Episode 235

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Social Justice & Money. Silvia M. Dutchevici


Episode Description

Talking about money can be an uncomfortable subject for many, but it’s an especially important one when it comes to discussing social justice. If you’re seeing a therapist to work through issues relating to race, gender, and equality, odds are that financial considerations play some kind of factor.


Unfortunately, we often fail to have in-depth conversations both at home and in therapy with regards to our personal finances and its role in perpetuating disparities between sociocultural groups. However, by engaging with this topic more openly and honestly — especially if you’re seeking help — we can begin challenging current power dynamics that aren’t serving us well.


In this episode, Psychotherapist, Mental Health Expert, Author & Founder of Critical Therapy, Silvia M. Dutchevici, MA, LCSW and I discuss why therapists must not overlook the importance of addressing financial matters while working on social justice topics within their clients’ sessions. Let’s dive into why making finance part of your therapeutic journey is significant.


Learn more about Silvia’s work and theory by reading her book: Critical Therapy: Power and Liberation in Psychotherapy.

About Silvia

Silvia M. Dutchevici, MA, LCSW, is president and founder of the Critical Therapy Institute. A trained psychotherapist, Dutchevici, created critical therapy on perceiving a need for the theory and practice of psychology to reflect how race, class, gender, and religion intersect with psychological conflicts.


She is a founding board member of Black Women’s Blueprint and a member of the Physicians for Human Right’s Asylum Network, where she conducts psychological evaluations documenting evidence of torture and persecution for survivors fleeing danger in their home countries. She trained at the Bellevue/NYU Survivors of Torture Program, the Parent Child Center of the New York Psychoanalytic Society, and the New York Freudian Society.


Dutchevici has a master’s degree in social work from New York University and a master’s degree in psychology from the New School, and a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and political science from Fordham University. She has lectured and presented throughout the country on critical therapy, including at Fordham and NYU, and has been featured in the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, The Guardian, International Business Times, and Women’s Health.


She has trained at Bellevue/NYU Survivors Of Torture Program as well as New York Psychoanalytic Society & The New York Freudian Society programs respectively.


Her educational qualifications include master’s degrees from NYU (social work) & The New School (psychology), along with bachelor’s degree in religious studies & political science from Fordham University.


She has lectured throughout the country on critical therapy including at Fordham University & NYU; her works have been featured by Washington Post ,The Wall Street Journal , Psychology Today ,The Guardian among other publications like International Business Times&Women’s Health

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Episode Transcription

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[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Talking about money can be an uncomfortable subject for many, but it’s an especially important one. And when it comes to discussing social justice, if you’re seeing a therapist to work through issues relating to race, gender, and equality, odds are that financial considerations place some kind of factor.

Unfortunately, we often fail to have in-depth conversations, both at home and in therapy with regards to our personal finances and its role in perpetuating disparities between sociocultural. However, by engaging with this topic more openly and honestly, especially if you’re seeking help, we can begin challenging current power dynamics that aren’t serving us well.

In this episode, president and founder of Critical Therapy Institute, Sylvia m Dokovich and I discuss why therapists must not overlook the importance of addressing financial matters while working on social justice topics within their client’s sessions. Let’s dive into why making finance part of your therapeutic journey is significant.

Learn more about Sylvia’s work and theory by reading her book, critical Therapy Power and Liberation in Psychotherapy. Link is in the show. I am Bob Wheeler, and this is Money You should Ask, where we explore why we do what we do when it comes to money.

Silvia M. Dutchevici, MA, LCSW is the president and founder of the Critical Therapy Institute. She created critical therapy to reflect how race, class, gender, and religion intersect with psychological conflicts. She’s a founding board member of Black Women’s Blueprint and a member of Physicians for Human Rights Asylum Network, where she conducts psychological evaluations, documenting evidence of torture or persecution for survivors, fleeing danger in their home.

Sylvia, it’s so great to have you on the show. Thanks so much for being with us today.

