If you are a Pledgette or have been following along for any amount of time, you’ve surely heard about the importance of building your Financial A-Team. We even did a post on The Five Types of People You Need on Your Financial A-Team this past spring.
So now let’s meet a financial professional who may belong on Your Financial A-Team!
Meet Wendy Wright, a Financial Therapist, who can help you understand and evolve your relationship with money.
What is your title? How did you earn the title? What does it mean?
I am a Financial Therapist. This designates that I am a licensed therapist who focuses on the intersection of money and emotions. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, this is what the initials LMFT stand for, earned from the process of getting an MFT degree, completing required hours of client meetings, and passing the MFT exam. From that, I am able to build specialities, and currently I am focused on my specialty of Financial Therapy. I am a member of the Financial Therapy Association.
How do you help your clients achieve Big Financial Goals?
Often achieving money goals can be blocked by stories we tell ourselves. In financial therapy, I guide clients to explore their money story, identify mindsets and blocks, and work to dissolve them or find ways to move through them. For example, a common story is “I am bad with money”. When this feels like a truth, it guides behavior, such as not saving money, not checking balances, making spending decisions based on emotions, and more. Once we identify this is a mindset, which I define as “a belief that may or may not be a truth”, clients are able to move away from this and see it as a thought instead of a hard-wired character trait. Then change begins to happen, and it’s so cool! Clients who have never saved money will begin to layer hundreds of dollars into their savings account. Clients who believed they were broken begin to see they are not!
When you want to begin to approach money differently, you can start with these 3 keys:
1] Approach money with Abundant Compassionate Curiosity and ZERO Judgment
2] Live from a Plan, not your Bank Balance
3] Track your Transactions with Thoughts and Feelings
You can find more tips on my website, financialtherapysolutions.com
What are some of the questions people should ask a Financial Therapist before they officially join their Financial A-Team?
One of the best books I know of on financial therapy is Bari Tessler’s The Art of Money. My first question to a prospective financial therapist, have they read this and do they agree with it. Ask them about their process and the results they see. You want to hear that they are committed to zero judgment, they can hold space to hear your story and help you find the blocks getting in the way to the financial life you long for. Decide together on their role on your Financial A-Team, for instance, I see myself as a support player. I often help my clients roleplay their conversations with the other Financial A-Team members. Many times my clients financial anxieties interfere with getting clarity in communication with a financial advisor, accountant, estate attorney. In sessions, we are able to talk through some of the anxieties and roleplay new ways to enter into a productive dialog.
What are some red flags that a therapist may not be the right fit for someone?
I am a big believer in doing an energy check when picking members of your Financial A-Team. You can read much more about this in Bari’s The Art of Money, when she talks you through doing a full body check in. When picking a therapist, this is so helpful. You want to feel you can tell your financial therapist anything about your money life, especially the things you have experienced so much shame around.
Who is on your Financial A-Team?
I work with a financial advisor, a bookkeeper, and an accountant. I also have worked with a money coach and found that life changing. I am also trained in money coaching through Karen McCall’s Financial Recovery Institute. Karen is the author of one of my other foundational favorite books for money healing, Financial Recovery.
How can people find you and connect with you?
Head to my website, financialtherapysolutions.com