Money Rehab Offers Hope for Some Financially-Troubled Americans

Tenn. workshop offers help for compulsive shopping and other financial woes

ByABC News
July 29, 2009, 5:14 PM

July 29, 2009— -- According to a recent poll by the American Psychological Association, two-thirds of Americans say the economy is a significant source of stress in their lives. Yet for a nation in the midst of an economic panic attack -- not to mention a crisis brought about by overspending -- there are surprisingly few options for the treatment of money disorders.

Onsite Workshops, located west of Nashville, Tenn., is trying to fill this void. Their intensive one-week money rehab program is currently the only residential treatment program in the country for people with troubled relationships with money.

Recently, "20/20" followed nine diverse Americans who had one thing in common: they were at their wit's end financially, and had come to Onsite to confront their money woes head-on.

These financial troubles are manifested in a variety of different ways.

"Compulsive buying disorder, workaholism, financial enabling, financial incest [the inappropriate involvement of children in adult financial matters], and compulsive hoarding. Those are the main ones we see," says Brad Klontz, a clinical psychologist who specializes in financial psychology.

Brad Klontz leads Onsite's money workshop along with his father, Ted Klontz, a psychologist, and Rick Kahler, a financial planner.

For the duration of the program, participants must say goodbye to cell phones, Blackberries, TVs, and cars. The focus each of the rigorous sessions -- which run from eight in the morning until eight at night -- is taming out-of control money habits and the unhealthy attitudes behind them.