Financial Advisor or Financial Therapy? How Therapy Can Help You Achieve Success

Have you ever heard the saying that to teach your child to swim, you should throw them in the water? Of course, this is an extreme analogy that is not true and very dangerous, but in many aspects of life, including finances, we are similarly expected to navigate complex challenges without proper guidance. Financial struggles are pervasive, and many individuals face difficulties because they lack the necessary tools and insights to navigate the complexities of money management.

Waking up one day at 18 years old and simply working is a foundational step toward financial stability. However, without proper guidance and education, individuals may encounter subconscious barriers hindering their financial success. According to a study by the National Endowment for Financial Education, individuals who receive financial education at a young age are more likely to make informed and effective financial decisions later in life. This underscores the importance of a structured approach to transitioning from childhood to adulthood in terms of financial responsibility.

For those who haven't been adequately introduced to financial responsibility, the lack of preparation can lead to what psychologists term a "Stuck Point." Similar to the effects of trauma, a Stuck Point represents an internal sense of injustice—a belief that one didn't have the opportunity to learn essential financial skills. And this subconscious feeling can make us want to subconsciously sabotage our success because we were not introduced to it properly. Why would our subconscious do that? Because we have a false belief that we can’t succeed because we have not been given the tools. And what happens when we join a competition where we feel like we have no chance of winning? We quit or we sabotage. Look no further than any child who struggles to follow the school rules. They act out. 

Galen Buckwalter, the CEO of psyML and an expert on financial trauma, says Financial Trauma is characterized as a dysfunctional reaction to chronic financial stress. He notes that symptoms often present similarly to those who experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from other events. "It interferes with the person's ability to carry out normal work and home life functions, and manifests in multiple areas of the person's being."

Sometimes we might think that getting a loan like a small business loan may solve our financial problems. However, that is only the short game. It will help you survive for now, but are you able to manage it well? What do you do after?

Photograph illustrating the concept of Psychological Patterns. A man in a suit with closed eyes, his head metaphorically open, receiving shredded paper representing limiting psychological patterns. Relevant to the article's tip on awareness to overcome success limitations.


Do you catch yourself repeating the same ill-fated patterns around your finances? Pay attention to the results of your actions; not what you are trying, but where you end up. You might have a Stuck Point!

“Financial issues are more often related to unresolved emotional traumas. Find your traumas and your financial situation will change.”

  • Vivi Mark, EFT

The Role of Financial Therapy

Addressing these Stuck Points requires more than just motivational speeches or self-help books.  Some people think that motivational quotes can make them successful. Motivational quotes for success are a great way to keep you moving and doing the hustle. The question we have to ask ourselves though is if we see repeated patterns that are not success-oriented. If you do see that, then they can be unresolved Stuck Points that require more than success quotes.

Success books often emphasize two key components: 1. Technical steps for success (e.g., legal structures, paperwork, advertising) and 2. Deeper psychological work. However, it's essential to recognize that many successful individuals who author success books, while sharing their personal struggles, lack the expertise of mental health professionals. And while their experience holds great value, each person experiences their own journey and needs individual guidance.

According to psychologist Carol Dweck, “success comes from having the right mindset rather than intelligence, talent, or education. People with a fixed mindset believe that they're born with certain intelligence, skills, and abilities that cannot change. As a result, when they fail at a task or face a challenge, their fear that they might not succeed often stops them from progressing.” 

Financial therapy not only addresses financial struggles but also unlocks happiness in life by addressing deeper psychological issues. When individuals work on the internal aspects of success, such as courage, strategy, and creativity, the benefits extend beyond financial gains. It can change your life as you know it.