The role of financial counseling as perceived by marriage and family therapists

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

This study investigated marital therapists' preparation for and attitudes toward providing financial counseling. A questionnaire was sent to a systematic, Nth interval, random sample of American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy clinical members and approved supervisors. Twenty-nine of the fifty approved supervisors- and one hundred twenty-four of the two hundred ninety-seven clinical members responded. overall response rate was 44 percent. The respondents were highly educated and experienced therapists. On average, one-third of the respondents' clients report financial conflicts. Although few respondents had any formal training in financial areas, most (78 percent) perform financial counseling. Fifty-seven percent reported they had sufficient training and expertise to provide financial counseling. It appeared that many provide financial counseling to clients despite doubts of their expertise in this area. Most respondents were personally interested in obtaining training in financial counseling. Most reported that marital therapists should provide financial counseling and saw a need for training prospective marital therapists in financial counseling.