[00:02:05] Silvia Dutchevici: Well, thank you for having me. It’s really exciting. I think most people wouldn’t think psychotherapy and money. Hmm. Interesting. Well,

[00:02:12] Bob Wheeler: there is a link and we’re gonna talk about that, but Sylvia, you’re not just a therapist, you’re also the founder of Critical Therapy Institute.

What does critical therapy.

[00:02:23] Silvia Dutchevici: Critical therapy is a theory that I developed, I say with my patients because I think our patients teach us so much about the world, and in very simple terms, we are different than traditional therapy in four different ways. The last one is about money. So the first one is we have a deep analysis of power.

Power as it comes into the psychotherapy hour, power as we, as therapists have over our patients, and also the power that our patients have in the world and how. Our different identities influence the way we show up in therapy and outside of therapy. The second part is that we believe the clinical relationship is a blueprint for all other relationships.

What I mean by that is a lot of people end up going to therapy. They end up talking about themselves. They feel like they’ve healed and they end therapy, and they try to have a relationship with another person and they can’t because nowhere else in the world is just. And the third part is that we invite the political into the clinical hour.

And again, we don’t really care necessarily who you voted for, but what we mean by the political is how issues around paternity leave, maternity leave, workers’ rights, medical insurance, influence and affect your mental health. . And then the last part is we practice the politics of equity. And what we mean by that is that we believe that psychotherapy should be good quality, psychotherapy should be affordable, and it should be something that everyone could gain access to.

And in order to do that and for therapists to also have a comfortable life so that they don’t get burned out like they do in social service agencies, we ask that everyone pays the same percentage of their income and resources. For that psychotherapy hour, meaning that the hour could be $50 for some people and $2,000 for other people.

So that’s a very, you know, sort of interesting and unique way of really income redistribution, but also making sure that everyone pays according to their fees and what they make in their lives and the access they have to

[00:04:31] Bob Wheeler: money. . That’s awesome. And I wanna tap into that a little bit more. I have some questions about that.

The therapy that you do, is it mostly, I’m sitting in my couch and you’re in the chair. Is it somatic therapy? Is it body-based? Is it experiential? Are we talking through reasoning? Like how does that look when I’m in a session?

[00:04:51] Silvia Dutchevici: It is talk therapy, which I think we needed more and more, especially as we’re coming out of a pandemic that required us to be isolated and not be with others.

Also, because mental health problems are also existential problems, right? Yeah. So we look at someone who is depressed. Sure, you suffer from depression, but at the core of it, it might be an inability to connect. It might be the fear of abandonment. So you heal through a relationship with. We are looking currently of incorporating some somatic exercises.

I’m not trained in somatic work, so what happened is I would send you to a therapist who would do some of that work, and then you would come back and we would discuss what that brought up for you. One of the things we do that’s a little different is we do have a critical inquiry into your life. I often say to people who come to me for therapy, I am not interested in supporting you or in enabling you to just come to therapy and discuss your problems.

And then I validate that and I think that’s great. I mean, I think that’s great therapy and some people need that. I am really interested in transformation. My goal is how do we transform your life, that you lead a more authentic life and that you feel that you have claimed your, the life that you want to.

[00:06:04] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it seems to me, if I’m gonna go to therapy, there needs to be a willingness to change. Otherwise I’m just having a conversation to feel comfortable. And for me, if I’m gonna go through the process and some of the pain and some of the reflection, I wanna know that I’m gonna be changed or that I have a willingness to be changed and a willingness to look at my blind spots and say, oh wow, I don’t like the impact of that.

I think I’ll make a. And

[00:06:34] Silvia Dutchevici: change is very difficult. It takes a lot of time and there is a visceral component to critical therapy. I believe that it’s important for people to analyze the way they do the things that they do. Mm-hmm. . And then once they gain insight into that, I often ask them, what are we going to do different?

And what are we going to do different here in therapy? Because if we could do it together, then you could do it in your real life. I think a lot of therapy ends up being a intellectual endeavor rather than an experience that one goes through in order

[00:07:07] Bob Wheeler: to change. Yeah, and we have to go through something.

I think in order to change, we have to feel something to say that’s uncomfortable or that’s painful.

[00:07:18] Silvia Dutchevici: Yeah. I mean I do have this theory, which is that people only change when they’re in enough pain.

