Mary Olivia Verhulst

It’s a common fact that if you invest your money wisely – you’ll become richer. But studies now show, this doesn’t always mean investing in the stock market. Investing in your mental health can make you richer too!

There are several mental, psychological and physical barriers that have been researched and explored that prevent individuals from ultimately seeking therapy. Stigma is often a significant  barrier to getting the right care for their mental wellbeing. One topic that has received some recent spotlight in the field is money and therapy. A recent study looked at both the effects of psychotherapy on mental health measured via a general health questionnaire, and it’s relation to income. The British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) collected data between 1995 and 2008. This survey observed the characteristics and decisions of 2,943 men and 5,064 women. The participants were randomly selected so that they statistically represented a much larger UK population” (The Conversation Journal, 2018). Results showed clear findings that psychotherapy contributes to higher improvements and satisfaction in mental health, as well as, increased income.

Taking the BHPS research further, findings show that gender played a statistically relevant role in the data. As it turns out, men reported benefiting economically more significantly from psychotherapy services than women. Specifically, data showed that men experienced an increase of 13% in their income within the next year after consulting psychotherapy services, with women’s income increase at 8%. Of the 13 years of data that was examined, approximately 23% of women entered into therapy and 15% of men. This is all to say – men out there, if you are reading this (it’s not too late) – it’s not always the easiest thing to come meet with a stranger and open up about your feelings, but it’s worth it. If you can allow yourself to be emotionally vulnerable, you’ll be able to make improvements in several aspects of your life. Therapy is a strong and positive force to be reckoned with, and now one that translates into more confidence and increased income! Psychotherapy can also help to healthier relationships, increase motivation levels, productivity, and work-life balance.

One reason that may help explain the gender difference in increased income may be the  gender wage gap decomposition. A decomposition is used to explain how factors affect the difference in earnings between men and women. Ultimately here the decomposition shows that psychotherapy accounts for 2% of the 5% difference between men and women’s boost in earnings – even though more women than men seek treatment. The article highlights an important and real phenomenon that is happening in this world still today, and cannot be fixed by psychotherapy alone, but by a system at large, and that is discriminatory workplace values.

So, what really qualifies as ‘richer’? If you’re someone who considers wealth to be emotional awareness, loving yourself, and a strong support system- therapy will hit all of these points. And if you consider wealth to be enough money in your pocket to thrive and be comfortable, looks like therapy has you covered there too!

Have more interest in this topic? Here’s the link ( the study.

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