I'm closely involved with the effort to create a Division of Financial Psychology in the America Psychological Association. This is a labor of love for me. Psychologists trained to work skillfully with financial issues and to collaborate with financial advisors have a lot to offer.
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The No. 1 stressor for the last four years of APA's Stress in America survey is money. Additional research shows that the No. 1 area of conflict for married couples is money.
The financial advisory and psychology professions both have much to offer clients by assisting with these issues. But where will the trained professionals who know how to help with money issues come from?
Most of the psychologists I know and collaborate with can work well with the emotional issues about money in individuals and couples. But most never explore the values or the math in the money issues.
Recently, I spoke with an advisor at a conference who told me about referring a couple for counseling because the wife wanted her retirement money earlier than the husband thought wise, and this was a source of conflict in the couple. The advisor told me she was disappointed in the outcome when the couple came back with the resolution that the wife would take the early payout. The couple was no longer in conflict but the advisor was not very happy with the outcome.
The advisor's point of view was mathematical and the counselor's was relational. Both professionals need to be able to look through each other's lenses to find a good outcome for the couple.
A trained financial psychologist would know how to frame the decision for the couple, how to communicate and collaborate with the advisor, and how to work to assure that the choice was made with full awareness of all levels operating in the decision.
This is my first post on A4A and I'm looking forward to building a professional conversation between psychologists and financial advisors.
Please help me by sending your observations to me of incidents when you needed access to a financial psychologist.
If you used a counselor/psychologist in the past, was it a successful collaboration?
If you didn't use one when needed, what were the barriers to your getting someone to collaborate with you?
Post your comments below or email them to me at