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Staying Empowered Through Financial Challenges

Dr. Jeff Gardere shares useful strategies to overcome financial turmoil.

Keeping a cool head when your financial status is not optimal is very challenging. When you are faced with incredible tax, credit card, or mortgage debt, having ways to navigate through these serious issues are imperative. Staying financially empowered by getting help is alway a powerful choice.

The reasons that clients seek Clinical psychologist, Dr. Jeff Gardere’s guidance generally fall under: 1. Not being able to find a job, and meet financial and familial responsibilities which subsequently may lead to depression and anxiety. 2. Losing a job or not being able to find a job, for men in particular, seriously impacts self-esteem and self-worth (resulting in a chemical abuse, sexual acting out, or emotional abuse towards a partner). And, 3. Even if a person is working, they may still lack financial stability and this stress may cause relationship issues and problems.

“My private practice, and my colleagues’ as well, are getting many more therapy cases in which the economic climate may be fueling some sort of interpersonal issue, creating or exacerbating a mental illness, or impacting a romantic or long-term relationship,” says the three book author and television personality. “The most important thing to understand is that you are not alone in your situation or emotional pain.”

If you are losing control, or may hurt yourself, contact a mental health care professional or go to an emergency room, advises the Clinical Assistant Professor of Behavioral Medicine at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. “But if you have no plan and really don’t want to do anything destructive, then talk with a very close friend or family member.”

“More than anything financial issues can become very amorphous causing a lot of free-floating anxiety,” says Dr. Gardere. “List your debt, what is due, and begin putting together a budget. This empowerment strategy will make the situation more manageable. The Internet also has websites that can show how a budget can be easily constructed and maintained.”

Additionally, take action and stop ducking the bill collectors. “Confront your financial picture by being in verbal and written contact with the debtors,” says Dr. Gardere. “Face this fear and regain your power. You will feel less like a fugitive, and you can always work out some sort of deal to make on-time payments when you can.”

Being original is another solution, says the author and television personality. Adapting an entrepreneurial mind, or finding new and different ways to express occupationally, can lead to being financially solvent. This route includes retraining and reeducation with the help of career counselors who are made available in schools and government agencies.

At the end of the day, Dr. Gardere points out that pride should not be part of the equation. “One must be willing to do a job that perhaps they would never have considered in the past,” he says. “However with the right attitude any job can be morphed into something enjoyable, by being fulfilling emotionally and financially.”