Women Branching Out: Bari Tessler

BariTesslerToday we are featuring financial therapist, mentor coach, and mompreneur Bari Tessler as part of the Women Branching Out interview series.

Bari helps people work on their relationships with money through private coaching and her online program The Art of Money {affiliate link}.

The Art of Money is an 11 month community program, featuring guest teachers Julie Daley, Nona Jordan, Alexis Neely, and more. It begins February 1st.

Here’s Bari…

Tell us about your business. What do you do and who do you love to serve?

I am a financial therapist, a mentor coach, and I lead an online money program, The Art of Money. My work integrates all of my previous training as a body-centered psychotherapist, with all of the tools, systems and planning of bookkeeping and financial planning, that I surprisingly fell in love with (and needed myself) in my late 20s. I love to support women, couples, and creative entrepreneurs.

Since 2001, I have been teaching my money work in every format imaginable (via live in-person workshops and on-line tele-courses and home study programs).

Over the years I have been through a few different biz models to honor and accommodate my phases of life and my growing biz community.
For a few years, I had a whole team of bookkeepers and financial coaches under my umbrella. Then, with the birth of my son in 2008 (just as I was turning 40 years old), I shifted back to a one-woman rockin’ show to simplify again. I still collaborate with and refer to other key money support team partners.

As I was approaching 2013, and heading into my 44 birthday, I realized it was finally time for a conscious money movement. Something had matured inside of me and I was ready to reach a much wider community.

So, I dreamed up and crafted my new 11 month program, The Art of Money. This program integrates my tried and true method: An integration of Money Healing, Money Practices and Money Maps. And, weaves together individual, couple and creative entrepreneurial money teachings.

I am the main guide and resident financial therapist in The Art of Money. I have also gathered amazing guest teachers to teach on additional money topics from kids to careers, from debt to ritual, from Enneagram to gender issues. I am so excited about this current phase of my biz and feel it is the most heart-guided and vision-guided program ever.

I also offer private financial therapy and mentor coaching for 11 clients at a time.

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Why do you think it is important that we improve our relationship with money?

Our relationship to money — having a healthy + mature + loving + playful relationship to money — is simply one of the big areas of life to honor and give our attention to.

I’m not talking about bringing an obsessive attention to it, but the right amount of attention and care. Similar to taking care of our health and our bodies, finding our right relationship to work-career, cultivating healthy dynamics with the people closest to us. Our relationship to money is up there with the big ones in this beautiful, precious + challenging human life.

Money was not taught, to the majority of us, from grade school on up in small increments. We simply were not taught these things.

We weren’t taught how to understand our feelings about money, how to manage money, how to speak about money.

It’s time to go back and in fill in those gaps.

We project so much onto our money relationship and the concept of money (earning it, spending it, giving it, receiving it, losing it, borrowing it, loaning it, investing it, exchanging it). It’s ripe territory, where so much is happening emotionally and psychologically — and we simply were not taught how to make sense of it all in a healing way.

This work is still in shadow. It’s slowly coming out of the shadowlands, of taboolands — and I’m here to help that process along, in a big way. We need gallops of awareness, learning, forgiving, tools and skill sets.

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What’s the first bit of advice you give clients who come to you overwhelmed by their current money situation?

First, I share my favorite tool for money awareness, un-shaming, understanding and forgiveness, called the Body Check-In. This will support them to get present, notice their feelings, learn more about their money story and then ask it to have a seat next to you so you can engage with it, instead of being consumed by it.

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What changes have you seen in the lives of your clients when they started to have a more loving and honest relationship with money?

Here are a few of my favorite benefits of money work:

    Peace of mind, clarity, and compassion in your money relationship

    Deeper understanding and acceptance of the phases (the peaks and valleys) in money and in life

    Productive, loving + fun money conversations with your partner (yes, I know you will be moving mountains when you do this)

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How has the experience of coaching others through their money stories impacted your life?

I have really learned that this money work is a life-long practice. This is confirmed over and over by my dear community. It does not mean my clients/students will need to work with me forever! 🙂 It simply means that this work is a practice and life-long journey that will be fine-tuned and updated as we go. It is like a self-care practice for your relationship to money. There WILL BE peaks and valleys in life and in our money relationships. So, my clients and students inspire me to keep taking more steps with my own awareness, clarity and relationship to money. I continue to learn and grow.

Being able to share my work in the world has given me such a full, rich, and beautiful life and community. I love my work and community.

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What are most empowering aspects of having your own business?

Well, to be honest, I don’t think I am made to work for someone else.

I have been an entrepreneur for 11 years now. And, I love the freedom, the challenge, and the passion of this. I love being able to exercise in the middle of the day. I love being able to make my own hours. My biz is a continuing source of creativity, passion, vision, challenges, and psycho-spiritual learning, which I am very grateful for.

