It’s my honor to introduce a newly certified Financial Recovery Counselor.
Because she’s also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Wendy sits at a unique intersection of offering her clients both therapy and financial counseling. She’s one of very few people who qualify as a Financial Therapist.
I interviewed Wendy to hear more about her experience becoming a Certified Financial Recovery Counselor.
Financial therapy addresses our emotions around money.
Whether people realize it or not, money isn’t simply a tool we use to buy groceries and own a home. It tends to be a controversial topic of conversation and an emotionally-charged aspect of our lives. Research has shown money to be the number one cause of stress and the number two cited reason for divorce.
As a member of the Financial Therapy Association, I’m one of fewer than 100 Financial Therapists helping people cope with the complicated role finances play in our lives.
Each of us has a real and personal relationship with money stemming from our very first exposure to it. And the ways in which our relationship with money affects our lives can be quite profound.
I’ll start the financial therapy process by asking clients to think about their first memory of money. Was it of finding a dollar under your pillow left by the tooth fairy? (Or perhaps you had a quarter under your pillow—or five dollars!) Getting a weekly allowance from your parents? Or maybe it was your parents arguing about money and you listening from the next room?
As you discuss in your book, Financial Recovery, our parents’ or caregivers’ relationships with money often set the stage for how we’ll think about finances for much of our lives. They make up what we call our “money story.”
Financial therapy is about healing the wounds in our money story so we can create a healthier relationship with money moving forward.
In both your book and our work at the Financial Recovery Institute, you speak about reducing judgements to get to the underlying why of a feeling. This really resonated with me.
Often when someone is in a cycle of unhealthy money behaviors, it looks so simple from the outside. Solutions seem as easy as “just stop using your credit card” or “just shop less.”
But if someone is trapped in a dysfunctional relationship with money, their decision-making isn’t based in logic. The only way to understand their true motivations is by continuing to dig deeper.
I’ve found that when we do get down to the root of a behavior, people are often trying to cope with shame.
As you discuss in the training, shame can cause us to shut down; it can make us believe that our mistakes are the result of inherent flaws in our deepest selves.
I work with clients to open up about their shame and realize that their behaviors aren’t a negative reflection of themselves.
We identify how they’ve been operating with a shame-based mindset and work to instead operate with a compassion-based mindset.
At the Financial Recovery Institute, I learned how to incorporate real numbers into this process, making it more tangible and impactful for people.
One of the most valuable parts of your training was the depth of experience using MoneyMinder Online.
This tool helps my clients see their money clearly and without judgment. We use it to ground ourselves so we can create a plan together for spending, saving, and paying off debts. The best way to learn how to use it with clients was using it myself!
As I was using the program, I started adding notes near some transactions to name my thoughts and feelings about these purchases. I encouraged clients to do the same.
Reflecting on how we spend our money and our emotions about each decision proved to be a powerful exercise.
I also really appreciate the way MoneyMinder Online handles credit card use. It helps eliminate money fog by encouraging you to name your interest rates, look at individual charges, and consider credit cards an “additional resource” rather than your primary way of paying for things.
I love supporting small business owners!
I have education and experience in marketing, computer information systems, mortgage banking, psychology, sales, and entrepreneurship. Both my formal education and life experiences have culminated beautifully to help me work with fellow business owners.
When I work with entrepreneurs, I first help them see their finances clearly and understand tangible goals for success. I want to help business owners understand that they’re not necessarily “bad about money,” they just need some guidance.
Being grounded in your numbers will help you sleep at night, and I use MoneyMinder Online to help people reach that place.
Once we can see a client’s finances clearly, I guide them in making decisions based on a carefully crafted plan rather than based on a gut feeling.
So many people: Therapists who want to deepen their offerings.
Money coaches, financial planners, and bookkeepers who want to better understand the emotional relationship we have with money and need a tangible tool for helping people navigate it. Anyone in the helping field who wants to learn how to structure their own money coaching business.
Training with the Financial Recovery Institute helps you understand how many people are in a “money fog” and how to guide them into a more intentional way of interacting with their finances.
If you’re interested, you can learn more about the Financial Recovery Institute and becoming a Certified Financial Recovery Counselor here.
I’m based in Denver but I also work with clients remotely. I offer new clients a free 20-minute Discovery Call to discuss their needs and see if we’re a good fit.
Wendy offers a wonderful blend of business knowledge, talk therapy, and financial recovery that can help just about anyone heal their relationship with money. In our work together, I’ve seen her wisdom from such varied life experiences and her true passion for helping clients. Wendy will help you gain clarity and confidence in how you deal with money, all in a way that feels like talking to a friend. Learn more and schedule your free session here.
Congratulations to Wendy! We’re thrilled to have you as part of the Financial Recovery Institute family.