If you’re stressed about money, you have plenty of company.
The emerging field of financial therapy might benefit people who need help to deal with emotional issues that keep them from managing their finances successfully, says Megan Ford, who is the president of Financial Therapy Association (FTA). “You might find yourself in a position where you no longer have the capacity yourself” to answer such questions as, “‘Why can’t I stick to my budget?’ ‘Why do I not want to develop one?’ ‘Why do I continue to overspend month to month?’” Ford says.
A financial therapist combines financial planning and mental-health counseling. However, no certification requirement exists for it.
Such therapists charge “anywhere from $150 to $200 an hour,” although that amount can vary depending on the practitioner’s background or fee structure, Ford says.
Although some people might benefit from financial therapy, Helaine Olen, who writes a personal-finance column for Slate, believes that “most people’s financial woes are caused by the fact that they’re not earning enough money to meet their expenses.”
You should consider a financial therapist with more than one grain of salt. Shane Stewart, who is a certified financial planner, says a person who calls himself/herself a financial therapist should be accredited in financial planning and have a degree in psychology or a similar field.
Stewart says that if someone is concerned that they’re out of control in regard to their money, they must recognize “If there’s no [financial] self-control, it’s likely true in other aspects of life.”