Could a Financial Therapist Help With Your Money Stress?

According to Salary Finance’s 4th annual survey of working Americans published last month, 45% of working Americans feel financially stressed. With student loan repayments resuming in May, rising inflation, and stock market volatility caused by uncertainty over the war in Ukraine, millions of people have plenty to worry about when it comes to their finances.

If stress about your financial situation affects your mental or physical health, you may want to consider hiring a financial therapist.

What is a Financial Therapist?

A financial therapist is a professional who pairs mental health treatment with financial planning services. They apply their extensive knowledge and training about the psychology of money to help clients reduce money-related stress levels and lead higher-quality lives.

Since many financial decisions are made with emotions, working with a financial therapist can prove beneficial. They help clients find meaning and purpose for their money and get to the bottom of subconscious beliefs that may be holding them back from succeeding with their finances.

Financial therapists can help clients understand and accept their feelings about money and design plans to meet their financial goals like retiring or paying for college. They also help clients whose breadwinning status bothers them or who frequently argue with their spouse about money matters.

With their assistance, their clients can better understand what causes them to overspend with credit cards and why they put off saving and investing for the future.

Some financial therapists have a counseling background and later hone in on their financial competencies. Others are well-versed in financial planning and add-on counseling expertise. And an increasing number of financial professionals are becoming members of the Financial Therapy Association and pursuing their Certified Financial Therapist-I (CFT-I) designation.

A Certified Financial Therapist is a mental health or financial professional certified by the Financial Therapy Association for their education and experience in financial therapy, financial planning, counseling, and therapeutic competencies.

Should You Hire a Certified Financial Therapist?

A Certified Financial Therapist may be well worth the investment if your finances often overly affect your emotions and you feel your mental or physical health is suffering.

“One of the primary benefits of hiring a financial advisor who has earned their CFT-I designation is that they tend to be aware of the underlying psychological aspects of money that go beyond the numbers,” said Michael Reynolds, a Certified Financial Therapist, and owner of Indianapolis-based Elevation Financial.

If you find yourself stressed about money, a financial therapist can help you uncover the cause of your worries. You can count on them to help you design a plan to alleviate your financial stress and ensure money worries don't take a toll on your mental wellbeing.

A financial therapist may also be a good option if money issues negatively affect your marriage. For example, they often support couples who struggle because one spouse is a spender while the other is the saver, or one spouse feels resentment toward their partner because of how much they earn.

If you tend to overspend or have a track record of maxing out your credit cards, a financial therapist can help you determine why you do so. Then, they may design a game plan that allows you to take better control of your money and resist the urge to spend more than you can and should.

Several financial situations may leave you feeling depressed and overwhelmed. Suppose you’re facing high levels of debt. In that case, an unexpected loss of income or assets, an increase in financial responsibilities, bankruptcy, or foreclosure, a financial therapist can help you get through it.

“At the end of the day, the right financial therapist can literally change your life,” says Kelley Long, owner of Tuscon-based Financial Bliss Coaching. “It might not happen in your first or second meeting, but doing the work on your relationship with money is totally worth it.”

How To Find a Certified Financial Therapist

Many traditional therapists may include financial matters among their services, especially couples therapists, given how often money becomes an issue of conflict between partners.

However, not all therapists have a financial background or a thorough understanding of the emotional aspect of dealing with finances, so finding a specialist in financial therapy can be worth the effort.

You should also know that not all financial therapists are state-licensed mental health providers. Accordingly, you should be aware that working with a non-licensed financial therapist means you're not protected in certain areas (like malpractice, for example).

To learn more about hiring a Certified Financial Therapist, Wealthtender offers educational articles and guides about this and other popular financial designations. And the Financial Therapy Association maintains a list of financial therapists with details of their qualifications and whether they offer therapy at a distance online.

Finally, it’s important to interview more than one financial therapist to help you choose a therapist who is a good fit for you. Most financial therapists will offer a free initial consultation to help both of you ensure you’re a good match to work together.

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This article was produced by Wealthtender and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image: Wealth of Geeks.

 


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Brian Thorp is the founder and CEO of Wealthtender, a leading personal finance website helping thousands of people each month find the best financial advisors, coaches, and educational resources to enjoy life with less money stress.