Money Can Represent Power Love Freedom Or Security

Money can be harder to talk about than sex, especially in a group therapy setting where shame may be an obstacle, yet financial matters are important both in and out of the therapeutic setting. Individuals derive meaning of money from culture, class, family patterns, gender, and personality (Gans, 1992; Motherwell, 2002; Newcomb & Rabow, 1999). Money can represent power, love, freedom, or security; these relational concerns tend to evoke strong feelings and reactions in clients. The boundary issue of payment for psychotherapy defines the relationship between therapist and client. Each time fees are raised or lowered, negotiated, paid or unpaid, the boundary shifts and new feelings and meanings arise. Money issues in group therapy afford group members an opportunity to explore family patterns, individual meanings, feelings about the therapist, and assumptions about one another with regard to money.

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