Money Therapist?

ComPsych, the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs (EAPs) reports that requests for therapists are up 20% in the last three months.  Biggest worry: Money.  So let me get this straight – workers are concerned about mortgages, college tuition, collapsing stock prices, and the threat of losing a job – so they are asking for a therapist?

I have a Masters degree in clinical psychology – but really.  Why would someone go to a counselor for money concerns?  I’d recommend they go see someone with money.  If you want to go to a higher level of success in a particular area, find someone who is already performing at the level at which you want to perform.  What’s up with this?  Why would I want someone to help me stop worrying?  I can just bury my head in the sand if that’s the desired goal.

If I have a problem with my 500SL I’m going to go to someone with a proven track record of fixing these fine machines – not someone who will help me stop worrying about the problem.  If I’m struggling with my marriage I’m not going to go to a divorce attorney to help me bury the cause of the problem — I’m going to schedule time with someone who has the best marriage I’ve ever seen.  If I’m worrying about money I’m going to find someone who has knocked it out of the park financially already.

Seeing a therapist seems to be a variation of The Emperor’s New Clothes – let’s just pretend we have no money worries – and feel better in the morning.

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5 Responses to “Money Therapist?”

  1. Jay Peroni Says:

    Dan, Great points here. As a Certified Financial Planner, I not only see people ignore their finances, they take bad advice from people who have not been succesful with money – (media, financial press, friends, relatives, and co-workers who are not yet rich). Many people unfortunately make poor choices based they are reacting to false beliefs.

    Sometimes our money beliefs are in line with those who have influenced us and sometimes they take the opposite extreme. I have clients who vow to never live like they did when they were children. Take for example, a client, Judy: She is a brilliant and creative woman who was raised by a mom who never provided Judy with money or presents growing up. Judy was not only embarrassed by her mother’s apparent selfishness, it influenced her to make a promise to herself to become generous. As an adult, Judy has a habitual pattern of excessive gift-giving. She was continually surprising friends and family with unexpected gifts, even though she couldn’t afford them. Her credit card debt was out of control, jeopardizing her family’s financial health. Judy is dynamic and passionate about life, and it is easy to picture her spontaneously buying wonderful gifts for the people around her.

    Life circumstances forced Judy to realize that her belief in generosity at the expense of one’s own family was wrong. She faced it and corrected it. She built a new pattern of behavior and removed a great deal of internal as well as financial chaos from her life. She has found other ways to express her joy and love to people around her.

    Our beliefs either help us or hurt us. It is important to determine what beliefs are governing you and supporting your patterns. Look over the following false beliefs to spot those you have adopted. If you don’t find beliefs that resemble yours, ask yourself what false beliefs you hold about money. A few common money-limiting beliefs:

    • Managing money is complicated
    • A person needs to be good at math to be good with money.
    • Others need my money more than I do.
    • There will always be someone to take care of me.
    • I’ll learn what I need to know about money when I have to.
    • I wasn’t destined to have a lot of money.
    • The rich are snobs.
    • God wants me to be poor
    • You can’t have wealth and strong values at the same time.
    • My debt is too big to do anything about it.

    Thanks for the timely post Dan!


    Jay Peroni, CFP
    Author of The Faith-Based Millionaire

  2. Chad Says:

    I dug around on ComPsych’s site. The stated requirements to get on their list of referees looks like CFP requirements. The services they provide the employees looks sounds like it could be sending to CFPs.

    I’m with Dan. Don’t take financial advice from broke people.

    People seeking financial assistance should use a better screening tool than well this guy was “free” from my employer’s benefits plan…

  3. John McCain Says:

    Money finds its way to people who deserve it.
    Vote for me and I promise you’ll never be poor.

  4. Kathy Farrey Says:

    I think we need a new breed of therapists, who have a dual degree in both finance and psychology. Our emotions do affect the way we treat our money. I read somewhere that the number one thing married couples fight about is money. Seeing a therapist may not change the fact that gas is four dollars a gallon, but seeing the right therapist will help us develop a budget and stick to it. No more revenge spending! You don’t get a new pair of shoes just because Hubby bought a new fishing pole.

    Also having survived Major Depressive Disorder, I can attest to the fact that when you’re not happy you spend more money. I signed up for 5 years worth of magazines I don’t have the time to read. Why? I didn’t have the energy to say no! It sounds really stupid now, but when your mood is not right, your thinking is not right.

    When people ask for therapy, it’s usually because they NEED therapy, and they should GET therapy. The price of not getting it is immeasurable.

  5. No marketable skills Says:

    If I’m worrying about money I’m going to find someone who has knocked it out of the park financially already.

    I have a poverty-level income and worry about money all the time.

    Exactly how would “finding someone who has knocked it out of the park financially” help?

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