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What did Bari want to be when she grew up?

As a pre-teen, I was trying to decide between being a Solid-Gold Dancer or a businesswoman. By the time I hit 20, I added, psychotherapist, to the mix. I do see my work as part therapy, part business and part body-centered-dance work 🙂

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Finish this sentence. I believe …

I believe in…LOVE, PASSION, COMPASSION, CREATIVITY, SIMPLICITY, my family, dark chocolate, kindness, wildflowers, clear communication, loving boundaries, knowing who we are and who we are not, listening to our bodies wisdom as a great life tool, knowing that we ultimately have all of everything inside of us to move through life’s beauty and challenges and that support is awesome too… and I believe collaborative creative teams can bring amazing things to the world.

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Bari Tessler, M.A. is a Financial Therapist, Mentor Coach, Mama and Chocolate Lover. She is the founder of The Art of Money, (formerly Conscious Bookkeeping), which integrates Money Healing, Money Practices, and Money Maps. Bari offers online money programs as well as private Financial Therapy + Mentor Coaching for women, couples, and creative-preneurs. You can follow Bari on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

How are you nurturing your relationship with money? Please comment below!


  1. Anja on at

    Money is such an emotional subject, isn’t it?
    I love that Bari calls her self a Financial Therapist. The name alone implies that money is about so much more than just, well, money 🙂

    I’m really enjoying your interviews, Christie! I love your questions and the insights they give us in your guests!

  2. Amanda Daley on at

    Oh – LOVING the body check in!! Money, spirit, mind, body – it’s all linked and the body is the perfect place to become present for healing in every aspect. Thank you for the timely reminder.

    • christie on at

      Thanks Amanda – it all is connected.

  3. Pam Pearson on at

    The shadow material for me was that money was tied up with love. It was never meant to be a bad thing but brought it’s own challenges as I grew up. Now, I treat money with the love and respect it deserves. For example, I keep a new and tidy wallet instead of just crumpling and throwing it in my purse. These small gestures and opening to a greater awareness of thought AND feeling help me nurture my relationship with money. I appreciate your post.

    • christie on at

      Love your tidy wallet example, Pam! Powerful statement.

  4. Jenn Burton on at

    Great interview Christie. and I agree with Anja… money is such an emotional subject. I love your interviewing style as well. so fun!

    • christie on at

      Thank you Jenn! I love doing these interviews!

  5. Financial therapy! That is something all of us could use. Thanks for sharing this Christie, I am definitely going to check Anja’s site out. I would like someone to just take my money and give me an allowance…like when I was a kid. That would be so free-ing! ~Cathy

    • christie on at

      Cathy – you should set that allowance system up for yourself! 🙂

  6. Mindy Crary on at

    Love this interview and Bari’s style! It makes so much sense to bring the therapeutic world into the world of money. And I love the idea of her year-long course with a panel of people to get you through the peaks and valleys. Fantastic interview, Christie!

    • christie on at

      Thanks Mindy! You and Bari’s both have great approaches to money.

  7. amy zellmer on at

    aaahhh money. such a love-hate relationship we have!! Great article!!!

  8. I always love your interviews Christie, as they are really, really solid. Bari’s is no exception. I’m deeply grateful she’s doing this work. It’s so needed. Wouldn’t it be amazing if financial literacy were taught in schools? And Bari is clearly so deeply committed to this work. Thank you!

    • christie on at

      Thank you Randi! I took a really great home finances class in high school, where we had to balance our checkbooks, pay bills, invest. So grateful for that experience.

  9. Teresa Deak on at

    Great interview! We can feel the passion that Bari has for her mission – and thank goodness she is sharing this with the world! It is so needed!

    Hugs and butterflies,

  10. Hi Christie.. you always interview so beautifully.. I agree with the points about money struggles being similar to those around our bodies.. both loaded, emotional, laced with shame and like Bari.. love getting my clients to connect with their bodies and find their grounded clarity so that they can move through all of it in ways that feel better.
    Love to you,

  11. Leah Shapiro on at

    I love these interviews that you do Christie!
    I agree with the idea that we aren’t taught how to deal with money- our relationship to it and feeling about it. Which seems silly because it’s such an integral part of our lives!

  12. As a coach, I also address such important and deeply rooted core beliefs – money, success, happiness, responsibility – when we use techniques like Bari’s Body Check-in we become so much more capable of making resonant and “sound” choices with all of our resources!

  13. An holistic approach to money including the body is a fabulous idea. Just talking about money can be distressing, aligning it to how the body reacts gives a different focus to make healthy change. And the title ‘Financial Therapist’ is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I am adoring the “Body Check In” + are adding this to my tool box to use with future clients. Thank you! XX