Financial Therapy Association Therapist Directory Review

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Financial Therapy Associate

Financial Therapy Association

Financial Therapy Association connects you with professionals who understand how finances can impact all areas of your life. The directory blends two specialties: financial coaching and mental health care. However, not everyone listed is a qualified mental health provider, which can be confusing for some users. We recommend proceeding with caution: users must be diligent about making sure they’re connecting with a mental health professional, rather than a financial coach, if mental health care is what they need.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Facts
Pros & Cons
  • Makes finding a financial counselor easy

  • Lists financial and mental health professionals

  • Numerous search criteria and filters

  • Caters to diverse demographics 

  • Contact information for therapists is easy to find

  • Global reach

  • Online and in-person therapist options

  • Small pool of therapists

  • Therapists are self-identified, not vetted

  • Not everyone listed has mental health training

  • No way to search for sliding scale or fee structure

  • Limited options for some sub-specialities

  • Volunteer-run

Key Facts
States Served
50, plus D.C. and worldwide
Number Of Therapists
Types Of Therapy
Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Peer Support
Insurance Accepted
Yes, by some therapists
Sliding Scale Prices Available
Yes, by some therapists
Why Trust Us
Companies reviewed
Users Surveyed
Zipcodes Tested
To review 25 online therapist directories, we surveyed 180 users who'd used the service, interviewed with 358 therapists listed on the site, and sent each company a questionnaire. Then, we tested the directory's ability to serve 37 therapy seekers's needs across 18 zipcodes and evaluated the results with the help of three professional therapists.
Financial Therapy Associate

Financial Therapy Association

In This Article
Financial Therapy Association Therapist Directory Review

Growing up poor, finances influenced every decision that my family made. Now that I'm more financially secure, I was surprised to see that thoughts about money are still ever-present in both my daily and long-term decisions, from what to eat for lunch to how many children to have. Finances—whether good or bad—affect us logistically, cognitively, and emotionally, and can take a big toll on our mental health. 

Unlike other therapist directories, the Financial Therapy Association blends two different types of expertise: financial planning and coaching plus mental health counseling. While that might seem like a match made in heaven, it can be complicated to navigate. Not everyone on the site is a qualified mental health professional, so this isn’t the best directory for people seeking treatment for mental health issues like depression or anxiety.  However, it can be helpful if your anxiety is triggered by financial factors, or if you’re looking to learn more about finances. 

So to assess how useful the Financial Therapy Association is for therapy seekers, we surveyed 180 people that had used the directory, interviewed over 10 therapists on the site, and spoke to representatives from the site. We also tested the services across 18 ZIP codes. Here’s what you should know about the Financial Therapy Association directory before you use it.

What Is the Financial Therapy Association Directory?

The Financial Therapy Association directory is a resource run by the Financial Therapy Association (FTA), which was established in 2010. The FTA is a volunteer-run organization primarily serving as a media and consumer resource, promoting financial therapy in the public eye. Members of the FTA who self-identify as providing therapy services can pay $100 a year to be listed on the directory. 

The FTA directory’s mission is to connect people seeking financial therapy with providers who have a mental health background, financial expertise, or both. Many of the providers listed—although not all—have interdisciplinary training in both areas. This is likely why, of people we surveyed who used the FTA directory, 82% rated the mission of the directory as good or very good. The ability to find financial experts like Certified Financial Planners and mental health experts like counselors in one place is what sets the FTA directory apart from the 24 other directories we reviewed.

The FTA directory serves people in all 50 states and around the globe, which is also different from most other directories we reviewed. Despite the small number of providers, this is possible because many therapists offer their services remotely and because not everyone listed on the directory is a licensed mental healthcare provider. That means they’re not constrained by state licensing requirements the way that licensed providers are. So, some people listed can operate in all states as coaches or other unregulated professionals. 

