We’re pleased to share that our Founder and Clinical Director Matt Lundquist and Senior Therapist Kelly Scott are quoted in two recent articles, exploring our practice’s expertise in both financial family therapy and dating therapy.
In “I Grew Up Living Paycheck to Paycheck: Here’s What It Taught Me About Finance,” Matt explains to Go Banking Rates how growing up in a family that’s financially insecure can impact adult children. While there is, of course, variation dependent on the particular person, family, and circumstances, broadly Matt observes that childhood financial insecurity can lead adults to approach money in a few different ways. Some can be much too frugal, including being, as he articulates, “excessively vigilant, too cautious, or too scared when they go through difficult times.” “Maybe they stay in a bad job for too long because they don’t want to disrupt it,” he says. In contrast, some adults can swing the opposite direction and be not frugal enough, while others are a combination of both, which results in a financial hodge-podge of avarice and deprivation.
A financially insecure childhood can influence adult children to develop emotional skills that those who grow up in relative privilege may not. “To be able to tolerate going without, being uncomfortable, having to delay a purchase, deal with embarrassment, or tell a group of friends you can’t go out for dinner, you can think of this as a technical skill, but just as much, those are emotional skills,” Matt asserts. Casting these as emotional skills highlights the experiences of embarrassment, deprivation, scarcity, longing, and incompetence that can be so present for so many people. This is important because many money experts often take a tone that smart money management is a question of moral stamina. Good therapists see through this. Skipping the emotional complexity of the experience of financial insecurity trades on unfeeling stoicism—the kind of “white-knuckling” that leaves many to struggle to do what the advisor sees as so surely right.
The article also touches on what parents should do to ensure a child feels safe if they’re currently experiencing financial insecurity. Matt says, “You may feel like a failure and have a lot of stress about that, and those things can have real consequences. But it’s also okay to say, ‘We just don’t have enough money for that right now.’ At the same time, we have to separate emotional fear and disappointment from what’s actually unsafe.” He encourages parents to ask themselves: “What are the kinds of foundational things that make kids secure so they can relax and be kids?”
For INSIDER’s “Singles are ‘hesi-dating’ and unclear if they want serious or casual relationships, experts say. Here’s how to cut through indifference to find your match,” Kelly addresses what the article calls “hesi-dating,” or indifference about what a person wants in a relationship. Kelly suggests that people in the early stages of dating should pay attention to each other’s words and actions for hesitation. For instance, if they’re not following through on plans, they may be indifferent about dating. “If someone wants to make it happen,” Kelly says, “they’re going to figure out how to make it happen. It may not be perfect, but you will be able to feel the effort. And if you’re not feeling the effort, I think that’s something you really have to pay attention to…”
Rather than demand a person’s relationship goals on a first date, Kelly suggests asking questions like: “What has dating been like for you since the pandemic?” This allows for more nuance and room for change than asking them to define whether they’re looking for a long-term relationship on the spot. Chances are they may not even know themselves.