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Financial Goal Setting, Financial Anxiety, and Solution-Focused Financial Therapy (SFFT): A Quasi-experimental Outcome Study

Abstract

Financial anxiety appears to have a significant effect on the lives of many Americans (APA Stress in America™, paying with our health, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, 2015) and a source of client distress among mental health clinicians, financial professionals, and financial therapists. Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) has been utilized in number disciplines as a way to help professionals interact with clients to create change and improve well-being. This study utilized a version of SFBT that applies its principles and techniques to financially related issues called Solution-Focused Financial Therapy (SFFT; Archuleta et al. in J Financial Ther 6(1):1–16, 2015a; in Financial therapy: theory, research, & practice, Springer, New York, 2015b). More specifically, SFFT was applied to a financial goal setting session. Using quasi-experimental methods, the purpose of this study was to discover whether or not financial anxiety levels were reduced after clients participated in a brief SFFT goal setting session. Results indicate that a SFFT approach to goal setting can reduce financial anxiety for the short-term. Implications for research and mental health, financial, and financial therapy practice are provided.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all of the personal financial planning doctoral students who served as student financial therapists, between 2011 and 2016, and helped make this study possible.

Author information

Correspondence to Kristy L. Archuleta.

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Conflict of interest

No conflict exists.

Ethical Approval

Protocol #6301.3 was approved by Kansas State University Institutional Review Board.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was received by each client using a paper form.

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Archuleta, K.L., Mielitz, K.S., Jayne, D. et al. Financial Goal Setting, Financial Anxiety, and Solution-Focused Financial Therapy (SFFT): A Quasi-experimental Outcome Study. Contemp Fam Ther 42, 68–76 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10591-019-09501-0

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Keywords

  • Financial anxiety
  • Solution-focused therapy
  • Solution-focused financial therapy
  • Financial goal setting