My favorite question to be asked during my commute is “What’s your race?” I tell you
that I’m Asian, and you go, “No kidding, you’re so gorgeous.”

Interview with Lindsay Bryan-Podvin

On Tuesday morning, February 9, I chatted over the phone with Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, the financial therapist behind the practice Mind Money Balance. Bryan-Podvin, 34, is a mixed Filipino-American from Michigan who founded Mind Money Balance in early winter of 2018 after she got her certificate in financial social work and her friends and family unanimously agreed on the name. 

Mind Money Balance is an accessible way for people to gain advice that deals with the intersection between mental health and financial wellbeing. Bryan-Podvin takes the unconventional approach to advertising therapy by marketing the practice through social media platforms like Youtube and Instagram, hoping to normalize open conversations about money and the stress that it causes. 

“I combine the financial literacy side of money with the emotional and psychological side of money,” Bryan-Podvin says. “Most of my work is around working with couples and individuals in a traditional therapy setting with the focus on money and money mindset.” 

Bryan-Podvin brings up how money matters are challenging to get well-rounded advice on, especially for those in the middle class.

“For everybody else in the middle who isn’t in poverty but isn’t independently wealthy, there’s not a good place to go,” Bryan-Podvin says. “It’s for the people who have more knowledge than the basics of how to make a budget, but they don’t necessarily need independent wealth management. I wanted to plug that gap.”

When Bryan-Podvin first meets new clients—whether they’re individuals, couples, or a mixed group of strangers—she likes to ask as many questions about their knowledge regarding money as possible. Questions that are all about their financial firsts like their first job, first credit card, the first time you took out a loan, first salary job, or the first time they realized they had to pay taxes. But also questions about how they talked about money growing up with money like if their parents thought it was rude to talk about money or in an open way if they learned about saving, and what their parents did with gifts of cash or checks. 

“The first session is really a history gathering session,” Bryan-Podvin says. “I start to get a sense of what a person’s earliest memories are with money…We know that our brains do the bulk of their development in childhood, and it’s the same with money. Most financial psychologists say we’ve more or less decided what our relationship with money will be by the time we’re about seven or eight years old, which is why it’s so important to roll back the clock…[and] dig into what was going on in your household initially.”

Bryan-Podvin understands that, especially in Western countries like the United States and Canada, there’s a stigma about talking about money openly. 

“We know that shame is a huge thing that comes up when people are working on their money,” Bryan-Podvin says. “[Giving clients] a sense that they’re not alone, that other people have thought those thoughts or had those feelings, and hopefully to start helping them understand that nobody’s inherently bad with money. It’s something we aren’t taught in most cases, and I believe that everybody can cultivate a healthy relationship with money—It just takes some time.”

It’s especially difficult in Asian households specifically to openly discuss money matters but also to seek therapy in general. 

“In the Asian community, therapy is kind of something that you do privately and quietly. You don’t really talk about it,” Bryan-Podvin says. “So understanding that one in four adults in the United States is going to experience a mental health disorder at some point in their life and you don’t have to do it alone—you don’t have to do it quietly.” 

Although Bryan-Podvin’s biological father is Filipino, she grew up in an all-white household—with a white mom who remarried a white man. As a woman of color in a predominantly white space, navigating identity can be difficult, especially through a mental health lens. 

“I think having that community of folks who understands what it’s like and who have been able to affirm me and say, ‘there’s no one way to be more or less Asian than somebody else,’ has been incredibly validating,” Bryan-Podvin says. “Even though I wasn’t raised in a Filipino household, I do believe that things are passed on to us from our ancestors. There is a long line of hardworking, hustling Filipinos that I come from.”

Bryan-Podvin encourages Asian women and nonbinary folks who are unsure how to seek therapy to start by looking at the Asian mental health directory. If you type it into Google, you’ll find a list of clinicians who identify as Asian and/or feel competent in treating Asian folks. 

“There are Asian therapists out there, and you can find them,” Bryan-Podvin says. “[And if they’re non-Asian,] don’t be afraid to ask what their cultural competence is in treating Filipinos or Southeast Asians or Chinese-Americans. Make the ask, and if they skirt the issue, they’re not a good fit for you. You don’t want to show up to therapy, hiding a part of yourself in American culture. We are already constantly reinforced to try and mold ourselves into a model of whiteness.”

At the following links you can find Asian therapy directories for those who are seeking help:

AAPISAA Directory
South Asian Therapists Directory

You can find Mind Money Balance Balance on their website (www.mindmoneybalance.com), where you can book group or one-on-one therapy sessions and consultations. You can also watch for updates from Mind Money Balance on Youtube and Instagram. Bryan-Podvin also hosts a podcast of the same name on Apple Podcasts


Lindsay Bryan-Podvin is a biracial financial therapist, speaker, and Plutus-nominated author of the book “The Financial Anxiety Solution.” In her therapy practice, Mind Money Balance, she uses shame-free financial therapy to help people get their minds and money in balance. She’s expanded her services to help therapists with their money mindset, niching, and authentic marketing so they can include financial self-care in their self-care practices. She lives with her partner and their dog in Michigan.

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

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