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Episode 163 | The Four Money Archetypes with Lindsay Bryan-Podvin

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  • Episode 163 | The Four Money Archetypes with Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 00:00


Hey Group Practice listeners! In this episode, I’m talking with Lindsay Bryan-Podvin all about her four money archetypes.

In this episode we cover:

  • What the four money archetypes are
  • Each archetypes strengths & challenges
  • Mindset shifts to help improve your relationship with money

This episode is sponsored by TherapyNotes. TherapyNotes is an EHR software that helps behavioral health professionals manage their practice with confidence and efficiency. I use TherapyNotes in my own group practice and love its amazing support team, billing features, and scheduling capabilities. It serves us well as a large group practice owner.

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Maureen Werrbach

Maureen Werrbach  

Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the group practice exchange podcast. Today is an interview day. And I’m really excited about who I have on today, her name is Lindsay Bryan-Podvin. And for those of you who don’t know her, she helps therapists specifically around money, money mindset, finances, and she’s got a great–I follow her on Instagram, and she’s puts a ton of awesome shit out there. So if you don’t know her, she’s going to be introducing herself in a second. And we’re going to be talking about the four money archetypes and how to understand them and how to make sure that they help you with your money mindset. So hi, Lindsay, how are you?

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

Hey, Maureen, I’m happy to be here. Thank you for being so gracious with my power outage.

Maureen Werrbach  

I swear those things only happen right before a podcast or a webinar. I’ve had the same thing happen where my Internet’s not working for whatever reason. And it’s right when I’m about to do a webinar, and I have to do out of my car on like, my hotspot or whatever. And I know it’s not going to be as as good as normal. Such is life. 

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

I know. so stressful. Right? Exactly. We’re all flexible or adaptive.

Maureen Werrbach  

Yep. So tell us so for those that don’t know, you at least have my audience. Tell them who you are, what you do, your business, all that fun stuff.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

Yeah, of course. So as Maureen mentioned, my name is Lindsay, my business is called Mind Money Balance. I’m a financial therapist. So that means that my background is in clinical social work. And I have cross training in financial social work. And then financial therapy, I essentially help people with the emotional and psychological side of money. 

And in my practice, Mind Money Balance, I have two arms of my business. I’ve my clinical arm where I’m seeing people for financial therapy. And then I have a consulting arm where I help private practice therapists understand their relationship with money. Since as you know, if you’re a listener, and Maureen, I’m sure you deal with that a lot, therapists have a lot of messed up shit when it comes to their relationship with money. And we’re often told, we didn’t go into the field because money is important to us, we shouldn’t care about making money, we should feel guilty if we charge too much. If we’re on insurance panels, if we slide our scales, if we don’t slide our scales. 

There’s so much noise that prevents us from stepping into a healthy relationship with money. So that’s what I do in my consulting arm is I help people learn about their relationship with money and release the things that aren’t serving them and learn a little bit more about how to cultivate a healthy relationship with money.

Maureen Werrbach  

So I’m really excited to hear about these archetypes. I have a thing with archetypes anyways, so I’m really excited to hear what the ones related to money are for you. So that’s what our topic for today for those of you who didn’t catch that initially. So let’s jump into it. 

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin 

All right, let’s do it. 

Maureen Werrbach

Alright, so what are they? Jump right in!

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

So–Well, I love it. So there are four financial archetypes. These are adapted from money scripts, which were done by a group of researchers. However, the researchers focused on looking at these scripts from a disordered lens, what’s wrong with your relationship with money. And as a person who you know, wore a psychiatric researcher hat for four and a half years, I’m always very cognizant of what these studies are pulling from. And 80% of the participants in their study were white, and 64% of them were female, which to me felt really not super representative of our culture and our relationship with money. 

So I used those as a jumping off point. But as a social worker, my lens is all about strengths based. What are some of the gifts that we have? What are some of the things that embolden US based on our relationship with money? How can we use these scripts in a beneficial way? And so over time, in working with my clients, I developed these four financial archetypes, and there are strengths within each of them. And there are shadows or challenges within each of them. There’s no one archetype that is better or worse, you don’t want to try to be a certain one over another one. We end up in these archetypes based on a bunch of things, but mostly based on our early formative relationships, and exposure to money. 

