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Kansas State University researchers offer first book combining financial planning, mental health

Monday, March 23, 2015

MANHATTAN — Money can be the gold-standard of obstacles to good mental health. It splits families, relationships and nations.

Kansas State University researchers have compiled the first textbook that addresses the intersection of financial planning and mental health. The discipline, called financial therapy, integrates the two to promote financial and emotional wellness.

Published recently by Springer of New York, a publishing house specializing in all areas of psychology, "Financial Therapy: Theory, Research and Practice" is edited by Kansas State University's Bradley T. Klontz, a clinical psychologist, associate professor of personal financial planning and certified financial planner; Sonya Britt, certified financial planner and associate professor and director of the university's personal financial planning program; and Kristy Archuleta, associate professor of family studies and human services and a licensed marriage and family therapist.

The models in the book are based on cross-disciplinary evidence, Britt said. They create a framework for improving the financial well-being of families and individuals, blending theory and practical methods for professionals and practitioners.

"Today more individuals are experiencing financial mental anguish and self-destructive behavior regardless of the state of the economy," Britt said. The book addresses money-based disorders such as compulsive buying, financial hoarding and workaholism, which can all drive toxic relationships with money.

Money-related stress dates as far back as concepts of money itself, said Britt, who is founding president of the Financial Therapy Association, an international association of practitioners and academicians.

The 366-page book is the first full-length guide to the field, according to Britt.

"It bridges practice, research and theory, exploring a wide variety of models and theories of financial therapy," she said.

"We hope that readers will use the approaches and strategies to help integrate interpersonal and intrapersonal aspects around money to improve clients' financial well-being and overall quality of life," said Archuleta, who is president of the Financial Therapy Association and co-editor of Journal of Financial Therapy.

The book also tackles a person's early experiences with money and how those can poison relationships.

Included in the book are the following models that address monetary mental health issues, with case studies to show to implement them from start to finish:
• Systems financial therapy.
• Cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused therapies.
• Collaborative relationship models.
• Experiential approaches.
• Psychodynamic financial therapy.
• Feminist and humanistic approaches.
• Stages of change and motivational interviewing in financial therapy.

Five faculty members and five students from Kansas State University contributed to the chapters.

The editors see future editions of the book. "We already thought of other models we want to include," Britt added.

Envisioned and created by Kansas State University personal financial planning researchers, the field of financial therapy has resulted in a national academic journal, a professional organization and now a book. The university's personal financial planning program, including financial therapy, is offered through the School of Family Studies and Human Services in the College of Human Ecology.

The personal financial planning program offers undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees, as well as a certificate in financial therapy. The program is registered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.

Written by

Jane P. Marshall

At a glance

Three faculty members from Kansas State University's Institute of Personal Financial Planning have written the first textbook on financial therapy, which integrates financial planning and mental health for fiscal and emotional well-being.