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Do you need (financial) therapy?

Do you need (financial) therapy?

September 26, 2023

I find myself busier than usual this Fall, due in part to the fact that I have started a master's program at Kansas State University.  I am pursuing a Master's in Personal Financial Planning, along with a Financial Therapy graduate certificate,  According to the university website, "This program is the first of its kind in the nation."  I am learning "how to improve the financial health of my clients by integrating relational, behavioral, cognitive and emotional elements with personal finance."  While I am excited to do just that, I am equally excited thus far to do a number of exploratory exercises about money scripts and money disorders for myself. 

The term “money scripts” is new to me, although I am familiar with some of the psychology behind the identification of scripts. A personal friend and professional sports psychology coach who has devoted her life to helping people “quiet their monkey mind,” refers to these scripts as tapes that we have set on replay over and over in our minds.[1] According to psychologist Brad Klontz, Psy.D., CFP®, who coined the phrase money scripts in 2011[2], and his colleagues, money scripts are typically beliefs about money that have been formed unconsciously, sometimes from early childhood experiences or trauma, that show up in our lives and eventually become habits.  The authors state specifically, “Human beings show a natural tendency to reinforce established belief structures by avoiding experiences that might challenge those beliefs, or by discounting information that might disprove them.”[3]  As a result of this ongoing research and practice, two very distinct inventory questionnaires were developed and refined, the Klontz Money Behavior Inventory-Revised (KMBI-R) and the Klontz Money Script Inventory-Revised (KMSI-R.)

I go back to one of my coach's theories about what he calls "divine selfishness."[4] The best way I can explain that is that I am no good at my advice and service to others until I have initiated the change in myself to promote the ideals involved.  I am not ashamed of my money scripts, but they are definitely worth talking about, and so are yours!  Financial planning is changing, and so should the approach to developing a deeper understanding of the "why" behind the decisions we make.  It starts even before we have a clear understanding of the power of wealth and the way it can be used to either lift up or destroy families and relationships. 

If you think you might need financial therapy or if you are simply curious to learn more about your money scripts, don't be afraid to ask!

[1] Alison (Doc Ali) Arnold, PhD, .

[2] Klontz, B., Britt, S. L., Mentzer, J., & Klontz, T. (2011). Money Beliefs and Financial Behaviors: Development of the Klontz Money Script Inventory. Journal of Financial Therapy, 2 (1) 1.

[3] Pg.96, Facilitating Financial Health, 2nd Edition e-book, BRAD KLONTZ, Psy.D., CFP® | RICK KAHLER, MS, CFP®, ChFC, CCIM | TED KLONTZ, Ph.D.

[4] Christopher Dorris, . https://www,