And if you’re going “shit, I didn’t have any exposure to money” you’re in very good company. Most of us don’t talk about money. We don’t grow up in households where money is a topic of conversation. So we tend to learn about money, kind of subconsciously. We learn about it in the subtleties of what’s said and what’s not said; of what our family did or didn’t spend money on growing up of what our neighbors did for vacations or where we went on field trips in school. And we create an idea about what money is what it means and what we believe it is there for and that’s how we end up in these archetypes.

Maureen Werrbach  

As you’re talking–I’m like just nodding this whole time for those that can’t see this–and thinking about it, because as you were saying it was like, you never really had conversations about it. But you are so right, just even with this initial piece of there’s a lot of subconscious dialogue happening, whether we’re aware of it or not around money when we’re younger. 

Because I was thinking just about my own experience and thinking about how like, and any experience that I can remember the first things I’m thinking about with money, or the school that I went to, where we had like, the least amount of money, and I noticed how everyone got to have the nicer clothes, and how embarrassed I was when I had to go to Washington DC in our eighth grade field trip. And I packed my bags, my clothes and didn’t want to leave the room when I realized how everyone else was dressed and what they were wearing. And I had this like ugly brown sweater. And I remember thinking, everyone else like can afford nicer things even though we were like, for the you know, 80s and 90s a typical like middle class. Like my parents had an apartment, we could, you know, we were able to afford everything we needed, but not at the level of the people we were around. And it definitely shaped how I might have a little bit of comparison-ness in when it comes to finances even as an adult, I’m always like reaching to get to other places. Because as a younger kid, I saw I was wanting to reach to where my peers were at, or where my peers family members were at. Interesting. Very interesting.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

Yeah, it is. And that’s exactly it, Maureen, is that we piece together things from what we hear, what we see, and we create stories in our head about but we draw our own conclusions based on what we see and hear and experience. So your story is very similar to a lot of people that I work with.

Maureen Werrbach  

Yeah, yeah. So tell us about some of these archetypes and how you got them. I’m really intrigued because you are taking information that wasn’t really representative of the country and are have formulated some of your own data, I’m assuming, right?

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

Yeah, yeah. So. Oh, are you still there?

Maureen Werrbach  

Yeah. I hear you. Okay, fine. I’m totally fine.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

Okay. Okay. Same. I can’t see you anymore, either. So bizarre, But it looks like it’s still recording. So there are–so there are four archetypes and I’ll go over them quickly, and then we’ll dive into them a little bit more. So they are the blissfully ignorant, the money admirer, the doomsday prepper and the free spirit.
So let’s just start at the top with blissfully ignorant. This is the person who tends to believe that money will just sort of self out. It kind of makes them anxious or grossed out to engage with or look in their money, they feel like it’s gross or bad or taboo. And therefore, they just kind of push it off to the side. And I’ll go over the challenges first. 

The next one is the admirer. And this is the person who tends to think about money all the time, it’s kind of this constant running anxiety in their head. And it’s more about accumulation of wealth or accumulation of income. So they’re always thinking about what their next goal is what their next side hustle is. They’re always kind of thinking about what’s coming up next in their world. 

Then we have the doomsday prepper. This is the person who is your classic penny pincher. They are scared to spend money, they get really anxious about spending money, they’re worried they don’t have enough. And they’re always thinking about how can I accumulate and save and hide more of the money that I bring in? 

And then finally, the free spirit is the one who’s like, oh, you know what money is there to be fun. I can’t take it to the grave. These are the people who pick up tabs when you go out to eat, who tend to put things on credit cards, not because they don’t believe that they can pay it off. But because we’re like, oh, I trust I’ll figure it out. So these tend to be your more bendy folks. So those are kind of the challenges of the four archetypes.

Maureen Werrbach  

Do you ever notice people being a blend of two?

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

Yeah, yeah, for sure. There’s definitely blends. But I would say that it’s more often than not, you can rule out two pretty quickly. And then there’s usually a blend of two. And the two that tend to go together–usually blissfully ignorant and doomsday prepper go together. And usually admirer and free spirit go together, but not always. But those tend to be the combinations that I see.

