Campus News

New program provides relationship, financial counseling to couples

New program provides relationship, financial counseling to couples

A program set to begin next month will offer UGA faculty and staff the opportunity to address relationship and financial issues with counselors.

Offered through the College of Family and Consumer Sciences’ McPhaul Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic, the new program is designed to address relationship and financial issues over the course of three to five sessions, according to Jerry Gale, associate professor of child and family development and director of clinical training for the MFT program.

“This program will pair master’s and doctoral-level graduate students in the two areas (financial planning and marriage and family therapy) to meet with couples,” Gale said. “We know that financial problems can strongly impact a couple’s relationship and vice versa, this is a way to provide expert guidance in both areas.”

Joseph Goetz, assistant professor of housing and consumer economics, agreed with Gale’s assessment and noted that little research has been done in the area of financial therapy.

“There is very little academic literature on financial therapy,” he said. “In most cases, if a financial planner is meeting with a couple and relationship issues come up, that planner doesn’t have the tools to address those issues. This program is designed to build an interdisciplinary bridge of relations between therapists and financial planners.”

The researchers, which also include child and family development assistant professor Maria Bermudez, will gather data on the project to determine how it can best be expanded.

To participate, one member of the couple seeking counseling must be a student, faculty or staff member at UGA. There is a charge for this program, but it is based on a sliding scale ranging from $15 to $65 per counseling session. Sessions will begin in February and only a limited number of sessions are being offered. For more information or to register for the program, e-mail or call (706) 542-4486.