[00:07:23] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. . I would agree. How do you think providing a more social justice focused approach to therapy leads to people finding more power and liberation for themselves?

[00:07:36] Silvia Dutchevici: Well, those two are interconnected and the problem with capitalism, the problem with sexism, the problem with racism is that it does impact all of us. Now, it does not impact all of us the same way. So this is not like racism hurts everyone. It does hurt everyone, but in very different ways. So I think to not have conversations around social justice is to miss an opportunity towards human liberation, towards really asking all of us to imagine a more equitable world, a more happier world, a more collaborative world.

And oftentimes we get so caught up in our own individual change that we don’t understand how in very real and tangible ways, we’re all interconnected and we could all do better if we all

[00:08:20] Bob Wheeler: do. Absolutely. And I’m curious because with that it’s sort of the welcoming of multiple perspectives, I would say, which is part of the five principles in Radical Aliveness, which I happen to work in, which is somatic therapy.

You also are a big part of Black Women’s Blueprint. Yes. And. There’s a balance for me of when do I know that I’m an ally and when am I, oh, I’m gonna come in and save everybody with my white privileged knowledge. And not taken into fact that you’re an immigrant, that you’ve been aware of a lot of things that maybe somebody in, uh, Indiana or Tennessee where I grew up would be completely unaware of.

Right. But from a, a visual. I see a white woman who’s coming in with advice. So for people out there that want to be allies or people that might be afraid to step up because well, it’s not gonna look appropriate, how do you find that balance or how do you navigate that? .

[00:09:22] Silvia Dutchevici: Excellent question. So I think Black Women’s Blueprint is a good example of that.

I’m one of the founding members of Black Women’s Blueprint. I am no longer on their board. I think it was important for me to be part of building that organization and that community. I also think it’s important for black women to have their spaces and their conversations towards their collective liberation.

I also think that is an excellent question of, as white people, how do we contribute to conversations around racism? How do we contribute to conversations around privilege? I think it’s not by tuning out, right? Right. There’s something about, well, I don’t really know. Maybe I shouldn’t. Really have this conversation, but really engaging and listening to other people and wanting to really understand what are those oppressions and how do they impact our mental health?

How do they impact the way we see the world? How they impact me as a white person, how they impact you as a white person or a person of color. What’s fascinating to me, especially for a therapist, is. . We often talk about differences when we’re different. We talk about racism. For example, you’re a black person coming to therapy.

I’m white. Of course we’re gonna talk about race. However, if you’re a white person coming to therapy, I ask many therapists, how often do you bring up race? We don’t, because it’s invisible, because we assume they’re on the same page. We assume that we have the same understanding, and this is how structural inequality, this is how structural ideology and values.

Get passed on in very real ways. Oh, without even talking about it.

[00:10:55] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. It’s so important. And I think when people are talking about money specifically, oh, I just need to talk about money. I, I just need to talk about how I need to have a little bit more. And then we don’t bring in these other pieces, the deeper conversation.

There may be something systemic that’s holding somebody back. There may be somebody saying, I keep doing the right thing and I keep getting the wrong result because there have been barriers placed to keep you from actually succeeding. And so it does feel so important that money is interwoven with power and class and that bringing this, we do have deeper conversations and.

How is it with some of your white clients, because I bring this topic up, there’s a bit of resistance sometimes, .

[00:11:43] Silvia Dutchevici: Oh, I think there’s a bill of resistance with small speed. Well, money. I mean, think about, I ask anyone who’s listening to this podcast, how many of you actually know how much money your friends make?

Although you could be very close. It’s one of those topics where you ask, well, what are you making? And then everyone looks at you like, why are you asking them? Because as I often say, it’s never about the money. Money hides a lot of things. Money is a standin for privilege. Money is a standin for power.

Money’s a standin for masculinity, for control. And capitalism has done a really good job of teaching us not to talk about money. I’ve had people come to therapy and talk about their most intimate sexual desires or their most shameful moments, and as soon as they get a raise and they’re like, I got a raise.

