and Kristy L. Archuleta, PhD, LMFT1 have identified four Money Scripts that influence people’s financial decisions:  Money Avoidance, Money Worship, Money Status, and Money Vigilance.  They have also identified a number of Money Disorders, defined as “persistent, predictable, often rigid, patterns of self-destructive financial behaviors that cause significant stress, anxiety, emotional distress, and impairment in major areas of one’s life2.”  These money disorders include compulsive buying disorder, gambling disorder, workaholism, hoarding disorder, financial denial, financial enabling, financial dependence, financial enmeshment, and financial infidelity.

1Klontz, B., Britt, S., and Archuleta, K. Financial Therapy:  Theory, Research, and Practice

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