Special Reports

Financial Therapy Is Necessary for Students and Young Couples, Experts Say

financial therapy
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As a university student, you are faced with many financial problems as well as relationship problems. Keeping a balance of these two is sometimes stressful and may eventually affect studies and/or relationships.

If you don't see eye-to-eye on spending with your significant other, it might be time to see a financial counselor.

Megan Ford, a financial psychologist and founder of the ASPIRE Clinic at the University of Georgia, said that when it comes to relationship woes, battling over money is the top culprit. She said the main explanation is often cash for claims.

She also added that everyone is aware of the problem and they also believe it, but the subject is not protected by a large body of literature.

A study published in the Springer Link online journal last month by Contemporary Family Therapy highlighted the benefits of these money-savvy experts and their effects on participants.

Researchers observed six couples aged 21 to 76 years and analyzed how inside 30 to 50 minutes of sessions each couple communicated their concerns to financial therapists.

Financial Therapy Association founder and financial planner John Grable said in a study press release that one woman was close to tears listening to her husband explaining a previous experience early in their relationship about money that she did not understand at the time.

The story helped to understand the husband's strange behavior which she always felt was bad. They left emotionally and financially far closer to feeling better.

Although the end result actually had a positive outcome, money discussions can create a powerful emotional reaction with which traditional financial planners are not usually trained to work.

Grable explained that as a planner of finance, he loves money. But the last thing he wants to see is a couple that comes crying or screaming. He added that it makes him uncomfortable and nervous.

This is why we need qualified counselors in this area, he stressed. On these fronts, financial counselors can double-down to work through issues of relationships and income.

In fact, there are not many economic counselors in the U.S. The study found that there are only 50 financial therapists throughout the country who have the requisite credentials to help their work.

Compared to the 80,000 licensed financial planners and 50,000 family counselors available to Americans, this figure pales.

About the small community that makes up this niche field, Megan Ford suggests that therapists or counselors need to work together to solve issues surrounding couples' financial activities and learn how to communicate with all their emotions.

Financial therapy can help you understand why, even if you've tried to change, you're stuck in the same habits, like overspending.

Derek Lawson, a doctoral student at Kansas State University in Personal Financial Planning with an emphasis on financial therapy, says that financial therapy could be the solution if:

1.      You feel depressed or anxious about your finances.

2.      You spend more regularly than you earn or save no money.

3.      With no success, you have tried to change those habits.

4.      You want to understand the root of problems with your money.

RELATED: Financial therapy can aid well-being, stability. 

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