And I’m like, well, how much do you get? what we’re talking about that, that, that feels so taboo. But that’s how capitalism works, right? Because underneath that, there is this deep assumption that if you are poor, it’s because you’ve done something wrong. Right? That somehow if you work hard enough and if you do it your best, you are going to make it.

That’s. And of course you have one or two people who make it and then we all be like, oh, well Suzy made it so clearly this is possible. What we don’t look at is the fact that Suzy made, made it is a good indication that it’s not that possible. It is the enno anomaly. I can up, you know, I’m an immigrant choice.

It is that Got it. Yes. Thank you. So comes out sometimes. So I do think it’s important that people talk about money. No one’s comfortable about convers. Around money. And because we have a sliding scale, because we have to ask about your income and resources, that conversation for us starts earlier on. It is a difficult one, and even for people who claim that they have a relationship to social justice.

Even for affluent people who gift a charity and wanna do good, as soon as you tell them that their session is X amount of money, there seems to be some unfair, there’s a visceral light. Why do I have to pay more? And. I think especially for therapists, conversations around money are so integral to one’s mental health, and most therapists and patients miss that conversation because honestly, if you are able to afford what is the standard fee, for example, New York City, I think it’s around 200, $250, then we never have a conversation about how much money do you make?

How did you get that money? How do you feel about the money? A lot of affluent people feel a lot of shame around them, so instead, Claiming their power and doing good. They actually pretend they don’t have it and like, oh, I have it, but it’s not really mine. I’m not gonna use it. And these are missed opportunities to interrogate and discuss one’s relationship to money.

[00:14:29] Bob Wheeler: It’s so interesting that you talk about this piece with therapists and the fact that we all don’t like to talk about it. I was just working with some people on a three tiered pricing for a. And part of it’s based on, do you own a home? Do you rent a home, do you have savings? And then if you have these things, you pay this rate, this rate and this rate.

And it was funny because as I was doing that, I said, look, I’m sitting here not helping myself out because I own a home. So I’m sitting here trying to price it out. Knowing how much I’m gonna have to pay more than everybody else, and I still want a good deal, . Right, right.

[00:15:04] Silvia Dutchevici: See, yeah. Still wanna special.

Haven’t talk that way. Yes,

[00:15:07] Bob Wheeler: exactly. Right. Exactly. But I also work with a lot of therapists who will say, I’m not good with money. I don’t like to bill my clients. Or ask for the money when they’re in the middle of tears, or I could never raise my rate because I’m here to do good. I’ll walk through scenarios or I will tell people, you don’t have to be an expert in money to talk about money with your clients.

You’re an expert in your own experience around money, and you can connect with that because. We all have blind spots around money or places where we don’t wanna share. Oh, I filed bankruptcy. Oh, my credit card debt. It’s through the roof . We’re just not just, oh my God, look at all the things I’ve done wrong, because it is a shaming of ourselves, of what we’ve done wrong.

[00:15:53] Silvia Dutchevici: Yeah. The assumption is that we’ve done something wrong. Right, and I totally agree with you. I think therapists. Struggle with issues around money. I think they struggle because we have been taught to think that doing good work means you don’t make money. Right? It’s this full dichotomy, but this is how the system works.

So the dichotomy is if you’re a good person and you really wanna help people, then you don’t make a lot of money. You go into these social service agencies, you burn out, and then you leave the professional together, right? We’re done. Yeah. As opposed to, I believe it’s necessary that therapists make.

Comfortable wage and that they can see enough patients. So you don’t see 30 people a day cuz you know you need to make money, but you see a, a lower your client or patient hours is lower. So you could actually offer valuable services, make enough money to survive and not just to survive. That’s wrong actually.

I think it’s important to thrive because. I know from my experiences and from my colleagues, we go into these social service agencies, we wanna do good, we get burned out, and then we get to our like middle life and we’re like, well, everyone has nice things, but we don’t. And if I wanna have a family, I can’t afford to, oh, I can’t do this.

So then I have to quote unquote sell out and do something else. And that is not a sustainable model for changing the world. It’s also not a helpful model for our patients. And really, this is something I’m really passionate about. Our schools, our institutes do not do a good job training therapists to talk about money, to talk about setting their fee.