Maureen Werrbach  

That is very interesting. So I’m assuming you have some, because you come from a strengths based perspective, some ways that those that fit into or see themselves in any of these archetypes, like how to strengthen how to navigate and manage money and finances and mindset while they’re in that specific archetype.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

Yeah, so we’ll start out again with the blissfully ignorant. Some of their strengths are that they’re not super interested in engaging with their money, which sounds counterintuitive. But these are folks who are really, really great at automating a savings plan, automating an investment. So these are the folks who I often tell, you know, dig into your money, once a month, once a quarter get on some sort of system where you’re automatically putting aside money for your taxes, you’re automatically setting aside money for investments, you’re automatically saving, because they don’t want to engage with their money, we can actually use that to their advantage, and do a lot of automation there. 

For the admirer, one thing that I find tends to help them in their quest to accumulate more is to tie a goal to the why behind their reasoning for trying to generate more income. Because often what happens is they’re like, oh, I just want to 10k more, and then they hit that 10k. And because they don’t have a reason behind it, they are like, well, maybe I actually need this 15k more 20k more. So if we can tie a values based why to the reason that they’re chasing their money, that can help to dial down that anxiety. So for example, instead of oh, I just want 10k more saying, oh, I want to take my family of four on a safe vacation for a week. And that’ll cost about you know, $3,000. So then saving up specifically for that goal. 

For the doomsday prepper, for them, what I tend to work with them on is accepting and acknowledging the things that they have accomplished. These tend to be the types of people who on paper are doing really well financially, but they’re so nervous about spending it, about making a mistake, about using it and appropriately that we want to help them come up with, kind of like the admirer, a safe number. How much money you actually need in your emergency fund? How much money do you actually need in your business’s emergency fund to feel good? And then what can we do to get used to having an energy exchange aka spending your money in a way that feels good for you?

Maureen Werrbach  

I would say I definitely, like I’m in the doomsday category. But lately peeking out of it. My financial planner always jokes about how, like, I put, like, 90% of what I make into retirement because I’m afraid I’ll, you know, be 70 years old and all of a sudden have no money left. Like, you know, yeah, yeah, you’re gonna be fine. At this stage.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

Yes. Yes. Isn’t that so funny? Yeah. So with with that Doomsday prepper, once they have a number, so for you, if you work with your financial planner, and they’re like, hey, Maureen, once you had X dollars in your retirement account, you can actually go down to working, you know, part time or you can actually retire at this, you know, this day and time. And that tends to help with some of that anxiety. 

So the final one is the free spirit. So for them, these tend to be people who are like, Oh, you can’t take it to the grave. But just like spend, spend freely. What I tried to do with them is think about some of the benefits of saving or engaging with their money. They tend to be people who are averse to engaging with their money, because there’s this sense of, I don’t understand it, I’m not smart enough, I might not get it underlying. So we can do some basic financial education with them that tends to quiet their anxiety and building in a spontaneity fund. So that might look like having, you know, 200 bucks each month that you can spend however you want and not judging yourself for it. So you can kind of scratch itch of needing to spend without putting yourself in financial harms way.

Maureen Werrbach  

I love that. All of these–I feel like I just wish I could see all my listeners right now to see where they feel like they fit. Like, I can totally see how these drinks like focusing on where your strengths are in these different categories, how that can help you actually get to a better place in terms of your mindset. 

What do you suggest? Because I guess mindset, like you mentioned right at the beginning of this episode, therapists specifically have historically pretty shitty mindsets around money and it doesn’t help–grad school isn’t helping us with that and I don’t know if it’s gotten any bette in recent years, but they definitely, you know, kind of seared into our brains that that the work we do is not about money. 

