Authors of Financial Books for Women
Judith Gruber, LCSW, CCET.
Judith Gruber, LCSW, CCET has been studying the concept and implications of money in our lives for over 20 years. She is a Holistic Psychotherapist, Personal and Business Coach and Certified Core Energetic Therapist. Judith developed and founded Money and Self-Empowerment Co., and facilitates groups, workshops, classes and lectures nationally. She is on the faculty of NYU, Hofstra University and the Whole Health Coaching Institute. Judith is an Education and Training Provider with the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the National Association of Social Workers. She has taught The Psychology of Money, Budgeting 101, The Dynamics of Money in Treatment for Addictions and Learning to Take Risks, and has been featured on cable TV. Judith integrates her rich background of training and experience in clinical social work, Path work Studies, spirituality and banking into her work. She believes that the journey of the soul is a healing process that restores energy and consciousness to the individual, which promotes creativity, self-expression and personal integrity. Judith maintains a private practice in Brooklyn Heights and Manhattan.
- What do you feel to be the biggest challenge facing women today when handling their finances?
The biggest challenge facing women today when handling their finances is establishing a relationship with money. This means paying attention to and learning about how they interact with money, and what their beliefs, attitudes and misconceptions are in relation to money. From this awareness, women will be able to make better choices in how they make investments and use money on a daily basis.
Additionally, it is imperative that women create a vision of what they want to achieve financially and begin setting goals to reach them. As we continue to take responsibility, we become empowered women. Empowerment ultimately gives us access to creating the reality we want to manifest.
As a money therapist and clinical social worker, I have seen women who have not taken responsibility for creating financial stability, and it can be devastating if our basic needs for food, shelter, medical bills and clothes are not provided for.
- How has the atmosphere changed for women investors in the last 10 years?
In the last ten years, I have seen the emotional atmosphere steadily change. Women have become more responsible and empowered in their relationship with money. Women have been more curious, eager and determined to understand who they are and explore their life purpose. Women are returning to school to become more educated; more women are starting new businesses in and out of their homes; women are taking more risks personally and in workplace; and women are taking a firm stance in claiming their knowledge, experience and person-hood. In other words, they are worthy contributors to society. When women do this, they take more control of their finances.
- How will the atmosphere change for women investors in the next 10 years?
I believe the atmosphere will be even more exciting within the next ten years. More woman want to understand their relationship with money — which means understanding their relationship to how they created their attitudes toward money – which means digging up the past – which means looking at why they chose to create their images the way they did. This is a positive direction for women because the more they become conscious of the underlying negative attachments, the more they can transform them and manifest financial balance in their lives. My experience in working with women in workshops, groups and individual sessions leads me to believe that they have a lot of ambition and yearn for this in their lives.
- Where did you start your career and how did it lead you to where you are today?
I started my career in the money world over 25 years ago as a cash management administrator for a major bank in New York City. I was helping large corporations set up systems for maximum cash flow and, at the same time, I couldn’t manage my own money responsibly. I was divorced and really didn’t understand the value of money or the concept of creating a budget or “spending plan.” I learned early in life that men made the money, men had the power and made had more rights. So, of course, I didn’t really understand the meaning of money other than how I wanted to see it work for me, or how to value it in relation to who I was. I learned early in life and grew up believing that a man would take care of me – that as a female I didn’t need to know anything else. In short, I was unconscious about the true value of money, about the true value of myself.
A friend of mine came over and helped me create a budget in order to meet my monthly bills. For the next six years, I wrote down and accounted for every penny I spent. This helped me to see where my money went, what my patterns were, and where I placed my values. I learned about myself and became fascinated about how all this worked together. It grew into a passion.
During this time, I was also entrenched in a spiritual path studying what is known throughout the world as The Pathwork lectures. These lectures touch on every human element in helping one transform unconscious images and negative patterns into a life of self-responsibility, self-acceptance and self-love. Studying these lectures for 20 years has had a profound impact on my life. It helped me be in reality and find the core of my being.