It’s always this taboo subject like, yeah, you should charge a something, but we’re not gonna talk to you about how you do that or what comes up. When you charge

[00:17:35] Bob Wheeler: that? Yeah, it’s so important because even if you’re sort of good with money, there’s transference, there’s counter transference. I’m giving you a good rate cuz you told me you were not doing well and then I hear you just went to Europe with the family and I’m thinking.

you went to Europe and you used money that could have gone to meet. Right. These are the stories that we can then start to, okay, well you’re only gonna get 80% of therapy this week because, uh, I’m a little angry . Not that we do that, right. But there is that potential for mm-hmm. , if we’re not having transparent conversations and being able to be in real relationship with therapist and client, we’re missing a big piece.


[00:18:19] Silvia Dutchevici: And we are also not teaching our patients how to have those conversations with other people. So if therapy, I say therapy is one of the most intimate relationship you end up having with someone. Money should be part of that discussion. But I also found out, and I think this goes back to. How much we even, we as therapists value mental health.

I’ve seen therapists who have worked in social service agencies for a long time, and, but underneath that it, it’s really our self-esteem and it’s our complicated relationship to money. Meaning when I make $50, I know I’m a good therapist, but when I make 300, hmm, not so much. And that’s because deep down we’ve been taught to think that money matters.

That money, somehow we need to produce more because someone’s paying. , although according to our scale, they’re paying the same, it’s equitable. So everyone’s working the same amount of money or using the same resources for that come to critical therapy and they get someone who pays them, you know, $50 a session, $175, maybe they, they’re comfortable with that and all of a sudden if they get someone who’s more affluent that pays $300, there’s this insecurity of like, what am I actually doing?

Am I good enough? Oh, is this worth it? .

[00:19:32] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And it’s so interesting because, you know, I’m also an accountant, so I’m thinking, you know, if somebody’s paying me four 50 an hour, I know I’m good. If somebody wants to pay me 50 bucks, I don’t know that I wanna invest the time with them because I know that. The value of my time is money.

But in the early years, it was very difficult to say, oh yeah, I’m gonna charge four 50. I had to see it, believe it, understand it, practice difficult conversations. And I, I do that with clients and in workshops we practice difficult conversations because most of us are not taught how to do that and how to stay in the conversation the minute it goes.

[00:20:10] Silvia Dutchevici: Right? Or that it evokes a lot of feelings for you. I mean, I think what’s different about therapy than other professions is I often say this to my patients. They pay me for my time. They’re not paying me for my investment in them. But I also believe that if you don’t have a sliding scale that provides for you as a therapist, it gets very difficult to be present, to be helpful when you are struggling and thinking, how am I gonna pay my bills this

[00:20:36] Bob Wheeler: week?

A couple of things. Do you think that the equitable piece is shifting and do you think this piece about we don’t have to go broke doing good works, do you think that that mindset is slowly starting to shift away from, wait a minute, we’ve gotta practice self-care in order to be able to. Offer self-care.

[00:20:57] Silvia Dutchevici: See, I would like to say yes. However, when I wrote this book about critical therapy, one of the chapters is about our equitable sliding scale. I was so surprised to find out that people who were into social justice and equity had a hard time reading it, and people who were like, no, we’re all capitalists.

We should work hard and make money. Had a hard time. I knew those people would have some hard time with it. What I was surprised is how much people. Are into income redistribution or doing good work, or our therapist, they struggle with how much should a therapist make somehow, if you start making, let’s say six figures, Oh, I don’t know.

As a therapist, is that a good thing? Does that mean I’m actually not helpful? Does it mean I’m one of those capitalists? Again, if, and think about it. When we think about money or when we think about having money, we always go the lowest denominator. We never go the highest. Meaning when someone. I make $60,000 a year, let’s say average for social workers in New York City at a so social service agency.

We’re like, wow, 60. That’s a lot compared to like, you know, someone who makes $15 an hour. We never say 60. Wow. That’s nothing compared to like some people who make $300,000.

