Financial Therapy

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Do you spend to feel better? Are you keeping financial secrets from loved ones? Confused about what you earn and spend? Trauma from the past creating financial deprivation or chaos in the present? Do you have poor financial boundaries around family and friends? Are you fighting with your spouse or partner around money?

I can help you successfully work through these issues and develop a more healthy relationship to money, whether you have a lot of it or not enough.

I'm a skilled San Francisco based psychotherapist and a Certified Consumer Credit Counselor. I worked in the consumer financial counseling industry for over 14 years counseling hundreds of people across the country around their personal finances. I bring my household finance expertise into my therapy work with individuals wanting to have a deeper understanding of money in their lives, and couples wanting better communication, skillfulness and more harmony around joint finances.

Our beliefs, behaviors and fantasies around money are in part rooted in economic societal conditioning we encounter throughout our lifespan and what we experience around family finances as children. Some of us were either left to figure money out on our own or we witnessed our parents enact their own distressing scenarios around money. As adults we often find these core money issues playing out in our relationship with our spouse or intimate partner. Even in therapy, many individuals and couples shy away from talking about money out of unresolved shame, self-judgment and lack of financial literacy. A little financial therapy or coaching can go a long way in helping you become more financially effective in life.

What is Financial Therapy?

Financial Therapy is a targeted form of psychotherapy that focuses on the emotional dynamics, behaviors and core beliefs around your relationship to money. In this process your relationship dynamics and communication issues with spouses, partners, family members, bosses and business colleagues will be explored.

The goal of this therapy is to help you have a more healthy, realistic and empowered relationship to money so that you will have more harmonious interactions with those who are closest to you, both around finances and other aspects of your relationships.

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I do financial therapy, not financial advising nor coaching.

How Does Financial Therapy Differ from Financial Advising?

A financial psychotherapist is a clinician with a state license, or a prelicensed intern or psychological assistant under clinical supervision. Financial psychotherapy is insight oriented and addresses the process of one's relationship to money on a deep level.

Certified financial planners (CFPs) advise on general principles of finance and financial planning, including such issues as retirement, estate and income tax planning.

Consumer credit counselors offer financial education and counseling to consumers around debt and money management, budgeting, bankruptcy, foreclosure and credit.

A money coach may have coaching certification or more specialized financial coaching training. Coaching differs from financial therapy in that it is action, strength and solution oriented. Its focus is on the present and future.

Below are articles I've been quoted in:

Money epiphanies: Hearing, heeding the call to change

New York Times: Relationship Maintenance When Money is Tight