You Can Provide Higher Quality Treatment, Work Fewer Hours and Make a Better Living


Szifra’s article is featured in the Massachusetts Association for Marriage & Family Therapy August 2012 Newsletter

by Szifra Birke

August 29, 2012

It is possible to offer highest quality treatment for your clients, earn an income that supports you and your family, and reduce your stress so that you can enjoy your time at work and your life outside work.

Over the last 20 years I’ve built three successful private practices. I was on several insurance panels; I was the go-to therapist for a couple of law enforcement EAPs, I used to see 20 or more clients a week; I worked for myself so I collected the entire fee. I was also discontent. Continue Reading

Coping With Stress as Markets Quake

Szifra is quoted in this article at Financial Adviser – a blog by Dow Jones.

by Thomas Coyle

June 12, 2012

Here is a story, courtesy of psychologist Szifra Birke, of how one financial adviser literally started adding a little color to his dark days.

It was late in 2008, and for the past few months of market turmoil, the owner of a small investment-adviser boutique had been scrambling to keep clients calm in meetings, over the phone, via email and through regular bulletins. Continue Reading

The Psychology of Wealth: Understand Your Relationship with Money and Achieve Prosperity

Szifra  is quoted in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

by Charles Richards, Ph.D

Publication Date: January 17, 2012
McGraw-Hill Publisher

The Psychology of WealthPsychologist and wealth counselor Szifra Birke observes, “Money tends not to solve personal problems; money solves money problems.” Birke also reports that many financially wealthy people are actually burdened by a vague sense that they don’t deserve what they have. Our view of our worthiness seems to hinge in part on how we came by our financial gains and whether we have worked for them in incremental steps. Feelings of unworthiness are especially common in folks who suddenly or unexpectedly come into a large sum of money, such as through an inheritance (or, as we’ve seen, through a lottery win). They commonly experience “sudden wealth syndrome”; with the acquisition of financial riches, they feel lost and overwhelmed. Continue Reading

Coaching The Next Generation

Szifra is quoted in this article at Financial Adviser – a blog by Dow Jones.

by Thomas Coyle

December 7, 2011

Once there was a boy who hated his family’s money.

He was a teenager when his blue-collar dad made a fortune almost overnight in the tech boom of the late 1990s. Suddenly it was good-bye middle-class home, public school and old friends, and hello mansion, private school and stuck-up rich kids.

“He was at a very impressionable age,” says Carolyn Decker of Lake Street Advisors, a Boston-based wealth-management firm that advises on about $3.2 billion. “He thought the money uprooted his life.”

Though his parents tried to interest him in the wealth, he resisted. “It’s not mine,” he’d tell them. Continue Reading

Listen Up: Improving Client Relationship Skills Gaining Priority For Wealth Managers

Wealth Management

Szifra is quoted in this article from

by Charles Paikert

June 28, 2011

Four years ago, Abacus Planning Group, a 13-year old $700 million wealth management firm in Columbia, S.C., was growing at a good clip, gaining both clients and assets. But Cheryl Holland, president and founder of the firm, and a 25-year industry veteran, wasn’t satisfied. Continue Reading

Happy Down-Sized Holiday


Szifra is quoted at

By Chris Taylor, 2009

If you thought last year was tough, brace yourself for this holiday season. The stock market may be up, but more than 7 million jobs have been lost in the last two years, and unemployment has climbed to a 25-year high.

Continue Reading

Thinking of Switching Financial Planners?


Szifra is quoted in Business Week

By Chris Taylor

June 25, 2009

It can be a difficult, even emotional decision. Here are some things to consider before breaking up with your current adviser

You’ve got a dirty little secret. During long lunch breaks, or after work when everyone else heads home to their families, you’re sneaking out to a secret rendezvous. You know what you’re doing is perfectly justified, but you still feel a little bad afterwards. You never thought it would come to this. But here you are—cheating on your financial planner. Continue Reading

Firms, Family Offices Turn to Wealth Counselors


Szifra is quoted in this article featured in Private Asset Management, a publication of Institutional Investor, Inc.

By Melissa Karsh, Private Asset Management

February 9, 2009

Some family offices and firms are tapping into wealth counselors, typically psychologists or therapists with specialized training in the behavioral and emotional issues of wealth, as a way to better interact with and understand their wealthy clients during the turbulent markets.

Calibre, Wachovia Wealth Management’s multi-family office, recently hired another wealth counselor. Keith Whittaker, managing director and head of Calibre’s Family Dynamics unit, and Susan Massenzio, who works with Whittaker as a counselor, told PAM they have been speaking more frequently on trust-building through Webinars and other forums for private bankers and advisors. Whittaker said families want more attention on the human aspect of living with or losing wealth, and legal and financial disciplines often cannot provide this. Continue Reading

Wealthy investors turn away from advisers


Szifra is quoted in this article from Investment News

By Charles Paikert

January 11, 2009

Shock of losses, scandal lead high-net-worth clients to question advice

Financial scandals and decimated investments are changing the behavior of wealthy investors in ways that may reshape the wealth management business.”Before [Bernard] Madoff, wealthy investors diversified their portfolio, but didn’t think about hedging their bets in terms of advisers,” said Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and the author of “Predictably Irrational” (HarperCollins, 2008).