Freelance personal finance writer Anna Davies is aware of the financial stresses of being a single parent. It’s worrisome, and she’s embarrassed by how disconnected she has been from her savings goals. She then, however, learns about the developing field of financial therapy, which addresses both personal finance and mental health.

Israeli psychologist and economist Daniel Kahneman’s research confirmed that money decisions are indeed emotional. In a 2019 poll by the employee-experience platform Perk-Box, the result points to money as the biggest form of stress in the UK. 61% of 1,139 correspondents answered that money caused them more stress than their work and family. Professor Brendan Burchell of the social sciences at the University of Cambridge states that money phobia does exist. Burchell further stresses that counseling is not very effective and suggests seeking professionals specializing in treating phobia is the best approach. Several financial therapists agree with Burchell’s claim. Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, a licensed financial therapist based in Michigan, USA, encourages her clients to align their spending habits with their values: spend more on what they value the most and save on what they value the least.

Financial therapy is a relatively new field, but many experts believe that money stress or phobia isn’t a standalone issue, as there may be other underlying issues. This therapy is interesting, but not everyone is ready to accept this idea. At least, not now.