“Mind Over Money is a lifeline for anyone who thinks of money as a way to secure happiness, love, or define their self-worth. The process this book walks you through worked for me—I now control my money—my money no longer controls me.”
In their new book, Dr. Ted Klontz and Dr. Brad Klontz, pioneering father-son team in the burgeoning field of financial psychology, show that the self-destructive financial behaviors so many of us share stem not from a lack of knowledge or failure of will, but from subconscious forces that lie beneath our awareness.
MIND OVER MONEY
Overcoming the Money Disorders that Threaten Our Financial Health
By Brad Klontz, Psy.D. & Ted Klontz, Ph.D.
Just about everyone has a complicated, if not downright dysfunctional relationship with money. And just about everyone believes the “Big Lie” about personal finance: that our financial difficulties are entirely our fault—that they stem from ignorance, laziness, stupidity, or greed.
In their new book, Mind Over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders that Threaten Our Financial Health (Broadway Business; December 29, 2009; $25.00), Dr. Brad Klontz and Dr. Ted Klontz explain why that just isn’t so. That in fact, our chronic self-defeating and self-destructive financial behaviors aren’t driven by our rational, thinking minds, but instead by subconscious psychological forces rooted deep in our pasts.
Most people think the solution to their financial problems is more information. Yet, with the hundreds of books, thousands of articles and endless TV programs assaulting us with advice on every aspect of personal finance, most Americans already know what they should be doing; they just can’t put that awareness into action. So to simply add to that glut of information, the Klontzes say, would be like trying to cure a brain tumor with aspirin—it might temporarily address the symptoms, but it won’t cure the disease. Instead, by looking deep within ourselves and into our pasts, the Klontzes explain, we can uproot these hidden forces, and in doing so, free ourselves from their grip.
The Klontzes draw on decades of experience helping people resolve their issues with money and their groundbreaking research on the treatment of money disorders to show readers how to unearth the underlying origins of their self-defeating financial behaviors, get honest about their relationship with money, and ultimately take control of and transform their financial life. But this change can’t happen overnight. The journey to financial health has three legs:
1. Identifying our Financial Flashpoints: Financial flashpoints are painful, distressing, or traumatic early life events associated with money that are so emotionally powerful, they leave an imprint that lasts into adulthood. These become the foundation of our financial struggles. Whether it’s a childhood of poverty or want, a message about money subconsciously internalized from a parent, a nest egg lost to an economic downturn later in life, or someone rushing in at the last moment to save the economic day, everyone has experienced a financial flashpoint at one point. Recognizing them is the first step in stripping them of their power.
2. Rewriting our Money Scripts: Money Scripts are the self-destructive and often false assumptions or beliefs about money, what it means and how it works, that each of us takes away from our financial flashpoint experiences. The Klontzes show how we can learn to read our money scripts, spot them when they are creeping into our minds, and revise them into healthier, more productive ones.
3. Overcoming our Money Disorders: Money Disorders are the persistent, predictable, often rigid patterns of self-destructive financial behaviors that result from these scripts and from the unfinished business related to our financial experiences. Whether we realize it or not, most of us succumb to one or more of these disorders at some point in our lives. But armed with our new money scripts, once we can see the symptoms of our own disordered behaviors, we are well on our way to overcoming them.
Grounded in all they’ve observed in their years of practice, as well as in their extensive peer-reviewed psychological research, the Klontzes isolate and describe the 12 most common money disorders—and how to spot them in ourselves and others. These disorders fall into 3 categories:
1. Money Avoidance Disorders (also includes Underspending and Excessive Risk Aversion
Financial Denial: When, rather than face financial reality, we try to minimize money problems by refusing to think about them all together (e.g. avoiding looking at a bank statement or paying a credit card bill).
Financial Rejection: The experience of guilt whenever money, of any amount, is accrued. People with low self-esteem are particularly prone to this disorder, and it leads to a whole host of financial and psychological troubles.
2. Money-Worshipping Disorders (also includes Pathological Gambling, Workaholism, and Overspending)
Hoarding: When stockpiling objects or money (not the act of buying or spending), provides a sense of safety, security, and relief of anxiety.
Compulsive Buying: Compulsive buying is overspending on steroids. Compulsive shoppers are constantly consumed by their money worries. But paradoxically, compulsive buyers often learned, early in their lives, that the ritual of shopping provides a temporary escape from worry and anxiety, so when they think about and anticipate the pleasure they will feel when they shop, dopamine, a “feel good” chemical, floods their brains—only to wear off quickly, leaving them craving another fix.
3. Relational Money Disorders (also includes Financial Dependence and Financial Incest)
These are the disorders that don’t just take a toll on our own psyches and wallets but also on our relationships with others.
Financial Infidelity: Deliberately keeping major secrets about one’s spending or finances from one’s partner, like making purchases outside an agreed-upon budget or lying about the cost of a big-ticket item. Extreme examples might include: taking out a second mortgage or opening a secret bank account and hiding it from one’s spouse.
Financial Enabling: Giving money to others whether you can afford it or not; giving when it is not in the other’s long-term best interest; having trouble or finding it impossible to say no to requests for money; and/or even sacrificing one’s own financial wellbeing for the sake of others. Perhaps the most classic example is when parents support adult children who should be able to support themselves. Financial Enabling becomes increasingly common among family members in a down economy, when there is sense of guilt over helping less fortunate relatives.
Finally, the Klontzes walk readers through the wealth of techniques and exercises they’ve used to help their clients overcome their money disorders and enjoy a healthier, happier, relationship with money. The basics of financial health aren’t complicated, say the Klontzes, and we are all capable of mastering them, no matter who we are, or our level of wealth. When we practice healthy financial behaviors (e.g. maintain reasonable and low debt, have an active savings plan, as well as follow a conscious spending plan), we don’t just become materially richer—we become emotionally richer as well.
Mind Over Money isn’t a book about “managing money”. Instead, it’s about managing our relationship with money. It’s about looking deep within ourselves to identify those false, unhealthy beliefs about money that hold us back, understand their root causes, and ultimately overcome them. It’s about repairing those relationships to enjoy greater mental and material wealth.
For more information, please visit www.YourMentalWealth.com, which features a FREE Money Disorders Test.
About the Authors
Dr. Brad Klontz, Psy.D., is the co-founder of Your Mental Wealth™ and CEO of Klontz Consulting Group. He is a clinical psychologist, addictions specialist, consultant, speaker, peak performance coach, researcher, and internationally recognized expert in financial psychology. Dr. Klontz was awarded the 2009 Innovative Practice Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association due to his application of psychological interventions to help people with money and wealth issues and his innovative practice in financial psychology for practitioners across the country. He is also a blogger for PsychologyToday.com.
Dr. Ted Klontz, Ph.D., is the co-founder of Your Mental Wealth™ and President of Klontz Consulting Group. Dr. Klontz also has his own private consulting practice in Nashville, TN, working with individuals, couples, and families from all walks of life including athletes, entertainers, heirs, entertainment companies and financial planning practices. He also serves as a consultant to Flood, Bumstead, McCready, and McCarthy, a major entertainment management group, and for Onsite Workshops & Retreat Center, an internationally acclaimed recovery organization.
The Klontzes are recognized pioneers in the emerging field of financial psychology and have been featured on ABC’s 20/20, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and others.
Mind Over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders that Threaten Our Financial Health
By Brad Klontz, Psy.D. & Ted Klontz, Ph.D.
On-sale: December 29, 2009; Broadway Business
ISBN: 978-0-385-53101-6; Hardcover, 304 pages; Price: $25.00
For more information on Mind Over Money, please contact Dennelle Catlett at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 212-572-2537.