An interesting article from yesterday's New York Times, about the rise of "financial therapy."
The two women, a global celebrity and a Wisconsin divorcee trying to climb out from under a pile of bills, sought help in the budding field of financial therapy, where budget planning meets psychological counseling. They even went to a kind of money rehab, where, in six days of group therapy they dug deep into the roots of what psychologists call “money disorders,” the slew of unhealthy and self-destructive behaviors that are not as extreme as pathological gambling, kleptomania or compulsive shopping, but nevertheless afflict large numbers of people.
While it is difficult to pinpoint the number of patients or practitioners, experts in psychology and financial planning say the number of professionals offering to treat money disorders has multiplied in the last few years.
Although there are many self-help books on how to become rich, the fields of psychology and financial planning have been slow to link money and emotion. And money is still a great cultural taboo that is rarely discussed openly in this country, experts say.
The article brings up the rather disturbing potential for financial planning and therapy being provided jointly, which does seem a bit weird. But in general, I think it's a good thing-- if going to a therapist is what it takes to get people to confront these issues, more power to them. Of course there are plenty of online support groups they could join for free: like this site and my entire blogroll!