The Power of Using Your Emotional Currency with Kate Levinson

Money Mindset

Oct 30

This month diverse women are sharing their experiences as sexual assault survivors, with the hashtag #metoo. Catalyzed in part by the predatory actions of Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men, people are courageously speaking out for justice. Both sex and money are taboo topics to discuss publicly, and this shame feeds people’s control over one another. Yet when these topics are brought to the light, people find solidarity in their struggles. I see the potential for a similar empowerment happening through sharing money stories. Speaking about taboo topics in an intentional way can transform people’s stuck beliefs and behaviors quickly and effectively.

Today’s “Money-Wise Women” guest Dr. Kate Levinson, Ph.D., is a leading expert in the field of money psychology. As a psychotherapist working with people primarily about money for several decades, she developed a deep understanding of people’s beliefs and behaviors about money. Kate is the author of Emotional Currency: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money. After listening to the podcast, you will feel the relief of knowing you are not alone in your money habits. 

Earlier in 2017, Dr. Levinson spearheaded the Women, Money, Spirit conference at the California Institute of Integral Studies. A diverse group explored the significance of their personal and collective money stories. Dr. Kate proposed an important question at the gathering: “Let us consider ‘How do I use money to feel more connected?’ That’s important for the well-being of our world.”

Wealth consolidation and resource extraction leads to the immense suffering and poverty of spirit and wallet. For centuries, women have been marginalized regarding money. Consequently there are opportunities for both men and women to honor a woman’s role within the marketplace and to acknowledge the value she brings. 

Three of the most common struggles women have with money?

  1. Feeling vulnerable: a pervasive lack of security and fear of becoming a bag lady
  2. Being visible: doubt in their capacities
  3. Talking money: difficulty talking about money because of cultural taboos

As a skilled therapist, Dr. Levinson brings both insight and practical approaches to become more empowered by addressing these fears. She speaks to the ubiquitous power of shame and the importance of authenticity. “Shame keeps us from looking at our numbers…denial of our feelings and the dollars and cents makes it harder to be responsive and use the inner resources to figure our what to do.” Projections distort reality. How many people assume success from external status symbols? The antidote to shame is connection.

Why does inheriting money affect people differently? Dr. Levinson wrote her doctoral dissertation on why and how people’s work attitudes and psychological states change after they inherit money. Clearly, regardless of our financial wealth, building confidence through learning about money is important. Underneath the shame is intimacy and human connection that leads to empathy. 


Dr. Kate Levinson is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She has spent more than twenty years studying the interface of money and psychology. Kate works with clients, couples, and groups with a wide range of life and financial issues, in her private practice in California.

Kate is the author of Emotional Currency: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money, an insightful and empowering guide that offers a profound new approach to dealing with money. Kate leads Emotional Currency workshops throughout the country, and Women, Money, Spirit conferences in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A former member of the teaching and supervisory faculty at The Psychotherapy Institute and JFK University’s Graduate School of Clinical Psychology, Kate’s doctoral dissertation was on “Work Attitudes of Women with Inherited Wealth.”





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