Do you need Money Therapy?

In one of our early posts (Why We Need To Talk About Money) we discussed how money has become one of the last taboos in our progressive and enlightened western society. It happens to be a very tricky subject for most couples to discuss openly amongst themselves, let alone with their children.

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More Unspeakable Than Death

A survey carried out last year in the USA by Wells Fargo, found that “money talk” is the single, most difficult topic of conversation in the country; ahead of religion, politics and even death.

In the UK, another research by the Money Advice Service and the University of Cambridge found that over half of parents interviewed, reported feeling awkward and embarrassed when talking to their children about their own financial matters.

This is surprising, considering that at the same time, they believed parents are the biggest influence on the development of children’s money skills.

We Need Some Money Therapy

In this post, we would like to take the conversation one step further and dig a little deeper into the reasons behind the awkwardness that inevitably surrounds “money talk”.

We have sought help from psychologists and psychoanalysts, and would like to invite you to do some “money therapy” with us.

What is stopping us from achieving a comfortable and healthy relationship with the topic of money? And what is the solution ? – one that allows us to transfer to our children the necessary financial skills so badly needed in today’s complex world?

 hootloot, children and money

Money As Measure Of Success And Indicator Of Class 

"It is such a loaded topic, and there is so much subtext and hidden meaning wrapped up in it," says Daniel Crosby, a behavioural finance expert and head of IncBlot Organizational Psychology in Huntsville, Alabama. "Money is shorthand for happiness, power, and personal efficacy, so it can be very scary."

Economics is also an effective indicator of class, which, according to Andrew Samuels (Professor of Analytical Psychology at the University of Essex and former Chair of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy), has a strong relationship with the individual’s inner world.

Having moved up or down a social class, for instance, compared to one’s parents, generates a complex range of emotions that forms deep roots in people’s souls and affects their behaviours throughout their lives. 

We Have Sadistic Fantasies Involving Money

In “Economics, Psychotherapy and Politics”, Professor Samuels reports from years of direct experience with patients in his psychoanalytical practice:

“Most people have pretty nasty fantasies in the money zone – fantasies of getting rid of rivals, attaining superiority, eliminating awkward othernesses whenever they are encountered… perhaps there is an ineluctable cruelty attached to money, and this may be one area where 'tragic vision' is all we can muster."

children and money, hootloot, pocket money, money therapy 

...But There's Beauty In Economics

If we don’t do something to overcome this negativity, we will certainly miss out on all the amazing things that a healthy financial perspective can bring to our lives. Money is also power to do “good” in the world and to invest in life changing experiences that make us better human beings.

If we want to empower our children with a healthy financial attitude, we need to make sure that we, ourselves, have come to terms with the deep, dark emotions lying within our souls.

For this very basic attempt at “money therapy” to be helpful and effective, we should try to bring them to the surface.

In order to help "steer things up", we have collated a list of questions for you to download that were originally used by Professor Samuels in his workshops. These questions are designed to encourage you, parents, to identify the personal, conflictual emotions related to your economic past.

You can use them to stimulate conversation with your partner or with other family members, or just to contemplate some unnecessary baggage you have been carrying around.

Hopefully by bringing things out in the open, some of the ice surrounding money talks will melt away.

Making Sense Of Your Personal Experience With Money

(Just save the list below as an image on your phone or computer. It's easy to print out if you prefer!)

hootloot, andrew samuels, money therapy, pocket money, money and children



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