Counselors and coaches on the FTA directory may offer individual, couples, family, and/or group therapy. Just over half (54%) of users we surveyed reported using the directory for individual therapy, and about 19% for financial therapy specifically. 

Overall, this directory is unique in bringing together people with both mental health and financial qualifications. You may even be able to find a therapist that has financial knowledge, but still accepts your insurance as a traditional mental healthcare provider. “I didn’t realize financial therapy could be covered by insurance,” says psychologist Amy Marschall, PsyD. “That’s so important!”

First Impressions


To access the FTA directory, you’ll first visit the FTA homepage, which is primarily focused on professionals and FTA events, like an annual conference. From there, a menu option in the top right corner prompts you to “Find a FT.” However, this isn’t prominently displayed, so it could be missed. 

Once you’re on the directory page, you’ll find a brief explanation of what financial therapy is. As you scroll down, there’s a long box at the left of the screen. Here you’ll see dozens of possible filters and search criteria listed with check boxes. As you check different criteria, the therapist listings to the right of the page update. However, you’ll need to scroll up to see the results, since the filter box is longer than the search results. 


Despite that, 81% of users said that navigating the website was easy or very easy, and only 3% said it was difficult or very difficult. 

The FTA has a small Facebook following. The near-daily posts seem targeted more at financial therapists than the individuals they serve. The organization also has about 200 followers on Instagram, and often highlights the work and media appearances of members. 

Searching for a Therapist

Before you begin searching, it’s important to know that the FTA offers a relatively small pool of therapists. It reports only having 60 therapists listed. I counted 72. No matter which number is correct, it’s a small number of professionals compared to other directories.  

Your first choice in your search is your practitioner’s primary focus area: financial coaching or mental health. Despite this being critically important, it’s listed about halfway down the filter options, rather than at the top. You can also search for providers with special qualifications, like Certified Financial Therapists, clinical counselors, or psychologists. 

A host of other filters include location, language, demographic identifiers, expertise, and how services are delivered (in person or telehealth). You can filter using as many or as few criteria as you want. 

While the huge number of filters is a boon, the layout of the website can be clunky and confusing. Mental health editor Hannah Owens, LMSW, describes the search for a therapist on the FTA directory as “frustrating.”

“The browsing function for the directory is confusing,” she says. “It is all jammed on one side of the page in small lettering and seems to go on forever.”


She’s right. The formatting is a bit overwhelming and displays awkwardly on the page. It’s not organized in a clear way so it can be tricky to find the checkbox you’re looking for. This could be replaced with an easier-to-use drop-down menu. In addition, the criteria are not listed in order of importance. For example, a provider's qualifications are listed after religious affiliation and sexuality. In addition, it’s not clear whether some search criteria, like racial identification, are in reference to the provider or the person seeking therapy. 

Another major drawback is the inability to search for specific keywords, like “sliding scale,” “divorce,” or “estate planning.” Although there is a search box in the filter section, I was not able to create any searches that turned up hits. With no functional search feature, users are left to find a therapist based only on the available filters. Although there are lots of them, they don’t cover everything, and trying to find what you need with the filters alone can be time-consuming and frustrating. 

In addition, there’s no option to search by ZIP code. Although this is likely because most providers do financial therapy online, it’s a pitfall for people who are looking for an in-person therapist or a mental healthcare provider licensed in their state. 

It is true that the website layout is clean, with no pop-up ads. Maybe this is why 73% of users said that the process of finding a therapist was easy or very easy, and only 4% said it was difficult or very difficult. And 83% of users we surveyed said it was easy or very easy to find a specific provider. 

Directory Bio Pages

The bio pages on the FTA directory are laid out well and user-friendly. The contact information for therapists is displayed prominently. You can see their email, website and phone number, or use hyperlinked buttons to access them directly. This makes it easy to reach out to therapists, although you can’t book directly through the directory. 


