In Consultation

In Consultation

Money Matters: Getting Clear with Ourselves and Our Clients

By Maggie Mulqueen

November/December 2020

Q: As a female therapist in private practice, I know the value of my time is important to communicate to clients, but I’m uncomfortable talking about money with them. What can I do?

A: Few therapists receive specific training about the business side of a private practice, and for many of us, having a business mindset can feel antithetical to our role as helping professionals. But in my experience, being a good businessperson is essential to providing high-quality therapy. When clients mistreat us financially, feelings of resentment can interfere with treatment. And just as importantly, clients who believe we’re mistreating them financially may feel resentful.

While all therapists must address money issues in their practice—they come up when a client fails to pay a bill or misses a session—it’s female therapists who talk to me most often about struggling with deep discomfort when it comes to discussing money with clients. This may be the vestiges of how an older generation was raised. But as I see it, modeling best practices in these discussions can show clients that knowing one’s financial worth is an important indicator of self-care and self-respect, regardless of one’s gender. Since you find money conversations make you feel uncomfortable, practice talking about these matters…

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