[00:22:13] Bob Wheeler: Exactly. With the sliding scale stuff, do you make people prove the. No, I

[00:22:19] Silvia Dutchevici: believe that therapy is an intimate and trustful relationship.

We have to start by trusting each other and it’s a good faith. And as you mentioned before, when you’re a therapist, you kind of figure out if people are lying to you when they come in and say, I went to France for two weeks and you wait, hold on. But you said you make the what’s happening here, and that’s also a very good conversation.

Clinically and therapeutically, like, why was it that you lied to me? Although you come in seeking my help, believing I’m an expert in this field, yet you don’t want to pay me. I often tell people, if you don’t think I’m worth it, why are you coming to therapy? Just get a friend and it’s cheaper.

[00:22:58] Bob Wheeler: I’m seeing it in.

My tax practice with some people who also come to me because I have the therapeutic piece, so it’s not just a tax session, but a lot of people, they’re making three, $400,000 and they’re telling me how broke they are and they are giving me the saddest story ever. I’ve been calling ’em out in this last year and saying, well, let’s stop for a minute.

Netted $300,000. From your company? Cause I work with a lot of entrepreneurs. You just bought a house, you just bought a second house, you just came back from a month in the Netherlands, whatever. You’ve got money in the bank and you just got an S b A loan and And then they’ll pause for a minute. Oh yeah.

It’s actually been really one of my best years. Right, . But this is happening more often than not. It’s surprising to me that we are getting into this story of my life is so. , and maybe that’s the price of privilege, right? Or the blind spots of privilege of oh my God, my life. Well, I’ll tell you what, I’ve been to India, I’ve been to Egypt.

I’ve been to some pretty rough places. Let me tell you about a hard life, and not to shame ’em, but do you experience this piece where I’m sort of a victim? Oh,

[00:24:12] Silvia Dutchevici: definitely. And there is a discourse right in our culture that somehow if you say you were arrived or you have enough money, that maybe you could stop and not make more.

So there’s this idea about always wanting more. The thing about money, I often say this to people, is that. , you never arrive. Meaning like there is never a cap. So let’s say you say, well, I wanna make 200,000. You make 200,000. Now you’re like, well, I kind of wanna make 400. So if your happiness or your self-worth, or feeling that you are in a good place is defined by how much money you make, you will never get there because there will always be more money to make.

And you circle changes, right? The people you hang out with will go up the social ladder. So all of a sudden you’re. You’re not thinking, well, I have two homes. Susie over here doesn’t have anything. I’m in a great place. You are hanging out with people who have four homes. You’re like, wow, I really am not in a good place.

[00:25:09] Bob Wheeler: Right. We get so self-absorbed that we’re not actually, oh, oh, they, this might be going on for them, or what’s their actual status For you as an immigrant, how was that personally? How was that experience for you coming over from a place that was maybe not the best conditions? You are very familiar with torture and all kinds of things that most people would cringe or be mortified about.

What was it like for you early on in coming to this capitalist country and and money and power and all

[00:25:40] Silvia Dutchevici: that? Oh, that’s such a fascinating question because I came from Romania. I came from Romania where it was a communist country. Cko was in power, and we sort of escaped. We came here as my mom came and asked for political asylum, and then two years later, you know, my father and I came.

What’s also fascinating about that story is, We were kind of well off in Romania. You know, my, uh, my father had power. He was a judge. My mom was, uh, stewardist and air hosted, so she had a lot of financial access to things from the West. So we didn’t come here for economic reasons. Actually, coming here was worse economically for us, you know?

Right. For the first time, you know, you get all these things, but you realize as I got older, I realized, wow, it’s not a, as it used to be, you know, we had a house here, we were in. One bedroom that was converted to a two bedroom, and I came with the ideology like everyone came from communist country. That capitalism is good.

Unions are bad, capitalism is good. You know, this is capitalism and freedom and democracy. It’s the same thing. And let’s go Reagan love you. And what’s like that for a while? Because again, this is how ideology works. These, this is how these values get so indoctrinated that we don’t even question them.

