Did you know that you are running for office, too? This month I’m asking you to not just take a look at your budget, but at your platform. Money has come to mean more than just “voting with your dollars.” Somebody has to be in charge around here. It might as well be you.
Let’s connect a few important ideas relating money and psychology, happiness and energy, and putting your money where your mouth is. (Hint: your mouth is part of you.)
One reason I think it is important to look at where you’re putting your money is because I equate money with energy. When we put money into something, we are putting our energy there as well. We are saying, “This is what I care about and value. This is where I choose to give a part of myself.” Of course, how much money you earn and how much cash you carry don’t define your entirety. But when you turn money into an action, either by purchasing, donating, or saving, it then becomes part of your legacy.
So you say that you must be leaving a legacy at Starbucks? (Yes it’s YOU I’m talking to you out there!) Spend wherever you want – but respect yourself (and your money) enough to take a look at the story you are writing.
Is Therapy (or anything else) Worth My Investment Right Now?
In order for you to decide if something, especially therapy, is worth your money, the object of your energy has to have some sort of leverage. In other words, therapy has leverage because it invites the belief that things can get better and has the research to back it up. Your favorite charity has leverage because it has captured your interest, excitement, or sympathy. You really need a caffeine hit and a pumpkin spice latte is going to do the trick. Well, all of those sound important to me! The idea that I can put my money somewhere and get a desired outcome? That’s leverage, and that’s how you decide if something is worth your investment.
My specialty is solution-focused counseling, and my clients are a diverse group. But everyone who is a part of my practice has decided that something about therapy is worth his or her money, and I work hard to make it consistently worthwhile. It is not easy to hire someone else to help you talk to your husband, feel better about your job, or teach you how to have a different relationship with food. You are essentially paying someone to help you shine a light into all the parts of you that you have ignored, abused, or disliked for so long. You have initiated a process that you hope will bring you more happiness.
Of course, therapy doesn’t always feel like a choice (neither does the latte; for some of us, it’s an act of public service). Some people are at the end of their rope, and they don’t see counseling as an option. It feels like life has given them an ultimatum: shape up or ship out.
Let’s talk about what is worth your money. Is it worth it to have a few sessions with someone who can help you feel better about something you’ve been struggling with forever? How much would you pay to be able to wake up and feel happy about your marriage or your job? If you have a child who broke his leg, wouldn’t you take him to a doctor and treat it? It’s not any different, then, to treat his depression (or your own).
So, whether therapy worth your money is a question only you can answer, and it depends on its leverage. So let’s answer that question with another question (how therapist-y!): what IS worth your money?