CHAPTER 83 Marriage and Family Therapy Applications to Financial Planning

Kristy L. Archuleta, PhD, LMFT

Kansas State University

D. Bruce Ross III, MS

University of Georgia

This chapter provides practical applications from the field of marriage and family therapy to financial planning to help make sense of the relational dynamics in clients’ lives and how it can impact clients’ decision making and the financial planning process. This chapter overviews two theories that are foundational in understanding relational dynamics: systems theory and ecological theory. Although some readers might find reading about theory daunting, these particular theoretical orientations lend themselves well to the practice of financial planning. A case study, which follows a farm family business owner who is in the process of developing a succession plan, is presented to apply these theoretical principles to practice. It should be noted that although this business owner is involved in a farm family business, the implications can be applied to any family or any family business. Practical tools and techniques are offered to help practitioners communicate with clients when there is more than one client in the room.

Joe, a 67-year-old farm family business owner, is your next appointment. You have met Joe socially, but do not know him well. Through your social networks, you have heard he is frugal and that he and his son farm together, but do not get along with each other. You are actually surprised that ...

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