Unmasking The Legacy of Trauma on Financial Well-Being with Mike Vaughn

Today, Ed is joined by Mike Vaughn, MA, LCMHCS, CSAT, and co-founder of SureHope Counseling & Training Center. For over 18 years, he has helped people strengthen their marriages, find freedom from sex addiction, and experience peace again in the face of traumatic events.


Listen in as Mike explains the eye-opening commonalities between his three specialities: sex addiction, marriage, and trauma, focusing on the financial and time costs that typically come with addiction or holding onto trauma of any sort.


He and Ed break down the role of our emotions, values, and priorities in the way we treat money, and how much of our “financial preoccupation” can be traced back to our inner life. Mike invites us to ask ourselves: “Am I using money to try to emotionally regulate what I otherwise really dysregulated?”


Mike also discusses how trauma causes us to change our beliefs about ourselves, about others, and about the nature of relationships, all for the worse. He talks about the most common interrelational traumas shared by his clients over the years.


Finally, Mike dives deep into the uncomfortable yet incredibly important discussion around childhood sexual abuse, how certain experiences that are sexual in nature can manifest in ways that many parents take for granted, and how to set healthy boundaries around sexuality.


Key Topics:

  • Defining “sex addiction” (02:31)
  • How we cover our shame or try to regulate emotional chaos with money (10:19)
  • The role of emotions (12:53)
  • How our spending habits are a reflection of our values and priorities (21:12)
  • How our finances, sex life, and emotional life are tied to the deepest parts of us (27:21)
  • Looking at marriage and sex through the lens of fairness and justice (34:34)
  • The role of trauma in addiction and marriage-related issues (39:14)
  • Interrelational traumas (44:58)
  • Unpacking sexual abuse in childhood and how to set healthy boundaries around sexuality (51:28)





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