There is an undeniable relationship between money and one’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, thus money plays an important role in personal relationships and ultimately affects one’s physical and psychological well-being (see Weatherford, 1997 for an in-depth discussion of the impact of money on humanity). And yet, in American society there is continued reluctance to discuss money matters; even accountants and financial advisors report the hesitation of clients to disclose their complete financial circumstances. This "money taboo" has also affected mental health professionals in ways that inhibit their understanding of money and their ability to enquire about and treat the money-related problems from which their clients suffer (Trachtman, 1999).
Growing research and clinical evidence is leading many mental health professionals to recognize the money taboo must be broken. "We live in a country with epidemic proportions of financial denial and overspending," says clinical psychologist Dr. Lowrance in his recently published white paper, Dismantling the Money Taboo: Mental Health Professionals Call to Action. "What results are significant levels of debt-related stress in the lives of millions of people, and stress has major implications in mental and physical health. Yet despite the evidence, we rarely talk about money, even in the mental health community."
In his book, Money And Psychotherapy: A Guide For Mental Health Professionals, Richard Trachtman, Ph.D. discusses the “money taboo”, what it is and how it has resulted in a dearth of teaching, writing and supervision regarding the relationship of money to intrapsychic and interpersonal development and adaptation. Dr. Trachtman offers ways for psychotherapists to overcome the effects of this taboo in the clinical setting. He also provides information and guidance in such areas as: fee setting and management, acceptable and unacceptable gifts, money identity and personality, techniques for discussing money related topics, and money and psychopathology. There is even a chapter discussing the effects of the recent recession on emotional well-being. All psychologists, social workers, therapists and addiction professionals will find this book is an excellent tool for their practice.
See the below Continuing Education course based on Trachtman’s book here at www.GenesisCE.org. The course helps Mental Health Professionals fulfill required CE credits and is available for Psychologists, LCSW, LPC, LMFT, LMHC, LSSP and more: approved by APA, ASWB, NBCC, NAADAC and most states for School Psychology.
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