Money Shows Up Our Trust Issues!
Nothing brings up trust issues as quickly or as obviously as money! (Except perhaps sex?)
I have had several clients who pay me at the start of the session rather than risk forgetting to pay at the end. I’ve asked about it and the answer is always the same, they don’t trust themselves to remember. They fear the possible shame they might incur if they had to be reminded by me, and make the judgement that it is better avoided. And I feel for them.
I remember my own huge shame when, driving home after therapy one evening, I remembered I had forgotten to pay my therapist. I pulled over to the side of the road and called her. I was sick with guilt, embarrassment and shame, and was ready to drive back (almost 20 miles) to correct the problem there and then, if she hadn’t insisted on leaving it until the following session. Looking back now, I can remember the intensity of those feelings, though they seem curiously out of proportion to the mistake. The underlying fear for me was that the relationship could not hold such a huge issue, and that my mistake could have been the end of the relationship. My fear was on a catastrophic scale. My thoughts ran riot with questions about my motivation for not paying. What was I saying in that? Was some part of me angry with my therapist and refusing to pay? What was going on for me that I had forgotten? How could I have done that? How could I be so stupid? It went on and on.
Now, of course, I can see the perfectionist in that. The perfectionist who had to get it all right all the time, or I would be punished by being cast out of the nest. The perfectionist, who had to be perfectly critical with myself, in case I missed some angle of my error and someone else criticised me. I couldn’t trust myself, my therapist or our relationship to hold even this small transgression. So, yes, I feel for my clients in it.
How we handle money issues tells us a lot about ourselves, but sometimes we don’t want to look or to see. It takes courage, but has a hugely positive impact on your ability to earn a living from your therapy practice. If this is an area you struggle with, and you’re ready for thing s to change, maybe I can help you? Contact me here for an appointment, or browse my services here.