The bio pages allow providers to show a picture and short written bio, which is the first thing users see. Providers can list their specialties, patient demographics, languages spoken, and more. “About the practitioner” and “practitioner designations and qualifications” list demographic information, education, qualifications, and other critical information about the provider. This area is split into mental health designations, financial therapy designations, and financial designations, in an attempt to make it easier to understand a provider’s expertise. 

There are a few drawbacks to the bio pages, though. Although providers list their fee structure (e.g., charging hourly), they are not required to list their fee breakdown (what they charge per session). There’s also no way to know whether they’re accepting new clients or not, so you may need to reach out to multiple providers before you find one who can to take you on as a client. 

Lastly, there is no way to book a therapy session directly through the FTA directory. You’ll need to contact therapists by phone or email to find out their availability and if they’re accepting new clients. This can be time consuming. Sixty-six percent of users surveyed had to reach out to more than one therapist. Of those, 75% had to reach out to three or more. 

How Useful Is the Directory for Therapy Seekers?

To be listed on the FTA directory, a provider must be a member of the FTA. To become a member, they have to have either financial expertise or mental health expertise, but not necessarily both. That can be a bit confusing, since with “therapy” in the name, users might assume that all providers on the site have a mental health background. Or, you may find a provider that has mental health training, but not necessarily the financial expertise you’re looking for. 

The FTA directory divides provider qualifications into three broad categories:

  • Financial therapy qualifications (often provided by the FTA)
  • Financial qualifications, such as being a Certified Financial Planner
  • Mental health qualifications, such as being a psychologist or licensed mental health counselor

Despite the site’s efforts, most people aren’t familiar with this format. “It might get confusing as to who is a mental health professional and who is not,” Owens says.

In addition, it’s important to remember that providers are not vetted, but self-identified. “It’s a red flag that they do not verify their providers,” says Dr. Marschall. 

Still, the people who use the FTA directory are finding what they’re looking for, according to our user survey. Sixty-four percent say they were able to find a therapist who fit all their needs. Most users—48%—considered two to three therapists before making their selection. Overall, 81% of users say they were satisfied with the therapists who were available on the directory, and 88% say that the therapists’ qualifications were good or very good. 

In addition, most users said they were happy with the diversity of the therapists listed on the site. Eighty-three percent of users rated the provider diversity as good or very good. A quick look over the board of directors of the FTA shows people who appear to be of a variety of races and genders. The organization promotes itself as diverse, and it appears this is indeed the case. 

However, the users of the FTA directory are lacking in socio-economic diversity. Of the directories that we surveyed, the FTA directory has the highest percentage of users making $150,000 or more each year. This is likely because increasing accessibility and equity is not an expressed goal of the FTA directory and the site doesn’t cater to people in challenging financial situations, even those may be exactly the types of users that need the most help managing the mental health impacts of financial stress. 

The experts listed seem to focus more on positive financial situations—for example, those who have experienced unexpected windfalls or who are managing generational wealth. There are no therapists listed who specialize in job loss, layoffs, or unpredictable income. In addition, the site does not express a desire to make therapy more equitable or address systemic barriers to financial stability. 

“I know that financial stress contributes to mental health, stress, physical health, etc.,” says Dr. Marschall, “but we also know you can’t budget your way out of extreme poverty.”

Admittedly, users can search by fee structure, opting for providers who charge a flat rate, commission, or hourly rate. They can also search for providers who accept insurance. But there’s no option to search for providers who have a sliding fee scale. You also cannot search by rate or whether the provider accepts insurance. That can make this service inaccessible for someone who needs to know the financial implications of therapy. 

All in all, our survey found that 81% of users are still using the therapist that they found with the directory. The same percentage said that it’s likely or very likely that they will still be using their therapist in six months' time. Additionally, 85% of users surveyed rated their experience as good or very good, 78% of users were likely to recommend the directory, and 80% said they would use it again. Eighty-seven percent of users listed the overall helpfulness of the directory as good or very good, and 82% said the FTA directory was better than other mental health services or directories they had used in the past. 

