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​The Financial Planning Association and the Financial Therapy Association partnered to create a new online course that helps financial planners prepare for working with clients experiencing life-changing situations.

Called the Difficult Conversations Program Series, the self-study online course focuses on common emotional events and shares researched therapeutic techniques that financial planners can immediately use in their practices.

“Knowing how to guide clients through challenging life events can be critical to the development and implementation of a financial plan,” 2019 FPA President Evelyn Zohlen said in a statement. “It’s exciting to partner with the Financial Therapy Association to guide financial planners through these difficult conversations, empowering them to build more meaningful client relationships and gain a deeper understanding of their clients’ needs.”

The new course, which was created by a financial therapy expert and a financial planner, is separated into three training sessions.

Difficult Conversations 1: Later-in-Life Planning

This session explores common financial planning issues that arise later in life and discusses how financial therapy can aid financial planners in supporting their clients.

A mock financial planning session between a planner and a couple diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is featured.

Difficult Conversations 2: Encouraging (Not Enabling) Adult Children Toward Independence

This session describes how to use financial therapy techniques and practices along with financial planning tools and practices to support clients in having difficult financial conversations with adult children.

In this session, financial planners also learn how to manage financial expectations, address financial enabling, and support and foster healthy financial decisions before “serious” problems arise.

Difficult Conversations 3: Couples Dealing With Financial Infidelity

This session discusses the challenges financial planners face when dealing with a couple’s financial infidelity or when a client shares a secret they did not disclose with their partner.

Participants develop introductory skills for managing couples in conflict and how and when to refer to a financial therapist for additional support.

This new online course is part of the FPA Professional Development Learning Center. Certified financial planners can earn up to three CFP CE credits for completion of the series.

 

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