New designation: Certified Financial Therapist

Written on May 02, 2018

Financial planners manage clients’ money, but they also are involved with the emotions of monetary decisions. By the end of 2018, there will be a new designation from the Financial Therapy Association (FTA) to reflect both aspects of financial planning.

The FTA consists of practicing financial planners, psychologists, counselors, family therapists, researchers, psychotherapists and various other professionals from a wide range of disciplines. The association does not service clients directly but simply helps develop the professionals who serve them. Its main focus is to give financial planners the tools to help clients develop positive financial behaviors through evidence-based intervention.

The FTA plans to roll out the Certified Financial Therapist designation in three certification levels. Level I, or CFT-I, will be released later this year and will provide skills to identify emotional disorders, effectively engage an affected client and make referrals to the appropriate support professionals, among other skills. Experience and education requirements for the Level I certification can be found here.

Two additional certification levels will be available at a later date. CFT-II certification develops therapeutic and financial skills in depth, but does not include full therapeutic licensing.

The aim of Levels I and II is not to turn financial planners into therapists, but rather to create a platform that allows financial planners to become more finessed and have greater long-term success with their clients, the FTA says.

CFT-III will be intended for licensed therapists who are interested in offering financial planning services to clients in addition to full therapeutic services.

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