- Causing stress and conflict in your life?
- Triggering arguments in your relationship?
- Making it difficult for you to make it through the day?
- Causing you to have physical symptoms that may include headaches or panic attacks?
- Weighing you down with sadness and worry?
- Making it hard for you to sleep at night?
- Causing you to hide bills or receipts from your family members?
- Affecting your job performance?
- Making you feel like you are bouncing from crisis to crisis?
Money problems are not uncommon. Every day brings new opportunities to earn, spend or save money, and new reasons to worry about it. Money often becomes a significant relationship issue for many couples, and frequently contributes to divorce. Financial problems can trigger depression and anxiety over money can negatively affect health.
But why pay money to solve money problems?
Budgeting is not enough because it ignores the meaning that you and/or your spouse/partner attach to money. It has many meanings that are beyond dollars and cents. To some, money represents power and control. To others it may compensate for a poor self esteem, be an expression of love and affection or represent status which is associated with success and privilege.
The meaning of money is learned during childhood and impacts how money is viewed as an adult. A trained marriage counselor helps you to identify these messages and how they impact your behavior as an adult. You can then move on to establish financial priorities. Budgeting becomes a reflection of what is important to you and your spouse/partner and not merely an exercise in dollars and cents.
But my spouse/partner will never change
Change is a difficult process and money is a hard topic to discuss. You may find yourself having the same unproductive discussion with your partner/spouse over and over again. As the saying goes, "nothing changes if nothing changes".
This is a good time to visit a couples counseling clinic and talk with a marriage therapist. An independent third party who specializes in relationship issues can help you break the cycle of frustration and despair in which you find yourself.
The conflicts you are having can actually be the tools of your healing. These conflicts can help identify patterns in your relationship such as keeping secrets, over- and under-responsibility, management of emotions and repeating behaviors that were learned in the family you grew up in. Participating in relationship counseling can help you address emotional issues around money, clarify values, understand differences, learn to communicate effectively, establish financial priorities and develop skills that foster a healthy financial relationship. Using professional counseling services can facilitate the change process. You will find that change can be difficult but with support, it's not impossible.
But I just don't have enough money to pay my bills
The current economy has placed many individuals in a difficult financial situation. If you are one of them, you may find yourself experiencing sadness, stress and hopelessness. Ignoring these feelings will not make them go away. If anything, it may contribute to a sense of being overwhelmed.
Although it seems like a contradiction, spending money on mental health services can help especially when money is tight. Addressing the emotional issues resulting from your current financial situation will help you to identify available options. It will also help to move you from a position of fear to being able to select an appropriate course of action.
Why Denise can help
Therapists are trained to talk about issues such as sexual behavior, substance abuse and eating disorders but typically not financial issues and their significance. This is despite the fact that couples rank money as the top problem prior to marriage as well as a top problem in the early stages of marriage. It is one of the main reasons that couples argue as well as divorce.
This is where Denise can help. Her background gives her a unique perspective on how money impacts marriages. She combines her mental health counseling skills and my financial knowledge to help you clarify your values around money, identify messages you received from the family you grew up in and understand what drives your money behaviors. Using a variety of marriage counseling and financial techniques she will help you to understand yourself and your partner so that you can communicate more constructively and plan finances more effectively. As your marriage counselor, she will work together with you to ensure that you establish financial priorities and develop the skills necessary to have productive discussions that foster a healthy financial partnership.
Call for an appointment
Licensed mental health counselor Denise Kautzer, MA, LPC, CPA provides financial therapy to individuals and couples to help them resolve emotional issues, plan effectively and communicate constructively about money. If you would like to schedule an appointment please call 651-214-4650.