Families and Financial Stress in HBFT

Module Sections:


Welcome to the Course


The purpose of this module is to help therapists learn more about how to address financial concerns of families they serve. The module will provide a brief look at the different facets of financial hardship and provide basic tools and interventions that can be useful to home based family therapists. It is important to remember that while you are able to address the effects of financial hardship and provide some basic financial tools to clients, it may, in many cases, be necessary to refer your clients to a financial planner in your area. It is important that you familiarize yourself with these resources so that you are able to provide referrals when in the home.

As the U.S. endures the current economic downturn, families across all demographic and socioeconomic statuses are directly impacted. Although more research has emerged on how family finances impact marital relationships and parenting (Dankin & Wampler, 2008; Vinokur, Price & Caplan, 1996), this has had little impact on how couple and family therapy is conducted. Knowing the financial situation of clients can be helpful data in assessing for psychological, behavioral and relational problems as well as developing and implementing interventions.

As we work with families in their home environment we are more likely to see, firsthand, how the economy has affected their daily lives. This module will help you understand how children and families are affected by financial distress and what you can do as a home-based family therapist to help address some of these issues.