Sherry Helgoe may be the only marital and family therapist in the country whose website has a page that explains what might happen when you default on your mortgage.

Her practice in Yorba Linda, Calif., is an unusual hybrid of helping clients with the traditional range of personal difficulties — divorce, bereavement, family dysfunction, etc. — and real estate-related matters.

Helgoe said she’s unaware of any other licensed therapist who has developed her sub-specialty: teaching real estate agents how to communicate better with mortgage borrowers who are at risk of losing their homes.

A therapist since 1995, about a year ago she developed a workshop on the "psychology of the distressed buyer" to help agents understand their clients better in order to help them reach decisions about short sales, foreclosures, or other alternatives for their properties.

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