Right? And then I went to college and I sort of started to. Look at the world we lived in and realize that, especially in America, right, capitalism was not good. Unions are not bad, actually, you know, having time off is really important for your mental health, and that became my transformation. I also, to be very, very transparent and honest, I ended up dating someone who is a very.

right. And because they were very smart, I listened to them a lot and that sort of educated me into my sort of consciousness raising right about the world. I also ended up working for the Miss Foundation for Women, which I didn’t even know. I went and I got a job like, ah, miss Foundation, great. But that has deeply influenced the way I see the world.

So all these things coming together really changed my perspective on money and capitalism, and then started practicing as a therapist and saw. All that knowledge was never applied in my sessions, right? Because when you go to school, you’re like, we leave politics out of the clinical hour. We don’t really talk about money and, and then it just felt like a missed opportunity and it felt like we’re not really doing good work.

We’re not really asking people to bring all their identities, including their financial status into the therapy. And that’s.

[00:28:15] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. And it just reminds me of how important it is of who we surround ourselves with. Because if we’ve got people that are giving us different perspectives that at least challenge us to think about it, I may still hold my position, but now I’m actually doing it not outta blind faith.

Or out of indoctrination, but because I had an experience or it feels very true for me based on what’s going on for me, and so who are around, who are exposed to can often make the difference of us finding that success, finding the peace of mind, finding, being okay with not having to continue to produce money till infinity, that this is enough.

I’m enough. I’m in connection with people. I’m living my purpose. Whatever it is for each person. Yeah,

[00:29:03] Silvia Dutchevici: that’s really important. And to just clarify, we at critical therapy have these critical conversations around race, class, gender, and money. And as I often say, our job is to have these conversations and not to indoctrinate you.

So not everyone who comes to. Critical therapy and once they’re healed and leaves is necessarily a political activist or is necessarily believed in social justice. I mean there, I’ve had patients who are like, you know, I work in the diamond industry. I know about blood diamonds. I don’t care. I’m still going to do it.

That’s fine. I think our job is. For us to have these conversations to reckon with your position in society, then what you do with that is up to you. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be therapy, it would be indoctrination or school. And that’s not good therapy in the end, .

[00:29:49] Bob Wheeler: That’s right. We’re not here to shame the patient.

right? Yeah. Into doing the right thing. Right.

Well, Sylvia, this is so, I love this topic. I love what you’re doing. We’re at the fast five, so I’ve gotta shift the energy just a little bit. The Fast Five is brought to you by Survey Junkie, making a difference pays in more ways than One. Survey Junkie opens the window of communication between you and the brands you love.

Take surveys, get paid. All right, we’re gonna just have a little lighter fun. What’s the most fun thing you bought this?

[00:30:22] Silvia Dutchevici: Did I even buy anything this week? Uh, I didn’t buy anything, but I am going to dinner tonight to this restaurant that it took us forever to get a reservation. So that is the most fun thing.

I will, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been talking about it the whole week, .

[00:30:36] Bob Wheeler: That’s good. What are you most grateful for right now?

[00:30:40] Silvia Dutchevici: Uh oh, my family and my work.

[00:30:44] Bob Wheeler: Who in your life do you look up to, so to speak?

[00:30:48] Silvia Dutchevici: Financially. Oh, that is a fascinating, I don’t even know if I thought about this. I don’t know if I look up to anyone financially that’s, is that, that might be messed up, but yeah,

Yeah, I, I don’t have a That’s OK. Confidence. I need to get one. I need to get one. I guess, you know why? Because I know supposed to be fast, but most of the time when we think about financial, people that we look up for are mentors or people who are affluent or who made money, and I don’t know if I look at that as.

I wanna find someone who has been able to live a comfortable life and also do good. So those are not very easy to find.

[00:31:23] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s a whole big piece in the financial world about having people that look like us, right? Being represented. I’m a white male, I’m gonna see lots of that, but if a person of color, if I’m marginalized, I may not find the warm welcome in a lot of financial institutions.

how do you feel when you look at your bank account?

