The Shulman Center 1


    Greetings from The Shulman Center!

      Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding Newsletter  April 2012  Happy Passover/Easter


Celebrating 20 years  

 of Serving People! 

       1992 - 2012



Quotes of the Month


"Knowing others is wisdom; knowing yourself is enlightenment."--Lao Tzu


"Spring is nature's way of saying: 'Let's Party!'"--Robin Williams


"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow." --Proverb


"If you share your pain you cut it in half; if you don't, you double it." --Anonymous


"An expectation is a pre-meditated resentment." --Anonymous


"There's no elevator--you have to take the steps." --Anonymous



Stats of the Month 


In the U.K. over the past 5 years, more than 3.5 million people admit to having shoplifted.


The Bible is the most shoplifted book in the world.--Various sources


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that employee theft costs U.S. companies between $20 -$40 billion per year and that every working man and woman in the U.S. pays about $400 more in goods to make up for these losses.


45% of employees admit to falling asleep on the job; 44% of men and 34% of women admit to having kissed a co-worker.Careerbuilder



Person of the Month 


Sandra Fluke. No matter what your politics are, I think most reasonable people would admire the 30-year old Georgetown University law student who volunteered to testify last month about the importance--to her and to millions of women--for insurance-funded birth control. 


She showed courage in volunteering to speak on a heated subject and even more bravely showed courage and grace under fire from a barrage of mean-spirited remarks, most notably, from Rush Limbaugh--who called her a "slut" and a "prostitute." 


Remember, this is a private citizen, not a public figure. We all can appreciate one's right to respectfully share their experience and point of view no matter what our own positions may be. 



Books of the Month 


The Client Connection:

How Advisors Can Build Relationships That Last.

NUCO 2009, by Olivia Mellan / Sherry Christie.


This is a wonderful, well-organized book about how we develop our relationships--often dysfunctional--to money.

Ms. Mellan has been a pioneer in the field of money psychology for over 25 years and Ms. Christie has been writing about financial matters for just as long.


While written primarily for therapists and/or financial advisors who work with clients and their money issues, anyone would benefit from reading this book to understand himself or others better.


Peak VItality: Raising the Threshold of Abundance in Our Material, Spiritual, and Emotional Lives. Elite Books, 2008. Edited by Jeanne M. House.


This 500 page tome reminds me of Marianne Williamson's 2000 book "Imagine: What America Could Be in the 21st Century." "Peak Vitality" is filled with short essays on every conceivable topic--money, food, sex, religion, science, health, by every conceivable expert--Mehmet Oz, Andrew Weil, John Bradshaw, and Olivia Mellan.  This work is guaranteed to push boundaries toward the leading edge. There's something for everyone.



Films of the Month 


"One: The Movie" (2006) Directed by Ward M. Powers.


This under-title of this wonderful film is: "A Contemporary Journey Toward a Timeless Destiny." Written and directed by a metro-Detroit area everyman, "One" is in the tradition of "The Secret," "I Am," and "What The Bleep." 


The director is on a quest to answer the questions: what's life all about and how do we find peace? He interviews luminaries such as Deepak Chopra, Ram Dass, Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. 


The film has great visuals and a musical score. It is also one of those films that is best viewed repeatedly to allow its message to sink in deeply: we are all interconnected; we are all one. 


"Game Change" (2012)

HBO Directed by Jay Roach, based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.


This engaging movie is not only about Sarah Palin--brilliantly played by actress Julianne Moore; it's a harrowing glimpse inside the hardball world of politics and what happens when we compromise our values to try to win at all costs. Do the ends justify the means? 


See our updated websites at:


Mr. Shulman's books now in e-books through


Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery


Biting The Hand That Feeds: The Employee Theft Epidemic


Bought Out and $pent! Recovery from Compulsive $hopping


Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: Stealing, Spending & Hoarding 




If you're a therapist and wish to be trained/certified in the assessment/treatment of 

compulsive theft, spending and/or hoarding, PLEASE CONTACT THE SHULMAN 



The Shulman Center on the move and in the news!!!


March 19--Mr. Shulman wrote an article on employee theft in the ARVC (Amusement Park/Recreational Vehicle/Camping) Newsletter. (See page 15) 


March 22--Mr. Shulman is quoted on shopping addiction in an article online for MSN


March 22-25--Mr. Shulman attended the 35th Annual Psychotherapy Networker 

conference in Washington, D.C. 


April (TBA)--Mr. Shulman to appear on Anderson Cooper's daytime talkshow to discuss shoplifting addiction (show taped 2/5/12)


April 14--Mr. Shulman to co-organize/co-present at 2nd Annual "Living Recovery in an Addictive World" mini-conference in Ferndale, Michigan.

April 19/20--Mr. Shulman to present on helping counseling clients with legal issues at the Annual Michigan Social Workers Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan. 


April 26-29--Mr. Shulman will be in the Los Angeles area on business to visit clients, treatment centers, and the Culver City CASA (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous) support group.



