Financially sabotaging yourself? You may have a money neurosis! Philosophical counseling can help…

Back in the 1950s, the psychoanalysist Edmund Bergler, M.D. proposed that chronic gamblers, or those with a gambling addiction, have an unconscious wish to lose their money. What an outrageous idea! And what a profound insult to every respectable gambler who ever rolled a pair of dice or spent his paycheck on lottery tickets! But could Dr. Bergler be right? Common parlance would suggest as much. For example, when a man loses a bundle of money — such as on Wall Street — he might say: “I really took a bath with that stock!” Taking a bath is, of course, a symbol for getting clean, not just physically, but morally.

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Nick “the Greek” went from philosopher to gambler. And back again?

The sense of immorality stems from the fact that one is, to use another revealing expression, “seeking to make a killing.” The gains from gambling or speculation are viewed as ill-gotten, or illegitimate. I.E., one has sought to get something for nothing, rather than from doing work. Thus the compensatory need to take a bath. All this is in accord with the notion, proposed by Dr. Bergler, of “psychic masochism,” the unconscious wish to pay for one’s hubris, in the financial arena.

There are many other types of “money neurotics,” besides the chronic gambler. There is, for example, the miser, the spendthrift, and the “schnorrer.” Bergler, in his various books on money neurosis, also includes: the bargain hunter, the success hunter, the golddigger, the impostor, and the embezzler. A money malady that has, more recently, gotten attention is the “affluenza” that affects spoiled children.

Unless you illuminate your own particular relation to getting and spending, it can zap your energy, harm your relationships with friends and family, and even drive you crazy, as it has many people. Dr. Dillof, who worked as a Wall Street broker, has seen much and thought much about the philosophical meaning of money. It would be very worthwhile to have him help you to illuminate your own relation to money.

P.S. The legendary gambler Nick “the Greek” started out as a student of philosophy at Oxford, with a particular fondness for Plato and Aristotle. Perhaps, as he started losing his winning, he became a real philosopher. One likes to think so. “Is there not one true coin for which everything ought to be exchanged? That coin is wisdom” — Plato

Do you have a gambling addiction or other money neurosis? Dr. Dillof offers philosophical counseling, by phone and in person. For information, call him toll-free at: 1-888-737-5724 or local at: (607) 723-2663 or e-mail him at mdillof@verizon.net. The telephone can allow for an intense conversation. Why, then, drive to a session — in the rain, snow, cold and dark — spending money on fuel?

No matter what part of the globe you inhabit — from New York City (NYC) to Los Angeles CA, from London to Tokyo, from Boston MA to Chicago IL, from Brooklyn to Queens, from Binghamton to Ithaca, from Scranton PA to Syracuse NY, from Vestal to Endicott, from White Plains to Westchester, from Rochester to Buffalo, from Nassau to Suffolk, from Louisville KY to Cincinnati OH, from Indianapolis IN to Hartford CT, from Hollywood CA to Miami Beach FL, from Minneapolis MN to Madison WI, from Portland OR to Washington DC, from Seattle WA to the Bronx NY, from Toronto Canada to Vancouver, from San Francisco to Houston — distance is no barrier to an illuminating counseling and life coaching session!

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