How Useful Is the Directory for Therapists?

A good therapist directory doesn’t just cater to therapy seekers; it also attracts and keeps good therapists. Without those therapists, the site becomes essentially useless to a therapy seeker. That’s why, as part of our research, we also looked at how useful this directory is to the therapists listed. In our opinion, it’s probably a good fit for providers who have both financial and mental health expertise. 

Although it does not require certain experience or licensure, it aims to help people bridge the gap between mental health and financial health, so it attracts providers who work in both areas. The therapists that we surveyed who use the FTA directory reported that it improved their caseload. 

For example, one of the therapists we interviewed says that the directory helps her connect with clients looking for the particular blend of therapy that she provides. Without the FTA directory, that would be difficult.

“Financial therapy is an emerging field, and it’s something that’s well needed,” she says. 

Elizabeth Sterbenz, a licensed marriage and family therapist listed on the site, agrees, and says that’s why she would recommend it to other professionals with an interest in financial therapy. She says that the directory is of excellent value, in part because it provides awareness and training around financial therapy, which is a relatively new concept. 

In addition to running the directory, the FTA provides training and certification, as well as an annual conference, for financial therapists. Sterbenz has found these training sessions and the network of like-minded professionals beneficial. 

The platform is also, according to the therapists we surveyed, of relatively good value. It costs $100 per year to be listed on the FTA directory, though in order to be listed, therapists must be a member of the FTA, which has an annual membership fee of $175. So in total, therapists spend about $275 annually to be featured on the directory. 

One of the therapists we interviewed, LaQueshia Clemons, says that the listing has paid for itself. 

“I’ve gotten a lot of referrals from this directory,” she says. “It’s just excellent in comparison to the others I’ve used in the past. I’m very, very, very happy with this directory. I’ve got to give credit where credit is due.”

Final Verdict

The Financial Therapy Association’s directory is meant to serve people who want to improve their financial standing and better cope with financial stressors. Providers on the site have a background in mental health, personal finance, or both.

It’s noteworthy that not everyone listed on the directory is a mental health professional. In addition, the people on the directory self-select, and are not vetted by the organization. 

“It is very important to highlight that this directory lists financial advisors as well as therapists, and that financial advisors are not qualified to conduct therapy,” Owens says. “Financial planning can (and should) be a part of talk therapy, especially if issues arise for the client, but as a service on its own it's not a therapeutic service.”

However, if you’re specifically looking for a way to integrate finances into your therapy, the FTA can connect you with therapists and financial professionals who may be able to help you. 


To write this review, we conducted original research in order to get a full sense of how the Financial Therapy Association's directory helped therapy seekers and therapists connect and how it compared to other popular directories. We started off evaluating around 180 users at each company (4862 respondents total) and collecting data and research on the company, such as when it was founded, how many therapists it lists, what states it serves, and more. We also interviewed or surveyed a minimum of 10 therapists listed on each directory about their experience using the directory, including how it has affected their caseload and whether they’d recommend it to their colleagues. 

Next we tested each directory ourselves by searching for therapists that might be appropriate for 37 different but common scenarios, looking at how well the website is able to meet accessibility, cultural sensitivity, parenting, condition-focused needs and more. 

We then asked our three subject matter experts, Amy Marschall, Nic Hardy, and Hannah Owens, to score these testing results to get a sense of how easy or difficult the directory’s search functionality made these searches for users. We also sent a questionnaire to each company, though not all companies responded.

1 Source
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Archuleta KL, Dhakhwa M. 2020 membership profile of the Financial Therapy Association. J Financial Ther. 2021;12(1). doi:10.4148/1944-9771.1277

Edited by
Hannah Owens
Hannah Owens

Hannah Owens is the Mental Health/General Health Editor for performance marketing at Verywell. She is a licensed social worker with clinical experience in community mental health.

Learn about our editorial process
Simone Scully

Simone is the health editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.

Learn about our editorial process