Money and Financial Articles

How Warren Buffett Found the Key to Happiness

Friday, August 8th, 2014

How Warren Buffett Found the Key to HappinessMoney will not change how healthy you are or how many people love you. — Warren Buffett

So let’s start off with a tough reality: it’s unlikely that any of us will be as rich as Warren Buffett. In fact, he’s so rich that one-thousandth of a percent of his wealth is still about $6.5 million.

Before I get into why Buffett is winning at life, let me answer the question that’s probably roaming in the back of your mind: How could I possibly relate to someone so wealthy?

The Funeral

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The FuneralMy aunt — my mother´s youngest sister — left a chilling message on my cousin´s voicemail.

“Suzanne has to be institutionalized,” she pronounced without conscience or hesitation. “Don’t enable her delusions.”

Just like that. Suzanne was bipolar so she should be committed; lose her freedom, her rights. My aunt, whose exact qualifications elude me, was now a self-anointed/appointed psychiatrist.

Talk the Talk: 10 Tips for Starting Therapy

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Talk the Talk: 10 Tips for Starting TherapyA friend of mine recently told me about her experience of starting psychotherapy. She said she would have liked a list of pointers to help her understand what she was getting into before she started. That sounded like a good idea to me.

It’s not uncommon to want a few signposts when we start a journey. Inspired by her, here are 10 things I think might be helpful to you if you’re new to, or thinking about, therapy.

7 Steps to Surviving Job Loss

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

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Losing your job hurts.

Companies use fancy terms to describe it – downsizing, reorganization, consolidation, …

Answering the Question: ‘What Should I Do With My Life?’

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Answering the Question: 'What Should I Do With My Life?'What’s the first question exchanged when we meet someone new? You guessed it: “So… What do you do?”

In our culture, what you do for a living is inextricably tied to society’s perception of your worth. A stable job with a good salary is highly regarded, but we often look less lovingly upon the self-trained artist or entrepreneur who gives blood, sweat, and tears to make their vision possible.

Why is this? Is the number on your paycheck the true meaning of success?

You Just Have to Believe: Audacious Ambition

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

You Just Have to Believe: Audacious AmbitionNapoleon Hill wrote in every chapter of The Law of Success, “you can do it if you believe you can.” Henry Ford famously said, “If you think you can or if you think you can’t — you’re right.” Now new psychological research shows that, yes, they were right.

Researchers Timothy Judge and John Kammeyer-Mueller have shown that people who believe they can accomplish the goals they set are more likely to accomplish them. This is because if you believe you can accomplish your goal, you are more likely to put in the energy and effort required to attain it.

That may have been what Napoleon Hill was thinking when he said “you have to believe to achieve.”

When is it Time to Get Help for My Mental Health or Relationship Concern?

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

When is it Time to Get Help for My Mental Health or Relationship Concern?As a therapist, a common question I get asked is: “When is the best time to get help?”

It may not have even occurred to you to get some professional advice, even if you’ve Googled your problem. It’s common to believe that you should be able to fix it yourself and that seeking help is a sign of weakness.

Every day, I see clients who have tolerated a problem for way too long. Whether the problem is a marital- or work-related issue, it’s possible that the person has had it for years or even decades. I hear myriad tales of all kinds of abuse: verbal, emotional, sexual and even physical. My clients ask me “is it my fault?” as they blame themselves and feel guilty for their supposed sins.

I tell them that the only mistake they’ve made is in tolerating it for way too long.

How Couples Can Manage Clashes Over Money

Friday, August 30th, 2013

How Couples Can Manage Clashes Over MoneyMoney tends to be a dicey issue in romantic relationships. It’s a topic that most couples don’t want to talk about. In fact, it’s a topic we’re taught not to bring up, because it’s bad manners.

And it can easily lead to conflict or become an overwhelming obstacle.

For instance, couples often clash when one likes to spend and the other likes to save. It’s a common financial conflict psychotherapist Christina Steinorth, MFT, sees at her office.

The Anchoring Effect: How it Impacts Your Everyday Life

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

The Anchoring Effect: How it Impacts Your Everyday LifeYour teen is in desperate need of a new wardrobe. You set a day for a shopping trip. Lucky you. It’s not long until your daughter finds the perfect pair of jeans. Great, you tell her — until you check the price tag: $149.95.

“Sorry honey, no deal. Too expensive. I’m sure you can find another pair of nice jeans that’s less expensive.”

“No, I love this one; I have to have it.” Her voice has become a screech when a saleswoman approaches. “Do you know that these jeans are on sale, this week only, marked down 25 percent?”

“Mom, that’s perfect. If we get four pairs of jeans, that’s like getting one free.”

Daughter’s delighted. Mom feels conned. What’s happening here? Ah, the anchoring effect in action.

Mental Illness and the Benefits of Work

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

The Benefits of Work for Helping with Mental IllnessI’m grateful we have a social safety net. It’s important to help people pull themselves up, and to provide care for those who cannot support themselves because of serious disability.

The net may not be cast broadly enough, as too many people who need help are denied services. That said, the most important thing that led to my recovery from serious mental illness was being denied Social Security disability income.

I believe that many, if not most, people with mental illness want to recover and to successfully manage life with illness. They achieve wellness by applying the treatments prescribed for them, and by using whatever adjunct therapies work for them. Others work just as hard, but are tragically treatment resistant, and find little solace.

But I was shocked when during my first hospitalization I encountered other patients in the day room trading tips on how to game the system.

OCD & Chinatown

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

OCD & ChinatownOne way to explain obsessive-compulsive disorder involves a comparison to the old Roman Polanski film “Chinatown”, starring Jack Nicholson. Nicholson plays a detective investigating a suspicious California land developer (played by the director John Huston).

As in many detective thrillers, the closer he gets to the truth, the more chaos ensues. He uncovers an incestuous relationship, innocent characters are murdered, and in the final scene, his friend declares his efforts to make the situation right a lost cause, a tragedy (“It’s Chinatown, Jake”).

Thankfully, I don’t view obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as negatively as the “Chinatown” plot. However, there are parallels.

5 Small Steps That Make a Big Improvement in Your Financial Situation

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

5 Small Steps That Make a Big Improvement in Your Financial SituationYou don’t need to be a math whiz or expert in personal finance to improve your financial situation, according to Brad Klontz, PsyD, a financial psychologist and director of research at H&R Block Dollars & Sense. And you don’t need to make dramatic changes, either.

“[T]he most critical aspect of improving one’s financial health is to uncover, challenge, and change self-defeating money scripts.”

Money scripts are often unconscious beliefs about money, which we learned in childhood.

In other words, each of us has a unique relationship with money, and understanding that relationship is key to improving it.

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