Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that someone would call me up and ask “Are you the trading psychologist?”
It has happened. But after two decades of trading on the floors of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade and the options floor the Pacific Stock Exchange; along with a decade of training and in practice as a therapist with an MA in Clinical Psychology, four years training at the Gestalt Institute in San Francisco and Master’s Certification in NLP and being a student of neuroscience, it keeps coming up.
Can a non-trading psychologist support new trading behaviors? It is a challenge for a psychiatrist, psychologist or coach who has not experienced trading on a visceral level, to really understand how trading challenges every part of the normal processes in the human brain. Identity, beliefs and behaviors that are successful in the real world with our friends, family and work, can be impediments for the independent trader.
The beautiful thing about trading is that it gives us immediate feedback to our trading behaviors. The biases and repeated patterns that we all have, show up when we make repeated trading errors. These repeated errors can quickly help us the focus on the underlying processes that support them.
In our normal lives with our families and our social settings and even in our workplace, we create much of our environment with our state of mind and behaviors. Other people in that environment will manage their behaviors and relationship with us in response to our own state of being. As a result we are able to affect those around us, or perhaps even manipulate those around us, by our behaviors.
What is successful in the real world has its limitations in front of the trading screen. Because trading is such a psychological game, it requires significant focus on our internal state of mind, rather than focus on manipulating the environment around us.
Since we can’t manipulate the market, we are left with the stark reality of changing ourselves and our behaviors as traders.
We can measure the results. Unlike traditional therapy where the results are often unclear, a trading coach and the client is able to see absolutely clearly the results of their work together. We change what we measure and it is critical to measure what matters. Most traders just look at the P&L. At Mind Muscles, we have developed a series of behavior metrics that support behavioral change on a foundational level that supports long term success.
New self-guided course Traders Compass now available for enrollment. Go here for more information.