Does mental health and financial discussions go hand in hand? Psychologist Rhonda Miller from RM Psychological Solutions believes so. Delving deeper into the link between how mental health can affect your wellbeing, we picked her brain on the issues that mental health can have on your emotional and psychological ability to make both financial and life decisions that best benefits you.
1. What areas of psychology do you specialize in?
- Life Coaching
- Conflict Resolution
- Acute and Chronic Pain Management
- Acute and Chronic Illness
- Anxiety and other Anxiety Disorders
- Depression and other Mood Disorders
- Peri and Postnatal depression
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- Relationship Counselling
2. Do you help people in other areas of wellness?
Yes I do assist people in all areas of wellness and all ages from teenage years to adults.
3. What types of treatments do you use to help your clients create emotional and mental stability?
I utilize evidence-based treatment modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) and Brief Solution Focused Treatment. CBT is the most supported type of treatment and usually the most beneficial to the individual.
4. Do you believe that being in the right mind frame is imperative in making positive choices with (though not limited to) your finances?
Definitely! An individual needs to be in a positive mind frame to make the most adaptive and positive choices within their lives and especially when making decisions relating to their finances. Being in a positive mind set stops maladaptive thoughts from influencing a decision in a negative way. Life Coaching would be very beneficial in developing a good mind frame and can help an individual in two different areas of finance and life:
Focuses on assisting the individual improve their long-term financial behaviours by facilitating individuals to set and achieve financial goals, develop and monitor positive goal directed behaviours and thought processes and facilitate decision-making processes.
Focuses on assisting an individual to establish goals, develop the correct mind set for retirement, re-balance the life transition when the individuals’ career is now not the main focus and how to make informed decisions about your lifestyle.
It is really important for an individual to engage in both Financial and Retirement Coaching and to work collaboratively with their psychologist and their Accredited Financial Planner to achieve the best possible financial outcomes.
5. With all the choices people have out there, how can you help people with decision-making? Will those techniques also help with making financial decisions?
Decision-making is a skill set which utilizes a range of techniques depending on the issue/s the individual is dealing with. Decision-making generally involves 7 stages to reach positive outcomes. The 7 stages are:
1. Identification of the decision to be made
2. Collection of information that is relevant to the decision
3. Generate alternatives to the decision
4. Look at all the evidence obtained
5. Make a choice on what alternative you wish to proceed with
6. Commence your action plan
7. Set a review time and review the decision made – did you achieve the outcomes you were looking for?
When engaging in decision-making it is important for the individual to be in a positive mind set, be able to identify any negative issues and address them and to remain focused on the outcomes they wish to achieve.
6. Do you have any suggestions for people approaching a problem? Are those techniques transferable to financial problems?
When approaching a problem an individual needs to work within a basic structure involving 5 stages of problem solving.
1. Define what the problem is you wish to resolve
2. Generate alternative ways to address the problem
3. Evaluate each alternative and select the most appropriate solution to resolve the problem
4. Implement the solution
5. Review the outcomes
While these 5 stages of problem solving at first appear simple they are quite complex at each stage. The individual needs to remain focused on the positive outcomes they wish to achieve and utilize multiple different techniques at each stage.
This problem solving structure is transferable to financial issues and allows the individual not only to be identify the financial issues they want to achieve but also enables the individual to identify any negative mind sets and negative behaviours that have hindered them from achieving financial security. By being able to clearly define what the financial problems are and the financial outcomes they wish to achieve the individual is able to work in a more productive way with their Financial Advisor.
7. What is the price range psychologists charge for general sessions?
The cost of seeing a Psychologist would depend on the referral pathway, for example Work Cover has a standard fee schedule set by the Work Cover NSW. Most Psychologists set their own fees and these fees would be dependent on the referral pathway. Please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss fees if you are considering seeking advice/treatment from me.
8. What is your advice for people wanting to seek psychological help, but may be afraid to because of fear of judgment?
The therapeutic relationship between the Psychologist and the client is always judgment free. The Psychologist is there to assist the client address their presenting issues, develop life skills and improve their psychological and overall functioning. If a client feels that their Psychologist is judging them then it is important to discuss this in their next session so treatment can move forward.
9. Any advice for budding psychologists who would like to enter this profession?
My advice to budding psychologists would be the following:
1. Make sure you know the direction and area you want to work in. It is also important to know what areas you are not comfortable to work in.
2. Be involved with Peer Supervision and Professional Development from the onset of your career as you are provided with the arena to debrief in, discuss de-identified cases which you need advice on and you are developing ongoing working relationships with colleagues.
3. Make sure you have developed skills in keeping work and personal life separate.
10. In your opinion, how would you value the quality of Emotional Intelligence (EI) in terms of not only managing your finances but your life?
EI has 5 categories
1. Self awareness
2. Self regulation
5. Social skills
For success in life an individual needs to have both IQ and EI. EI is very important for managing finances.
For more information about RM Psychological Solutions, visit their website rmpsych.com.au