Do Your Clients Need a Therapist or a Money Coach?

Jeff Guenther on Dec 16, 2020

Have you ever had a client come into your office and bring up a really difficult money problem?

I’m not just talking about griping about the mortgage or student loans. I mean a serious question about saving for retirement versus paying off debt, or a pronounced difficulty with budgeting, or even just feeling financially out of control?

If you’ve encountered something like this, you’ve probably said to yourself:

“This is outside my scope of practice!”

And you’d be right. While you are empowered to help your clients to navigate their relationship issues, that doesn’t necessarily extend to their relationship to money.

Money problems are endemic in our society. And while you may know that financial disagreements are the leading cause of divorce, you don’t have to be in a relationship to struggle with money.

And you don’t even need to be financially disadvantaged to struggle with money. Everyone has a money story that can lead them to make choices that don’t benefit them, no matter their income.

You of course want to help your clients, but you’re not in a position to help them, say, with their household budget. Who do you turn to?

You may be familiar with money professions like a financial planner (CFP®) or an accountant (CPA). But none of those roles totally fit here.

What your clients need is a money coach.

A money coach is someone who helps people with their money behavioral health. This involves things like budgeting and financial problem solving, and determining goals and plans for the future. It’s different from financial planners, who typically focus on investment strategies and portfolios, not what your clients necessarily need.

Instead, a money coach works with therapists and financial planners as a team to help your clients thrive in this challenging world.

So where do you find a money coach? While a simple Google search in your area will probably help you find who you need, you can also utilize coach directories such as Noomii, or the AFCPE, which administers the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) certification.

Or, you can just contact me. If I’m not the right fit for your needs, I’ll find someone who is. I’ve been offering money coaching for almost a decade now, and have worked with clients all over the world.

As a therapist, your desire to help the people you work with is strong, and you should always be commended for your hard work. All the more reason for you to stick to your core competencies, and let others handle the rest.

Money coaching may be a good fit for your clients. Relieving anxiety and building empowerment in this area will doubtlessly affect all other areas of their life in a beneficial way.

Learn more about Mike's services at his website.

About the Author:
Mike Pumphrey
is a money coach, blogger, and public speaker in Portland, Oregon, who has been working in the intersection of personal finance and emotions for as long as he has had both personal finance and emotions, that is to say, quite a long time. Through his work, Mike guides people from money anxiety to financial empowerment. He has a passion for helping those who traditional financial media ignore, such as those in non-traditional lifestyles. His goal is to get people unstuck and feeling excited about the future.

Mike enjoys singing karaoke and aims to travel to one new country each year; he is very much looking forward to being able to start doing both of those again soon.

Jeff Guenther, LPC, is a therapist in Portland, OR. He has been in private practice since 2005. Jeff is the creator and owner of Portland Therapy Center, a highly ranked therapist directory. Jeff, and his team, have launched a new progressive therapist directory, TherapyDen.

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