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Financial Therapy in chicago

Financial therapy 

Two thirds of American adults, regardless of race, gender, or economic status report feeling “stressed” about money but do not seek out help of any kind. Financial therapy can create a safe space to become more comfortable discussing money/finances, learn tools to reduce financial stress, and develop a better relationship with money by:


-helping the individual, couple, or family become more versed in discussing financial issues

-identifying reasons for thoughts/behaviors around spending and saving

-recognizing money disorder(s)

-creating money scripts

-learning tools to manage money and achieve financial goals


Financial therapy is a strengths-based approach that seeks to motivate, support, and educate people in making lasting cognitive and behavioral changes to positively impact their relationship with money. Financial issues are complex and can lead to deterioration of person’s physical health, emotional well-being, and/or relationships if not properly addressed. Ultimately, if money is causing significant distress in your life, it is likely that you would benefit from financial therapy.



Reasons to Seek Out Financial Therapy:


-feeling unworthy of nice things or spending money on oneself

-difficulty making decisions related to spending

-missing out on positive life experiences due to [objective or subjective] financial stress

-money mismanagement or compulsive overspending

-financial disagreements within the family unit/couple

-uncertainty of how to ask for a well-deserved raise

-uncertainty on how to effectively budget

-feeling “obsessed” with making money

-feeling distressed by every credit card bill



In financial therapy, we’ll work to identify if a money disorder exists and subsequently comb through your money script to better understand your views on money.


Examples of Money Disorders include:

-Financial Denial: money problems are minimized or avoided

-Financial Enabling: inability to say no to others financially

-Financial Dependence: over-reliance on others financially

-Financial Enmeshment: lack of boundaries in financial aspects; primarily in parent and child relationships

-Financial Infidelity: secrecy and dishonesty related to money



Money scripts are people’s conscious and unconscious beliefs about money which are often developed in childhood and play a significant role in current financial behaviors. Money scripts are usually classified in the following ways:

-Money Avoidance: avoid dealing with money and reject responsibility

-Money Worship: belief that more money means more happiness

-Money Status: belief that self-worth is based on net-worth

-Money Vigilance: overly alert, watchful, and concerned about money

With the help of a therapist at Cityscape Counseling, you can expect to create a more effective and adaptive relationship with money, create new or distinguish old financial behaviors, and “re-write” pre-existing money scripts.


If you’ve determined that there are financial stressors in your life that need to be resolved, the first step is to set up an appointment. A better relationship with money is possible! Second, be open and honest in discussing money, your thoughts and beliefs about it, possible underlying issues related to current financial stress, what you were taught to think about money growing up, and what money means to you now. And third, stick with it! Therapy can be uncomfortable- especially when finances are the topic of conversation.

The conversation will become easier though and you will learn tools to improve your thoughts/behaviors around money.

Written by: Colleen Lennon, LCSW

Certified Financial Therapist in Chicago at Cityscape Counseling

Email: to set up an appointment.