What money resentments do you have? Mine are professional money resentments and I am letting go of them today.

What money resentments do you have…that you could let go of?

Ok, so this Burning Question was sent out a few weeks ago, and it’s been nudging me ever since it came out. I have been wrestling with money issues for a while, and about 6 months ago went into private practice, which brought more of these issues to the surface for me. There’s this fine balance that I feel I walk as a therapist. The balance between feeling my work  as a ministry I believe God called me to, doing good in the world for the sake of doing good in the world, helping others, seeing people heal, etc… and the fact that it is a business and I have a family to support. Up until this point most of my career experience has either been with those in poverty, on medicaid, with disabilities or the counseling was a free service, so when I entered into private practice and began charging fees, collecting money for services rendered directly from clients it felt odd. I thought I was prepared for it, in fact I was excited about the fact that I could charge fees and also encourage more responsibility from clients. 

It has been a more difficult mind shift than I expected. The past month or so I’ve really been asking myself why it has been so hard and where my money resentments are so that I can let them go and make some brain space for creativity which is what I really want to use my brain for :o).

I think as it relates to the counseling business my resentment is more about feeling confused about how to integrate the idea that I believe God called me to be a therapist, my passion for it (especially those little kiddos) and the idea of therapy as a business. In addition, as I search my heart, I noticed some negative  messages I received as a new therapist about money contributed to feeling undervalued and disrespected, and having the false belief that I shouldn’t expect get paid for what I do.

Negative Messages I Received as a New Professional

I have spent a lot of grunt work time providing services free or reduced for “experience” and “to help the client out.” 

Take for example graduate school. While I was working full time in the mental health industry, I was also expected and required to complete a practicum/internship component that was UNPAID and took up approx 30 hours a week of work on top of a full time job (I have to eat you know). Those students who had paid internships were rare, and we were told, “Don’t expect to get paid, everyone interns for free.” 

Even after graduate school, I spent time working somewhere where we saw clients often in homes and schools, and drove around a lot using my own gas, paying for more insurance than usual, and also spending lots of unbillable, unpaid, unproductive time in the car. In addition, I was often required to take days off from seeing clients (that I got paid for) to go to all day or half day workshops (that I did not get paid for and didn’t really learn from). WHAT??!! That put me in a horrible bind, so do I go see my clients so I can feed my family today or do I go to a training I don’t get paid for so I don’t  lose my job. When asked about that time spent, we were constantly told that there was either not money or we shouldn’t expect to get paid for such and such.

So where do my resentments lie? That I worked hard and saw little financial return, and spent hours away from my family working and not getting paid.  I began to feel undervalued and disrespected, and the false belief that I shouldn’t expect to get paid for what I do was planted.

So What’s The Truth? I’m Giving Up that Belief Today!

1. Time is valuable, family is valuable.
2. Clients who invest monetarily are more invested in therapy.
3. Therapy is both a business and a ministry for me, they are not mutually exclusive.
4. There are ways to give back that don’t necessarily involve reducing fees.
5. I can expect for clients to pay a fair fee for counseling services.  
6. My self worth is not what I am paid, it is who God says I am and who I believe I am.

I am sure there are many more truths I can think of that will help to combat the negative beliefs and give them up today. Feel free to leave positive comments and thoughts.

One comment on “What money resentments do you have? Mine are professional money resentments and I am letting go of them today.

  1. Hey, Jill, for what it’s worth . . . many of us struggle with our “calling” being a business. (In fact, so many that I’m getting ready to host a series on dealing with these money matters.)

    What might be helpful is for you to think about your pastor or religious leaders. They, too, were called to their professions . . . and, it is likely that they have families, want good things for themselves and their families, and, yet, see / work with people in need every day. So . . . what is it you would want / wish for your pastor? A life of poverty? A middle-class life? The life of a rich man? And, how is that different than what you wish for you and your own family?

    I’m glad to hear you letting go of false beliefs and resentments. You deserve to do just that! You also deserve to feel good about the work you do and the compensation you receive. You’ve worked long and hard for it! You go, girl!

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