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VISN 1 MIRECC Education Products: Money Management

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Money Management

Advisor-Teller Money Manager (ATM)
Contact: Marc Rosen, M.D. (

Many individuals with mental illnesses and/or addictive disorders misuse their funds, leaving them without money for food, shelter, clothing, or health care. Mere assignment of a fiduciary, representative payee, or conservator is often ineffective and does not empower clients. Advisor-Teller Money Manager (ATM) involves having a money manager assist in budgeting an individual’s income by having the individual go to the money manager to access his/her funds. ATM has three parts: 

Teller Function: The money manager helps the client manage money in his/her own best interests. The client arranges for deposit of his/her income into an account that allows the money manager to monitor the account. The client makes a budget with the money manager. Clients will be strongly encouraged to arrange for checks to be written directly to creditors for housing, food, electricity, and as many other expenses as possible. 

Training Function: The money manager helps the client learn to budget his/her own funds. Clients will meet with the money manager at least monthly to plan a budget. They will collaboratively arrange for the dispensing of checks to pay for expenditures as well as checks to the client to spend as he/she pleases. Dispensing will involve planning for how the money will be spent so that it is not misspent. 

Treatment-Linked Spending: The money manager and client develop agreements whereby the client is rewarded for constructive activity and abstinence. ATM involves making voluntary treatment contracts with clients in which disbursement of discretionary funds is linked to completion of treatment goals. Clients do not have to follow their money manager’s recommendations about how to manage their money if they do not want to do so. Clients do not have to adhere to the conditions of the treatment contract and can ask for their money out of the account whether or not they have agreed to the contract. 

All of the following ATM information may be downloaded directly from this website:

1. ATM Therapist Manual: The manual provides an overview of the ATM therapy model and includes strategies for engaging clients in ATM as well as descriptions of how to conduct the ATM therapy sessions. 

2. ATM Training Materials: The manual contains interactive exercises to make learning ATM interesting. It also contains nuts-and-bolts information about how to deliver ATM. 

3. Managing Program Accounts: The template can be downloaded and used to start a program to store client funds. 

4. ATM Film: In this 15-minute film, Drs. Marc Rosen and Robert Rosenheck speak about how ATM was developed, therapists describe how to conduct ATM, and one individual describes her experience in ATM. 

Benefits Counseling
Contact: Marc Rosen, M.D. (

Benefits counseling was developed to assist Veterans as they apply for disability benefits. Benefits counseling uses motivational interviewing methods to encourage Veterans to work and/or engage in vocational rehabilitation. As prescribed in motivational interviewing, the benefits counselor adopts a supportive, empathic stance to help Veterans explore ambivalence about working. The counselor will explain that working does not invariably lead to loss of benefits. The benefits counselor will help Veterans identify other barriers to working and develop a plan to address them. Benefits counseling consists of four one-hour sessions: an initial session around the time of the Compensation and Pension evaluation; two sessions during the next two weeks; and a final session after the Veterans Benefits Administration makes a determination on the Veteran’s application for disability. The goal of benefits counseling is to foster involvement in work and vocational rehabilitation. 
The following benefits counseling information may be downloaded directly from this website:

1. Benefits Counseling Manual: The manual includes: an overview of benefits counseling; explanation of motivational interviewing principles used in benefits counseling; recommended techniques for the benefits counselor to use; and a session-by-session breakdown with activities and worksheets. 

2. Session Activity Worksheets: Session #1’s activities include using the Personal Values Activity and Personal Values Ranking Worksheet. Session #2’s activities include using the Action Plan and Work Attitudes Decisional Balance Worksheets. Session #3’s activities include using the Financial Goals and Monthly Budget Worksheets.


Mehmet Sofuoglu, M.D., Ph.D.

Patricia Sweeney, Psy.D., CPRP
Director for Education

Richard Carson, LCSW
Administrative Officer
203-932-5711 Ext. 4338

Ilan Harpaz-Rotem, Ph.D.
Co-Director for MIRECC Fellowship Program
203-932-5711 Ext. 2599

Suzanne Decker, Ph.D.
Co-Director for MIRECC Fellowship Program
203-932-5711 Ext. 7425