Joan Sotkin: The Emotions Behind Debting TPS79

joan-long-500If you suffer from chronic or ongoing debt, you’ll want to listen to this episode.

I was a compulsive debtor and have had a lot of experience dealing with debt. In this episode I talk about how my family background set the stage for my debting, including when my father went bankrupt. I also offer some insight into how you might be using debt to express habitual emotions.


  • I developed the belief that it doesn’t pay to save because each time I saved a few hundred dollars, I wound up rescuing others, including my parents.
  • The habit of buying things before I had the money to pay for them and borrowing money from other people.
  • At Debtors Anonymous I learned about the connection between debting and emotions. I also learned how to create rational spending plans.
  • How I went bankrupt after making a lot of money.
  • Entrepreneurs tend to be overly optimistic, which can get them into trouble.
  • Two of the feelings behind debting: separation and aloneness.
  • When feeling uncomfortable, ask, “What am I feeling?” Become aware of the kinesthetic experience in your body. Then ask, “When did I feel this before?”
  • After you recognize what you’re feeling, you can use any one of a number of release techniques and then replace the habitual feeling with something else.
  • Emotions that go along with debting include: Trapped, overwhelmed, ashamed, alone, deprived.
  • If you are in debt, you probably feel trapped, which is a feeling that starts in early childhood.
  • In order to get out of debt, getting in touch with the feelings behind the debt is essential.
  • The gift of the debt.
  • How debt may be serving you as a way of expressing repressed emotions.
  • You are not your debt and your debt doesn’t define you.
  • Share your journey out of debt with someone else.


Debtors Anonymous