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I Think I Need A Financial Therapist: Now What

Outset Financial
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What is financial therapy?

It’s a newer type of therapy that can help us identify and understand our money mindsets, stresses, and triggers. 

It combines mental health help and financial planning to create a unique form of therapy that focuses on getting you financially healthy and whole. In other words, it centers on people’s relationship to money—all the anxieties, fears and hang-ups each of us has. 

Is financial therapy real therapy?

Yes. Financial therapists have to be both certified and educated.They need to be both mental health professionals (usually a psychologist) and financial professionals. 

Reputable financial therapists take a training course and certification exam through the Financial Therapy Association. There are several levels of certification, each one showing a different level of expertise. 

So, yes, financial therapy is real therapy! It’s provided by trained, certified professionals who are qualified to advise in mental health and financial matters and are accountable to an association of other professionals. You can’t get more real than that.

Why should I go to financial therapy?

The requirements for going to financial therapy are very easy to meet: You have money, and you have emotions. Financial therapy is a good choice if you don’t know how your emotional life influences your financial one. 

Basically, financial therapy is a great way to get a handle on your finances. It’s also a good way to develop financial literacy and increase your financial wellness. 

What do financial therapists do?

Financial therapists are in business to help you understand your deepest emotions and mindsets regarding money. Your financial therapist will focus on helping you identify those emotions and understand those mindsets using various methods.

If your mental health is hurting your financial life, a financial therapist will be able to give you insights and advice on how to work through that. In the process, you’ll be able to learn better financial habits and improve your mental health.

What's the difference between a financial therapist and a financial planner?

A financial planner, or CFP, manages your money–but only your money. Financial planners are qualified to help with taxes, investments, retirement planning, life insurance, and all other financial products–but they can’t tell you about the emotional ties you have to these things in a qualified manner.

A financial therapist can help you with your mind and your money. Financial therapists can give you all of the financial advice that a CFP can, and help you see your finances from the perspective of your feelings about money and what they mean.

What can financial therapy help me with?

Financial therapy can help you with any aspect of your life connected to your finances and your feelings. That includes relationships, money triggers, and any seeming mental blocks regarding money. 

Like standard mental health therapy, financial therapy is not only for emergencies or when you’re struggling. 

Even if you feel fine financially, financial therapy can be a helpful way to do maintenance checks on your financial wellness. It’s a good way to understand how your emotions influence your money and get a good handle on them before any issues crop up.

What happens in financial therapy?

There are a lot of different schools of thought when it comes to mental health and therapy. Financial therapists are no different, and every financial therapist will have their own approach to mental health and financial wellness. 

However, there are a few things you can expect from most financial therapists. A financial therapist will want to identify psychological and financial issues in your life and address any urgent problems or concerns first. For example, if a client has an underlying mental health issue that is manifesting as a financial issue, that’s where the financial therapist will start. 

Then they’ll move on to overall frameworks and mindsets. This might look like assigning tasks and challenges that create a greater conscious connection between your money and your emotions. 

It may also look like sitting down together and doing a serious financial assessment and creating a plan for your financial life.

Can my partner and I see a financial therapist together?

Absolutely! We’re all about financial intimacy and know that relationships (and finances) thrive when couples talk freely and honestly about money.

How often should I see a financial therapist?

That’s your call. You and your therapist will work together on a plan that suits your needs, budget and schedule.

How can I find a financial therapist?

When searching for a therapist, look for qualifications after their name. A therapist who has been certified and registered with the FTA will be able to advertise as a CFT-I. You can look for a financial therapist at the Financial Therapist’s Association(FTA) or learn more about how Outset can help.

What are some signs I might need financial therapy?

If you’re not sure if you need financial therapy, take a look at this list of habits and emotions. If they sound familiar, financial therapy could be beneficial:

  • You’re always paying bills late, even if you have the money in the bank. 
  • You feel unsure of where you will be financially in ten years. 
  • You feel stressed and anxious every time you think of money.
  • You’re constantly putting off future financial plans like buying life insurance, making a will, or investing in a retirement plan because it scares or upsets you.
  • You’re overworking, stockpiling savings, or hoarding things. 
  • You’re struggling with spending money, even when you have the money or need to spend it for an important reason.
  • You’re hiding money or financial transactions from your partner.
  • Getting into a fight with your partner every time money comes up in a household conversation. 
  • You’ve developed unhealthy spending habits like compulsive shopping, a gambling addiction, or an obsession with high-risk volatile investments.


Financial Therapy Association

Financial therapy can help you confront bad money practices | Business Insider

What It's Like To Be ... A Financial Therapist | Forbes