Where Money Meets Feelings: Financial Therapy Finds Its Footing

“The financial therapy program trains people to recognize when an issue is outside of their expertise, and how to make a referral to someone else when necessary,” she said. Many financial planners deal with clients when they are facing major life events, such as marriage, divorce, career changes, retirement or a death in the family, and it’s normal for them to suggest a lawyer or an accountant. Why not a therapist?

Larger financial institutions are adopting more touchy-feely angles with their clients, too.

“Financial planners have always known that clients have trouble implementing goals even when they have been clearly outlined and demonstrated,” said Sonya Lutter, a founding member of the Financial Therapy Association who leads research and education at Herbers, a consultancy for financial advisory firms. “The part that’s been missing is the personal, behavioral element — a computer can’t just spit that out. A lot of big firms now recognize this, and are starting…

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This article was written by Charlotte Cowles and originally published on www.nytimes.com