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Does managing your finances have you losing sleep? If so, you're in good company. In a 2018 survey, 30% of Americans indicated they're constantly stressed about money. Financial issues also cause tremendous tensions in relationships. In a 2017 study of failed marriages, 21% of divorcees cited money as the reason for their marriages falling apart. It doesn't have to be that way! One answer to dealing with all the stress and uncertainty may be financial therapy. Financial therapy can help you analyze your money situation and develop the habits you need to control your finances and have less money stress in your life. Read on to see if financial therapy could be right for you.
How Financial Therapy Works
Financial therapy is an emerging field that combines aspects of both psychology and financial management. It seeks, through a discussion or series of discussions with a patient, to understand exactly how people approach money and finances in their lives. In doing so, it uncovers strengths to build upon as well as weaknesses to address. The goal of financial therapy is to help patients have a better and healthier understanding of their financial situations, so they can have better relationships with those close to them and lead happier, more fulfilling lives.
Financial therapy is considerably different from the financial advisement you might get from an accountant, credit counselor, or other trusted financial expert. The goal of traditional financial advisors is to help you allocate your money more effectively or to resolve a problem, such as excessive debt. A financial therapist, on the other hand, is normally a licensed clinician, and the focus of the financial therapy is to help patients better understand their own approach and beliefs about money, so they can make financial decisions that are better suited to their beliefs.
A Greater Understanding of Yourself
Financial therapists seek to get patients to talk about their views on money and finances, and then guide them deeper with pointed questions. In doing so, they hope to help their patients gain a greater understanding of how they think about money. Once people understand their personal philosophy about finances, they're often in a much better position to address problems that have arisen due to money.
Uncovering your personal approach to money can be powerful. Financial therapy can help you understand why exactly you rely upon credit cards to pay for things, which can be a key step on the road to becoming free from debt. Understanding your own financial philosophy may help you determine the most fulfilling career field for you as well. For example, a person who values financial security more than the opportunity for advancement or greater wealth may be more satisfied in a stable, salaried career field. Conversely, a person who wants to become wealthy or values greater control over things may be more satisfied as an entrepreneur or business owner. The insights garnered from financial therapy may enable you to commit more to the career field you're in, or it could give you clear indicators that it's time to choose a new line of work.
Money can often be the most contentious issue in a relationship. If your finances are causing stress in your relationship, perhaps financial therapy is a better fit for your challenges than traditional marriage counseling. Financial therapy can help both people in a relationship determine their underlying thoughts about money and finances. This can flesh out exactly where a couple's conflict arises from so they can develop a means to address it.
Financial therapy can also help couples uncover some financial goals and habits they may not have realized they both shared. Perhaps you both secretly wish you had a smaller mortgage payment and more disposable income. Maybe you're concerned with your high levels of credit card debt. After discovering such common ground in financial therapy, you may both decide to downsize your home, or pursue more proactive measures, such as debt settlement, to pay off all your credit cards. In any case, financial therapy can often help couples find areas of financial agreement that they can use to strengthen their overall relationship.
Find Out if Financial Therapy Is Right for You
While financial therapy is a relatively new field, it's a timely one. People are increasingly dealing with challenging financial issues, such as heavy credit card and student loan debt, and the stress from these problems often bleeds over into other parts of their lives. Financial therapy can help people find the root causes of their financial problems, so they can better address them. If you find yourself constantly stressed out about money or unsure how to solve the numerous financial problems you're facing, then consider finding a financial therapist. Financial therapy may be just what you need to learn how to alleviate financial stress and live a happier, more fulfilling life.