+ What is Financial Therapy/Financial Wellness Coaching?

I work with individuals, couples, and families to help them bring money into balance. This typically includes creating personally meaningful goals, setting healthy boundaries, establishing a consistent finanacial self-care practice, and resolving relational conflicts so that partners can be on the same team.

While there is some exploration of the past, the focus is on the present. My approach is based in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy principles, so we will look closely at how automatic thoughts and underlying beliefs impact our financial behavior, and how money is a tool for emotional self-regulation.

Putting all jargon aside, you should know that I love to laugh with my clients! I cheer for them, believe in them, and appreciate all the beautiful, messy humanity that we bring to our financial lives.

+ What are your qualifications and training?

I have a Masters degree in Social Work from Hunter College (CUNY) and a certification in Financial Social Work (CFSW). I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Additionally, I completed a Post-Masters Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice from New York University and attended coaching training program at CoachU. In terms of experience, I founded and led a national non-profit financial wellness program for over a decade, and have worked with people privately since 2006. I speak, write, and consult all over the country.

+ How do you work with private clients?

Private coaching work is organized around a specific goal, question, problem, or dilemma that we practice addressing in a healthy way. Simply put, we simultaneously work on the "what" and the "how" of your financial situation.

The purpose is to adjust behavior, and through behavior, shift our thoughts and feelings. Between sessions, there is always homework. You will analyze, communicate, research, and try out different options.

At the moment, all individual and couples services are delivered over telephone or video conference.

+ How is the work structured?

We can generally move through a complete scope of work on an issue in three to six sessions. The timing for sessions is determined by the right pace for the task(s) at hand, rather than a specific day/time that's assigned to you each week.

The goal for those three to six sessions is to get you to a stable place where you can practice new behaviors and move forward independently. After that scope of work concludes, you may choose to pick a new topic to focus on, or get in touch with me any time down the road when my services might again be helpful.

In addition to the scheduled sessions, I also try to be available to clients for brief email or text follow-up. There is no additional charge for these follow-up contacts. If a question or issue requires more than a brief response, however, I will request that we defer further discussion until the next scheduled appointment.

+ What do you charge for your services?

For private individual work I charge $100 per half-hour appointment. For couples, sessions are 60 minutes at $200.

+ Will my insurance cover this?

No. Even though I am a licensed clinician, the type of work we’re doing is very specific coaching around financial decision-making and behavior. It is not mental health diagnosis or treatment, and thus not covered by insurance. If an underlying mental health issue (such as anxiety or depression) is impacting your ability to engage in the financial wellness coaching process, I will suggest a referral to a psychotherapist to address that need first. Depending on your insurance, that work may be covered.

+ Can you work with my current psychotherapist?

I am happy to work in conjunction with your psychotherapist to bring strategic focus to a financial issue or goal you’re facing. In fact, FW coaching can be an excellent short-term compliment to your ongoing psychotherapy.

+ Can you work with my financial advisor?

I am happy to work with you and your financial advisor around the development and implementation of your financial plan. I can also support you in preparing to work with an advisor, so that you feel confident in directing and managing any financial services professionals you retain.

+ Do you offer general psychotherapy?

I do not currently offer general mental health diagnosis and treatment. Should you be interested in this service, I will help you find an appropriate mental health professional in your area.

+ Do you provide financial advice?

I do not offer planning services or financial advice of any kind. I do help you gather information, analyze options, consider potential consequences, and address dilemmas. My role is to support your process so that you can engage in financial decisions from a place of clarity, including any work you may do with an advisor or other financial services professional you retain.

+ Do you recommend specific loans or other financial products?

While we can talk about the pros and cons of various options you’re considering, I do not endorse particular companies or products.