Do You Suffer from Financial Trauma?

A trauma is considered an event that shocks you and creates great distress or suffering, both during the event and after it’s over. You might not associate this with money, but I often encounter people with these kinds of responses to their financial situation. I began to notice a distinct pattern of past traumatic stories that came up when I worked with people on their saving account (or lack of one) or on their debt. These past events sometimes involved actual emotional or physical trauma. But, even if the person didn’t see the incident as traumatic, it seemed to have a strong impact, sometimes catastrophic, on the person’s savings account or debt load.

Regardless of how long ago the event occurred, its negative effect could still be seen in the emotions or finances of my clients. So I felt it crucial to define this particular type of situation for what it truly is–a “financial trauma.” And I want to help you identify any that you may have experienced that might be holding you back from increasing your wealth.

Identifying Trauma

Do you suffer from financial trauma? Here’s the acid test for whether or not you do. Look at the numbers that represent your debt or your savings, or both. Think about them. Do any memories you regret pop up into your head: a past incident, a bad decision you made, or a person who steered you in the wrong direction? Does this elicits thoughts like, “If only this hadn’t happened I’d be much further ahead” or “My financial picture would be so much better had I not done that or listened to him.” If you can say that about anything you experienced in the past, you have a financial trauma.

A financial trauma is something that happened to you that had an impact on your money situation that you still feel the effects of when you think about it today and when you think about your finances. Sometimes it came from a real trauma, such as an accident, betrayal, divorce, a business idea gone badly or a catastrophe or illness. Even if you’ve done lots of personal development or therapy work around the emotional side of what happened, you may not have dealt with how massively it affected your money. If you look at your financial picture today and still feel strong anger, sadness or regret about a past event that greatly impacted it, then the trauma is still there. Common causes of financial trauma that I’ve seen are:

• Trusting someone who ripped you off
• A business gone bad
• A betrayal in a business partnership
• Having something stolen from you
• Feeling taken to the cleaners in a divorce settlement
• Making a very poor decision about an investment or business
• Not being adequately insured for a serious accident or illness
• Going into bankruptcy for any of the above reasons

If you experienced any scenario like those above, no matter how long ago, it can linger in your emotions, impact your stress level, and radically change your willingness to trust in the future. This makes it truly a financial trauma by my definition. For example, think about an event in your past that might be a financial trauma and see how true on a scale of 1 to 10 any of these statement feel:

• “Ever since that day I don’t trust myself.”
• “I learned that you just can’t trust other people”
• “Money brings out the dark side even in people you trust”
• “I didn’t handle it well and should have known better.”
• “I should’ve advocated for myself more.”
• “The universe just totally didn’t support me so I must be bad.”
• “Ever since that day I’m afraid to believe and don’t want to get my hopes up too high because I might be disappointed. So I don’t want to try anymore.”

If any of those statements feel true, you’ve got a financial trauma and using Tapping on this will be life changing. The problem with a financial trauma is that it keeps causing pain. As you move forward in time, the memory of it goes with you, acting as irrefutable evidence of unfairness and disappointment related to money. It may even feel like in addition to the money you lost, you’ve lost a piece of yourself that you, can never get back. Traumas in general make you feel vulnerable and unsure of yourself, suspicious of others and worried about what can happen to you in the future. That’s why people tend to avoid certain activities and experiences more after a trauma than they would have before.

Traumas in your finances cause you to avoid focusing on creating more wealth and make you skeptical about whether it’s possible to change your entire wealth picture. All the evidence of how badly your actions can be and how unfair life can get is right at your fingertips in that past trauma.

When you use Tapping to clear the energy, memory, and negative emotions tied to your trauma, you’ll have an amazing upside and gift coming. The boost to your overall energy, attitude, enthusiasm, and especially your self-confidence is hard to describe because it can be so great.

Excerpt from the book Tapping into Wealth by Margaret Lynch.


  1. Sophie Bowns - October 12, 2014 11:33 am

    Hmm I am not sure whether I do or not!

  2. Mina Joshi - October 12, 2014 11:42 am

    A lot of people suffering from financial trauma probably aren’t aware of it until it is often too late.


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