[00:31:45] Silvia Dutchevici: Oh, lately I feel good. , although as you know, you’re an accountant, so I have to do quarterly taxes, so I’m a little nervous. Yeah. But yeah, it’s again, this privilege of like, I’m in a good, comfortable place. I can’t complain. ,

[00:31:57] Bob Wheeler: you can, but, uh, , what’s one thing everyone can do right now to improve their mental health?

[00:32:04] Silvia Dutchevici: Of course, I would say go to therapy. .

[00:32:07] Bob Wheeler: I’m a therapist. Absolutely. Exactly. So we are at the sweet spot, the m and m moment, money and motivation. Do you have a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom you could share with our listeners? Sure.

[00:32:19] Silvia Dutchevici: It’s never about the money. Whenever you get into difficult conversations, whenever you feel bad about money, whenever you feel great about money, it’s not ask yourself what is behind it?

What’s getting activated from me and what do I need to do that I make a conscious decision rather than defensive decision. Most of. . When we’re activated, we don’t actually make those decisions out of desires. We make them out of past experiences or fears, and those are not really authentic decisions.

[00:32:49] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. They’re impulsive and pre-programmed. . Right, and reactionary. So I hear you. Well, Sylvia, this has been such a great conversation. I love that you’re taking therapy to a different level, taking it to a different depth. This critical therapy piece, it’s so important because social justice. equity not equal equity power.

All of these things are so important and they’re all a part of the fabric of how we look at what we earn, how we make decisions, whether they’re done with integrity or done with a motivation to like look better and present well. And so the more that we can start to learn to have. Difficult conversations.

Welcome in the different perspectives. Probably a whole lot more empathy than we’ve maybe had in the past few years. I feel like that’s been a little lacking. I don’t know that we’re all taught that, but to just start to bring in these pieces that a lot of people say, no, no, no. We can’t talk about the money.

We can’t talk about the politics. Yeah, actually, that’s the stuff we need to be talking about because we’re in a bit of a mess right now because we haven’t brought these pieces. Into the conversations. And so I appreciate the work you’re doing, putting the book out, letting people know, and helping people to just have a fuller, more authentic experience of their own lives.

[00:34:11] Silvia Dutchevici: Well, thank you. And I agree with you, we, we are so bad at having. Conversations, especially surrounding ourself with people who have different views instead of engaging in the conversation, trying to understand, we usually dismiss people on both sides, right? Wherever you fall on this, we’re not open to a dialogue, to a critical consciousness, but also to really understanding.

I believe that most of us, if we understood certain things, if we really looked at the impact our beliefs have on the world, we would probably

[00:34:43] Bob Wheeler: change. . Absolutely. And if we don’t want to, it’s probably because I don’t wanna give up my privilege. , right? Yes. Yeah. Right. Well, Sylvia, where can people find you online in social media?

Where can they find your book? And do you have a copy of your book?

[00:34:59] Silvia Dutchevici: Sure. So this is a copy of the book. It’s called Critical Therapy Power and Liberation and Psychotherapy. You could find it anywhere. Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Some local bookstores cuz we felt that was important. Best way to find me. The critical therapy.org website.

On that website, there is a link to my personal Instagram account. The reason why I say go to the critical therapy page and find me there is because my last name is so difficult, , and if I say Sylvia dwi, that’s sent, but spelled totally different, you’ll never find me. So if you go to critical therapy, Click on the in.

That’s why we link them. So it’s like people can actually find me. I do welcome messaging and conversations and opinions. As we said, I love dialoguing with people because I get to, I get to challenge myself and I get to learn that way.

[00:35:50] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. And I’m glad you didn’t change your name to Smith or Jones.

Make it hard to find, have people, find you, make them welcome a different perspective, . Right, right. , it’s been such a pleasure having you on. I so appreciate the conversation and I, I wish you.

[00:36:05] Silvia Dutchevici: Oh, thank you so much for your podcast. Thank you so much for talking to people about money and not being afraid to lean into the conversations.

Thank you.

[00:36:20] Bob Wheeler: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are holding them back. Please share this podcast so they too can get off the roller coaster Ride of financial. And journey towards financial freedom.

To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit the money nerve.com. That’s nerve not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on money and the emotions that find us.