Money can be a significant source of stress and anxiety for many people, especially during a recession. Financial therapy is a relatively new field that combines financial counselling and therapy to help individuals and couples manage their emotions and behaviours related to money. In this article, we will explore what financial therapy is, how it works, and how it can be used to help you.
What is Financial Therapy?
Financial therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on the emotional, behavioural, and cognitive aspects of money management. It helps individuals and couples understand and manage their relationship with money and the emotional impact it has on their lives. Financial therapy combines financial education and counselling with therapy techniques to help individuals identify and change negative patterns of behaviours related to money.
How Does Financial Therapy Work?
Financial therapy works by addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of money management. It helps individuals identify their underlying beliefs and behaviours related to money and how they impact their financial decision-making. Financial therapy sessions may include financial education, budgeting, and goal setting, as well as therapy techniques such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and motivational interviewing.
Financial therapy can be beneficial for individuals and couples who struggle with:
- Financial stress and anxiety
- Compulsive spending or shopping addiction
- Financial infidelity or dishonesty
- Difficulty saving or managing money
- Relationship conflicts related to money
- Financial trauma or significant life events such as bankruptcy or job loss.
How Do Psychologists Use Financial Therapy?
Psychologists who are trained in Financial Therapy uses it to help their clients address the emotional and psychological aspects of money management. We combine financial education and counselling with therapy techniques to help individuals identify and change negative patterns of behaviours related to money.
Psychologists may use a variety of therapy techniques in financial therapy sessions, including:
- Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT helps individuals identify negative patterns of thinking related to money and replace them with more positive, adaptive thoughts.
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques can help individuals become more aware of their emotions and behaviors related to money and learn to manage them more effectively.
- Motivational Interviewing: Motivational interviewing helps individuals identify their values and goals related to money and develop a plan to achieve them.
Financial therapy can also be incorporated into couples therapy to help couples manage conflicts related to money. Psychologists can work with couples to identify their individual and shared financial goals, develop a budget, and improve communication around money.
To sum it up, financial therapy is a type of therapy that combines financial counselling and therapy techniques to help individuals and couples manage their emotions and behaviours related to money. Trained financial therapists use financial therapy to help their clients identify and change negative patterns of behaviours related to money, such as compulsive spending or financial infidelity. Financial therapy can be beneficial for individuals and couples who struggle with financial stress, relationship conflicts related to money, or other issues related to money management. If you are experiencing financial stress or difficulties, consider reaching out to a trained mental health professional who specializes in financial therapy.
Author: Christopher Lee, B Psych Science (Hons); Masters of Psych (Clinical); MAPS
Christopher Lee is a Brisbane psychologist with a keen interest in helping teenagers and young adults with trauma, behavioural and relational issues. In addition to speaking English, Cantonese and Mandarin fluently, Christopher uses evidence-based therapy techniques such as CBT, ACT, EFT, and DBT.