Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Emotional Currency of Money

Money is a weird thing. It can be the source of great pleasure, but it just as readily brings about great angst and fear. Tomorrow night we are joined by psychotherapist and author Kate Levinson, who will read from and discuss her recently published book Emotional Currency: A Woman's Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money, published by Celestial Arts.

Before beginning to explore the psychological and emotional roots of her relationship with money, Levinson always assumed that her discomfort with money was caused by "the amount I had and how I mismanaged it, never glimpsing that most of my money dilemmas had to do with my feelings and what it meant to me....Though financial advisers suggest that we just be rational in our dealings with money, this is rarely possible for most of us, as we attach a complex set of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings to money." These emotions affect every aspect of our lives, whether we have lots of money or not nearly enough.

Emotional Currency, according to Levinson, is "a guide to exploring your personal experiences of having, not having, making, not making, spending, saving, giving, investing, inheriting, and losing money....It will teach you how to integrate your feelings into money matters." The book includes dozens of real-life stories, as well as questions and exercises to help the reader explore the emotional and psychological aspects of  money and to provide strategies for working through confusion or struggles.

Interestingly, Levin's husband, Steve Costa, owns Point Reyes Books -- a profession I can easily confirm for you does not typically lead to great wealth. In fact, the author says it's a good thing she made her discoveries about the emotional component of money before he decided to buy the bookstore: "Without having done some of my inner money work, I would certainly have said, 'We can't! We don't have the money.' And our lives would have been poorer. Instead, our world has been immeasurably expanded and enriched, but of even more value to me has been the deepening of our partnership."

Levinson holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is a member of the teaching and supervising faculty at The Psychotherapy Institute, and has also taught and supervised students at J.F.K. University’s Graduate School of Clinical Psychology. She specializes in helping individuals and couples deal with money from a psychological perspective.

Please join us Thursday, July 27th, at 7pm for what is sure to be an eye-opening discussion. I am eager to learn from the author's insights. Here is a link to an article about the book to whet your appetite.

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