I also consulted with a very creative career counselor who I worked with for some time. She helped me put together my love and compassion for the human spirit and money. This led me to give individual sessions and a workshop. I have continued to feel my passion for this all through the years, even when I took a break because I didn’t feel confident enough to do it. I eventually went back to earn my undergraduate degree in Counseling and Psychology in my early 40’s during which I studied with a consumer psychologist. She was intrigued with my Money and Self-EmpowermentTM concept and, as soon as I graduated, I was invited to teach The Psychology of Money at SUNY Empire State College.
I then began to facilitate money support groups in New York. After completing a four-year professional training program in Core Energetics, a modality of therapy that integrates the body, mind, emotions and spirit, I began to integrate this work into my groups, coaching and private practice. In addition, I have served on the faculty of the World Health and Healing Collaborative facilitating and teaching money classes, as well as helping to develop their coach training curriculum throughout the country.
Through meeting people – then through meeting other people – I have shared my passion about Money and Self-EmpowermentTM. I have been quoted in financial articles and books, as well as been interviewed on cable television that focused an entire show on Money and Self-EmpowermentTM. And now I’ve come to work with MsMoney.com as a columnist and contributing author. This is very exciting, and I believe that this medium will reach millions of women who are ready to move forward in a positive direction, taking one step at a time.
I am also thrilled to say that I will be completing my graduate studies in clinical social work this spring. This has provided me with greater foundation and breadth in my knowledge and experiential base in working with people.
I feel blessed and privileged to do this work in helping others in their journey towards self-empowerment. As we all continue to evolve and transform our negative patterns into positive directions, we are each richer in our souls. This is the gateway to creating financial integrity and abundance on all levels.
- How much money do you need to start investing?
Any person can start investing with a dollar and an intention to create abundance. If a person literally has no extra money, they can take one dollar and put it in an envelope with an intention to continue adding to it. As she continues to do this, she will experience a sense of accomplishment. Thus, she will be motivated to add money each week and begin to see it grow. When she saves enough money, she can then invest it in a prime money market account where she’ll receive more interest than a savings account. As this success is experienced, the person will evolve and begin to understand that the more she saves and invests, the more fulfilled she will be in taking responsibility and accomplishing a great goal.
- How should a woman get started investing with no investment experience?
Begin talking to friends and family who have investments, and ask as many questions as you need to understand what it is you need to understand. There is no such thing as a stupid question. You can also go to a good bookstore where there is an abundance of books on finance and investing for people with no background or knowledge about what investments are and how to invest. You need to begin someplace, and taking the first step is a great start.
In addition, you can contact a Certified Financial Planner, or financial adviser at your local bank, who will help educate you. Education is the key. Now it is time to make a decision where and how you will invest your money. Look at the facts, know what kind of risks you are willing to take, and then make your investments as an informed and educated person. It’s all a learning process.
- If a woman has debt, at what point should she become an investor?
There are many levels to this question. On one level, as soon as you decide to take control of your finances, you invest in yourself. That’s a good place to begin and one to acknowledge!
As far as debt is concerned, this could be unique with each individual. I believe that on one hand, if a woman has debt, pay it first — then begin to save and invest your money. On the other hand, I think that while you pay back your debt, you can begin to save even small amounts of money. This will give you hope. Hope is essential to keep you going, to keep you connected to your money and how you feel about yourself. As a result of taking these steps, all kinds of things can happen, such as being more creative and ultimately earning more money. It’s a personal decision one makes about investing while paying off debt.
- What are your future plans in the financial field?
This question is another opportunity that leads me into opening my imagination and vision, as I continue to evolve my passion for Money and Self-EmpowermentTM.
The main thing for me is to enjoy what I do, have fun while I work and make money while doing it. I plan to continue writing my column, Money and Self-EmpowermentTM and other articles for MsMoney.com. I plan to continue facilitating money workshops and support groups, as well as expanding my coaching and private practice. I plan to have the children’s book I wrote about money and values published. I plan to have a cartoon strip about Money and Self-EmpowermentTM. I also plan to create a line of cards that takes on a unique form, which you can enjoy and learn about abundance on many levels. I want to have a game produced about the Money MasksTM we wear. Most importantly, I want to create a way to reach and touch as many people as possible, to help them create financial integrity, reflecting the best of who they are.
Judith Gruber, LCSW, CCET
Holistic Psychotherapy, Coaching and Core Energetic
Abundance and Prosperity Cards