Ask Tiffany: I’m all depressed and shit when I don’t have enough $. HELP!

In this week’s episode of Ask Tiffany: The Money Series for Therapreneurs – one of my long time subscribers asked a question that is SO near and dear to my heart and likely something YOU deal with, too.

She says:

“I continue to love your stuff about money. I actually realized recently that my whole identity is tied into how much money I make and have, so when my business isn’t in the place I want it to be I actually feel depressed. Not sad but really like my self esteem is low and feel hopeless. I just daze out and binge watch tv, its awful. I’m sure others feel the same way….”

I am inclined to agree! In fact, I know that other therapists feel the same way, because I hear from those others ALL. THE. TIME. SO, in this episode, I give three tips to help you keep your chin up when your money shit gets stirred, so you can consistently move forward and work towards your ultimate goal, even when you’re feelin’ down.


NOW, we’d love to hear from you. What words of wisdom would you share with those upwardly mobile therapists who’s identities are totally tied up with money?!

Share with us in the comment section below.


  1. Vanessa

    Ooh, I love this! I get depressed too. I do something similar to what Lisa does: I take a screen shot (on my desktop) of my calendar, paste it into Paint and then stick in more hours with clients, filling out my schedule in the exact way that works best for me. That makes me visualize and FEEL what my days and my weeks will be like. I also think about the fee those future clients will have and count how much I’ll be making. It’s a partial “solution” to the depression, but it helps! The other part of it is working on the question of whether I HOLD ON to the depression for some deeper reason (like the fact that it feels familiar!!).

    • TiffanyL

      OOOOH! I have a hunch you are psychoanalytically oriented given this last line where you notice that the depression is serving a function. 😉 BRILLIANT!

      I actually tried Lisa’s idea and it was SUPER helpful! Though you might not think of me as the type of therapist who ascribes to woo woo shit based on my website, I actually got a little thrill from this exercise AND… it may have worked. Though, I will keep that between me and the stars. Thanks for your insights, V!

  2. Emily

    Honestly, for me, I just stopped feeling desperate and made the commitment to refer clients I didn’t feel comfortable with and it all worked out for me. I had to trust though that it was the right thing to do. Turning away CD, anger management and adolescent referrals was hard at first because it was money that I was turning away, but it turned out to be the best thing for me. I stuck to the goal of only seeing my ideal clients and being OK with sending people away who were my ideal subject area, but not my ideal client in terms of financial (if you’re looking for free of $5 therapy sessions, I’m not a bad person for saying that I don’t offer that service. I’m worth more than that!).

    It all worked out for me, likely because I stuck to what I knew, my clients started shouting from the rooftops how helpful I was to them, and then suddenly more clients like them started calling, or their doctors started calling asking to set up appointments. It was hard and scary, but it’s the best thing I ever did!

    • TiffanyL

      This is AMAZING! It reminds me of something I recently heard about choosing to have $100,000 immediately or choosing a penny that compounds daily for 30 days. Do the math. It is striking! It sounds like you started with a choice – to stop making business decisions based on your feelings and TRUSTING that it would work out. At first, it was uncomfortable, but you tolerated the discomfort in order to play the long game. HIGH FIVE, EM!!

  3. Lisa Love, MSN

    Hey Tiffany,
    What I’ve started doing to stop freaking out about income, is to practice BEING in a state of appreciation and receptivity. I also make up new patient charts ahead of time and visualize 10 new IDEAL clients coming into my office and feel the joy of serving their needs.

    • TiffanyL

      Oh my GOSH! I love this, Lisa. I really like the idea of creating new patient charts even beFORE they call with the intention of making space. Shoot. I’m going to practice a lil of this myself this very week. I see how it can work in all *kinds* of realms. THANK YOU. Really great insights.


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About the Author

Hey, I’m Tiffany McLain, LMFT, and I teach you how to charge good money for the good work you do.  I’m the founder of Lean In. MAKE BANK. Academy, a group program that empowers therapists and social workers like you to reimagine your relationship with money, offering the tools and community support to not just earn more but to fundamentally change your life and the lives of those you serve.

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