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article of the month
We will feature a new article here each month written by one of our group members. These articles are offered free for your information and are not meant to provide individual advice or psychotherapy.

Click here for previous Articles, Psych Bytes, News, and Book Reviews by topic.


October 2008

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MONEY

by Sandy Plone, Ph.D.

 

We are heading into fall, and the holidays--that time of year when we usually wish one another good health, happiness, and prosperity--though not necessarily in that order. But many of us are anxious and fearful, as dismal economic news along with two wars worry us. All this is complicated by the significance of the current election. In my practice, clients are trying to find ways to keep perspective as I try to help them with stress reduction and prioritizing concerns. The manner in which we each respond to the daily barrage of bad news is connected to 1) the reality of the situation; and 2) our underlying psychological money profile.

Concerns about business success in the coming season, anticipation of the tax man in April, or financial worries in general may preoccupy our minds. It seems timely right now to think about the meaning of money in our lives: the myths, conflicts and patterns absorbed from families of origin that can profoundly influence adult relationships, the ability to fulfill dreams, and emotional and physical well-being. All of this can be viewed as another aspect of growth, self-knowledge, and tools to empower us.

I've learned from my own and client's struggles and conflicts what a core issue money represents in our psyches, relationships, and all aspects of our lives. Even in the confidential setting of the therapy hour, clients have often found it easier to talk about sexual matters than money matters. Money has heretofore represented the ultimate taboo! But something is changing, as financial concerns predominate our thinking, our worries, our relationships and families, and we are trying to adjust to this new reality. The conversations in my consulting room are taking a different focus these days, as my clients seek to find some calm in the eye of the storm, and embrace gratitude for the blessings in their lives aside from their portfolios.

In fact, money can be a symbol for violence-withheld or rejected-or a symbol for love-offered and accepted. In families money may be used as a secret weapon, manipulating conflicts about sex, love, or power. Husbands and wives, parents and children, siblings-we're all prey to the love, anger, envy, compassion or worries about money in these complex relationships. More understanding about how these issues play out in our lives is more power, helping us to be more conscious of the dynamics at work.

Many authors have written about prosperity becoming our inner as well as our outer work. This includes the interrelationship with spirituality of money, success, power, and fame. (Chopra, Ross)

Having a harmonious relationship with one's finances is part of the mind/body/spirit connection to living a balanced and healthy life. The prosperity principle is an attitude about life, and consciousness of abundance can often become a self-fulfilling prophecy, as can a consciousness of scarcity. How can one accomplish this shift? Beyond reading available books on the subject or finding a trustworthy financial advisor, by illuminating, understanding and then destroying destructive myths or childhood beliefs that may block the path to prosperity, even in these challenging times.

©copyright by Sandy Plone, Ph.D. 2000


Dr. Sandy Plone, Clinical Psychologist, specializes in helping others work through blocks towards prosperity and creative fulfillment. For information or confidential questions call (310) 979-7473.


 





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