How do you help therapists specifically, who are maybe struggling as practice owners and group practice owners with not only the potential of acquiring income as they grow their businesses, but also how to feel like they’re doing the right things? I know, there’s obviously all these different things we can do from Profit First and otherI’m forgetting what the other really popular one is. But I feel like the mindset, it doesn’t help the mindset piece.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

Yeah, yeah. And that’s, that’s the problem, in my opinion, with most personal finance is that it’s very knowledge heavy, but it doesn’t take into account our emotions. And as therapists we understand this challenge of behavior change. Take any client that you’re trying to do behavior change with 99% of them know what they need to do, right? But it’s how do we get them to do it? How does it feel good for them to cultivate that change in a way that doesn’t feel frightening to them, that feels doable, that feels like something they can keep in maintenance mode. And that’s where I really think as therapists we can actually really excel in our relationship with money. 

Meaning, yes, knowledge is important. But more important, maybe not more important, just as important is your emotional relationship with money. So maybe yes, you can plug in a number to know how much you need to be charging each client or each group or whatever it is. But if you don’t feel comfortable charging that money, because you have this mindset hang up that charging money for therapy is bad, that’s going to win every time. So what you have to do is reshape your relationship with money and charging, and think about it in a way that feels good for you. 

So I’ll give a few examples so that way, your listeners can kind of pick and choose which approach feels good for them. 

So one approach is to just do it from kind of a confidence and competence lens, which means we are at least mid level healthcare providers, we have a master’s degree, at least a master’s degree, we sit for our boards, we do our internship, we maintain our licensure, we should be compensated financially for the same amount of energy and effort and skills that we have acquired. AKA nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants have no problem charging for the type of work that they do. And they, in my opinion, are mid level healthcare providers, right? So we can look at it very logically or, and whenever you choose. 

You can also look at it as an energetic exchange. And I know that feels a little bit out there. But what I find happens with therapists is they especially want to come from a social work background. If they’re like, oh my gosh, I can’t charge it’s gonna make me a greedy capitalist, I’m playing into the system that’s so broken. And what I invite you to do is lean on some teachings from Sonya Renee Taylor, who helps to differentiate the difference between capitalism and financial energy exchange. 

So capitalism is about exploiting others in order to profit personally. So most therapists are not exploiting others to profit personally. That’s why I personally don’t you know–a lot of the online business space is all about outsource and pay somebody $4 an hour to do your VA work! I don’t do that, because that feels out of alignment with my values. If I’m hiring somebody, I’m ensuring that I’m at least paying them $20 per hour. And if I can’t do that, then I’m not you know, outsourcing. 

So when it comes to an energy exchange going, how much does it cost me to provide this value and transformation to my client? And how can I look at that as an energetic exchange? Hopefully, none of your listeners are exploiting their clients and saying, look, I’m just charging $500 a session because I can. Most of them are saying, look, I am charging an appropriate amount given the amount of time, energy, & expertise that I’m giving to this client, and the value of transformation that I’m providing to them. 

So those are two options to help you reframe your relationship with money in terms of the mindset stuff. Yes, Profit First is incredibly helpful from a numbers standpoint. We are never gonna adhere to it if you can’t at least charge a good fee.

Maureen Werrbach  

Yeah. And I see this also with group practice owners around employing people as well. And you mentioned stuff, it’s kind of, you know, similar. And I really like your explanation of the difference, because I tend to focus my work on group practice owners who are doing anti-racism work. And so there’s a lot of discussion around capitalism and you know, white supremacy sort of having built all the structures here. So the difference between the energy piece and capitalism being exploitative, and how you can make sure that you’re navigating, owning your business in a way that that can thrive financially, while also not exploiting others. So yeah, the energy. What did you call it? 

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin

Energy exchange? 

Maureen Werrbach

Energy exchange. Yeah. I think that’s gonna resonate with a lot of my listeners.

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

Yeah, and I can speak as a person who’s in private practice now, but was previously at a group practice, I was happy to pay a portion of what I was bringing into that group practice because of the value that they were providing me. So at that point in time, they were providing me not only with, you know, the logistical stuff, the office, the billing, the overhead support, they were also providing me with emotional support psychological support, they were providing a space to connect with others, you know? We know that private practice can be really lonely. And at that point in time, I was happy to pay for that, because they weren’t just providing the logistics, the brass tacks of practice, they were providing me with an emotional support and a collegial support that I didn’t have. So you know, it’s not about saying, I’m only going to pay them X percentage of whatever fee they bring in. But also thinking about as a group practice, owner, how am I being ethical and bringing somebody into my practice? Because for a lot of people, and myself included, at one point in time, I didn’t have the bandwidth to figure out what EHR to use or you know how much to charge or how to put up a website, it just wasn’t there. Now I’m in a place where I can do that. But you know, thinking a little bit bigger outside of just the logistics and thinking about what type of energetic and emotional support a group practice owner is providing and making sure you’re not exploiting the people who you bring on as contractors or employees.

