Reviews | “Therapy” is not a term to be used lightly.

Regarding Metro’s May 11 article “Past Trauma Could Trigger, Explain Financial Habits”:

I’m glad to read that other professions are beginning to understand how emotional and mental health issues can affect all facets of a person’s life. But to be precise, this is not a new discovery. Mental health therapists have been dealing with the link between money and finances and emotional health for decades. I learned this in a university training in social work in the early 1970s.

Olivia Mellan has been a leader in the field of monetary psychology since the early 1980s and has written several books on the subject. We didn’t think we had to call ourselves financial planners to be effective, and I wonder why financial planners now feel they have the right to call themselves “financial therapists” after taking courses in mental health.

While I’m glad other professionals are more sensitive to this issue, they shouldn’t call what they do therapy. Social workers, psychologists, and counselors have all earned advanced degrees to learn how to become competent and ethical therapists. Taking a few classes does not qualify the use of this term. Calling yourself a therapist without proper training will only confuse an already vulnerable population that comes seeking help.

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