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New Learning, Connections in the Big Apple

I spent three days last week in New York City, the first I’ve been there in about 15 years.  The main purpose of my trip was to make a presentation to the annual conference of the American Group Psychotherapist Association (AGPA).  As far as I am aware, it’s the first time this group has ever taken a risk and invited a financial planner to speak at their function, so I was honored to accept. 

While speaking to the AGPA was satisfying, the highlight of my trip was a 10-hour course I took at the AGPA on the fundamentals of group psychotherapy.  The group leaders were Nancy Fawcett and Kieth Rand, both veteran group therapists who practice in Los Angeles, CA.  I learned a lot of helpful information on how to facillitate change in individuals through the group setting.  Since I’ve co-facilitated financial therapy groups for about 8 years, I figured a little more knowledge from the pros couldn’t hurt!

An equal highlight was meeting a plethora of people with whom I’ve spoken or collaborated for years.  I was thrilled to meet Stacey Tisdale, author of The True Cost of Happiness and a financial journalist.  You might recognize Stacey as a frequent guest as a financial expert on NBC’s Today Show. 

I had a delightful dinner with April Benson, PhD, author of To Buy or Not To Buy:  Why We Overshop and How To Stop.  She is one of the nation’s leading experts on shopping and compulsive buying addictions. 

Equally as wonderful was dining with Judy Hazelton, MBA, CFP, president of Harmony Financial Advisors, and Michael Hardy, CFP, Mollot and Hardy, Inc., two of the handful of financial life planners in New York City.  Yes, when you look at it per capita, South Dakota has four times as many financial life planners than New York City.  I discovered that New York City is a bit behind the times when it comes to holistic financial planning services.  I know, it’s hard to believe, but true.

I also had fun meeting Tara Siegel-Bernard, a personal finance reporter with the New York Times.   Tara is a delightful person who does a great job making complex financial matters understandable on a daily basis. 

I also enjoyed lunching with George Mannes, a senior editor at Money Magazine.  George and I have met previously, but it was great to catch up with him in his hometown.

It was a great week to connect with so many wonderful people, learn a bit more about my craft, and impart a little of my experience on the benefits of financial therapists partnering with therapists.

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