Maureen Werrbach  

Yeah, exactly. I really love those two ways of looking at mindsets around money. So I appreciate that. Any last pieces of feedback that you would have for anyone? I know, obviously, it’s group practice owners listening here. But for practice owners, who are maybe, whether they’re new or established, who are feeling like they’re not in the right mindset? Or yeah, I guess, mindset around where their business is at from a financial perspective, or how they’re managing their businesses? What are some, like, what’s a first step or first thought you would have for that person to get into alignment and feel like a sense of congruence when it comes to their mindset around money?

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

Yeah, the good and the bad about the answer that I’m about to give is that it’s complicated. Which means one response might really resonate with a listener and another response may not. So in general, I say do a little bit of both. Try some of the logistics stuff read Profit First. If that resonates, try out a couple different bookkeeping software. And the why behind that is because so many therapists tell me, Lindsay, I didn’t choose this field, because I like math. And I’m like, look, you don’t have to be good at math, to be able to run a successful, profitable and sustainable business. I failed college algebra. I’m not a math whiz. But the beauty of today is that software does most of the running of the numbers for me. And at the same time, it’s still my responsibility to make sure I’m engaging with my money. 

So I would say to people, first, take a look at your numbers. Take a look at how much money you’re bringing in, how much is going out, making sure you’re able to pay your taxes and your bills, etc. And then I would say, you know, search around. I’m not the only person talking about money. So many people are talking about money. You don’t have to stick with the first person you hear. Just like when you are going to a new therapist, you check out their website, you read their bio. The good news is we don’t have to just listen to the same bald white dude that has been screaming about budgeting for the last 20 years. There are so many more options now. So take, you know some compassion and some grace as you seek out somebody who’s speaking the language that lines up with the way that you want to engage with money, so you don’t have to say yes to the very first person who you come across when it comes to learning more about money and your mindset in relationship to it.

Maureen Werrbach  

Well, on that note, how could people reach out to you?

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin  

Beautiful segue Maureen. So they can find me on my website, which is mind money balance dot com, my podcast is of the same name, my Instagram handle is the same name. I’m on season three of my podcasts right now, but all of season two was dedicated to therapists and money. So if you want to get an understanding of how different therapists relate to money, and how they manage it, and what they do, I sit down to listen to that season, because there’s no one way to engage with your money.

Maureen Werrbach  

That’s awesome. I really appreciate you coming on taking your time, especially as stressful as it was coming, coming on 10 minutes after all of your electricity went out. So I appreciate you coming on and doing this. It’s really an important topic and one that I feel like a lot of group practice owners–and I know this is not group practice specific. But I feel like since that’s what I look at all day long, I am seeing a lot of kind of like eyes shut ears closed sort of thing going on when it comes to money, and it doesn’t need to be that way. But I think people, group practice owners are looking at ways to invest in literal, tangible things versus like I see this all the time around not bringing on an accountant, because they feel like I spend money on like a marketing person because that will bring me clients. And that brings income. And since I’m struggling, that’s the best thing. And I love when I see practice owners really focusing on really investing in themselves and their business in a way that’s maybe not directly correlated like linearly, even though it is to getting new clients. But like having someone who can support them around money mindset, having someone who can support them in a legal sense. I know people like don’t want to spend money on attorneys when it’s just really important to do it. But it it’s not  fun and, you know, client growing. And so I’m starting to see this shift a little by little, and I think it’s you know, people like you coming on into the forefront of the therapists world and starting to have these conversations that really needed to be had. So I appreciate you coming on. 

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin

Oh, it’s such such a treat. I really appreciate you having me.

Thanks For Listening

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Meet your host


Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:


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