The Strange Power of Financial Therapy: Engaging with Rick Kahler
Written By: Helen E. Lees, PhD, is Editor of Parts & Self and based in Italy.
May 20, 2023
Awaken! IFS and finances
Ten months ago, Rick Kahler, who is both a Certified IFS Practitioner and a Certified Financial Therapist, gave me two sessions of financial therapy, IFS style. It was a first for me to pay close attention to my relationship to money. I’ve discussed money often in the past – What salary? What loan? What savings? What is a pension? How to afford that thing? What currency? – but this was the first time I had approached it with my relationship with money in mind.
I’m nearly 50 years old. I’d say spending 50 years on planet capitalism without due attention to the system that rules our experience at the material level is a mistake. Time for some remedial action? Shouldn’t we all attend to the matter with a lot more care? If you’re like me a bit laissez-faire and unaware about money, and not every one is, of course, it could be a game-changer.
Since the IFS and money therapy sessions mentioned, I have been noticing more and more publicity and activity around forms of financial therapy in society, such as the 2023 How to Get Rich TV series on Netflix. Interesting. So, I’m paying attention to money finally? About time.
It certainly seems the clearing of confusion about money I got, as a result of the work done together with Kahler, has made me more interested and aware of money matters – how it matters to me and my Parts-Self system in particular – and of what financial health is in a human life. In short, I’d call such health first the paying of attention. Kahler didn’t teach me how to save or invest or speculate. He went inside to where my emotions about money reside. The idea is to apply IFS to a person’s Parts and Self and see if their behaviours and feelings around money can become more Self-led. It did work for me. As we will see. But, not quite the way I had anticipated.
Are we reaching a moment where people are beginning to wake up to the damage being financially ignorant can do to you? Schools don’t very often help children to understand money matters. People often grow into adulthood having never received advice about money, nor help to understand how to attend to money matters well and safely. So, if our educational system is letting us down and parents aren’t advising (having never been advised themselves?), we need some education organised from elsewhere.
The first session Rick Kahler and I did is presented in full here (and a video extract from the second event, where we discuss money and IFS therapy, is below):