After a year of probation for her theft of a necklace, as well as other legal issues over the years, Lindsay Lohan is officially a free woman! She will remain on informal probation until 2014 and barely dodged more legal trouble just weeks ago when she drove her Porsche and bumped it into someone but no charges were filed. While Ms. Lohan has been the butt of many jokes and has been the latest poster-child for spoiled and disrespectful stars, I hope she gets her life together. There but for the grace go I.  


In mid-2011, USA Today reported widespread cheating throughout the greater Atlanta, Georgia school districts--not by students but by teachers who were erasing wrong answers on standardized tests and correcting them with right answers to achieve benchmark scores which bore on their teaching jobs and reputations. 


Well, just a month ago, it was discovered that teacher cheating has been more widespread. Preliminary analyses of test scores have shown suspicious results in districts throughout the U.S., including Washington, D.C. 


Many blame the rash of cheating on unrealistic governmental pressures on teachers and districts from No Child Left Behind to Race to The Top programs. Others note that not every teacher or district cheats so it's (more than) a few bad apples who are covering for their lack of hard work or teaching abilities or simply are placing too much pressure on themselves to avoid failure and save face. The irony, of course, is that those teachers caught cheating find their reputations more impugned from cheating than just failing the tests and their jobs in further jeopardy from their own rule breaking. 


Aside from the debate about whether to do away with the heavy emphasis on testing, there's a debate about how to actually prevent or deter teachers from continuing to cheat. Further, we need to ask how all this bad press is affecting students who must, in general, feel confused and disheartened. What are we teaching today's youth?


See Huffington Post article at: 




This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first Psychotherapy Networker conference in Washington, D.C. It was the 35th Annual Conference and the cherry blossom trees were in full-bloom early due to unseasonably warm weather. As a mater of fact, it was the 100th anniversary of Japan's gift of the cherry blossom trees to the area back in 1912. 


I brought my wife, Tina, the Creative Director of The Shulman Center, with me. She primarily toured the town while I joined several thousand therapists and healers from across the nation for four days of various and cutting-edge workshops on creativity, health, and relationships. Dr. Andrew Weil, the noted author and proponent of Integrative Medicine (body, mind, and spirit) was a keynote speaker. He touted the importance of exercise, proper nutrition, and Omega 3 fish oils not only for physical but also for mental health. He cited a recent study that the country of Iceland has one of the lowest depression rates despite its cold, sun-deprived environment. His theory: their diet which is heavy on fish and, thus fish oil, must play a role. He also warned about our increasing exposure and reliance on technology as both speeding up our sense of time and also leading to less simple and genuine interconnectedness. 


I attended workshops on trauma, narcissism, couples and pornography, forgiveness, and integrating money issues in therapy. There was ample time for networking, conference sponsored fun such as dance, music and stand-up comedy, and spaces to walk around the beautiful neighborhood which was abuzz with ethnic restaurants and embassies from across the globe. My wife and I also visited The National Cathedral and The National Zoo. We live in a remarkable country and our nation's capital is rich with culture, architecture, and community.


By the time we arrived back in Detroit late Sunday night, we were pretty tired and hit the hay. I was--and remain--very grateful to be able to travel, meet fellow spiritual travelers, and find my own place in the scheme of things. 







Democratic campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee is expected to plead guilty to stealing millions from the accounts she controlled for her California political clients, according to two sources close to the case.


The news came as the U.S. Attorneys Office filed fresh charges against the veteran Democratic treasurer, who was arrested last fall. The 17-page complaint, filed Tuesday in the United State District Court for the Eastern District of California, details fraud and embezzlement stretching back more than a decade, accusing Durkee of "routinely misappropriating" funds from clients' accounts and filing false reports with the Secretary of State and the Federal Elections Commission. 


The document says at least 50 victims lost a combined $7 million-plus due to her actions. The money, which was transferred between accounts and to her firm, Durkee & Associates, without client authorization, was used to pay personal expenses, including a mortgage and credit card bills, and payroll and other business expenses.


In one 2010 transaction listed, Durkee allegedly used $23,000 intended for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's federal campaign account to help pay a $30,000 American Express tab that included charges from the Los Angeles Dodgers,, Disneyland and Trader Joe's grocery store. Other payments made with client money went to health insurance companies and residential services for her elderly mother. In some cases, she allegedly transferred money or diverted deposits to cover for previous unauthorized withdraws from clients' accounts. 

Democratic Assemblyman Jose Solorio, a Durkee client who prosecutors say lost more than $600,000 in the hands of his former treasurer, praised the news of the plea deal in a statement.The Santa Ana Democrat said he urged investigators to "be aggressive in making sure Durkee serves as many years as possible in prison. In finalizing a long sentence term, I'm hoping the FBI and courts send a message to treasurers, accountants and book keepers around the country that defrauding their clients is a serious matter," he said.


Politico first reported Tuesday evening that Durkee could enter the guilty plea as soon as Friday. Prosecutors will seek a sentence of 11 to 14 years in prison as part of the agreement, according to Politico. Despite a history of violations and fines from the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Durkee had amassed a client list that included some of the biggest names in California Democratic politics and many nonprofit organizations. 


Feinstein, who says millions are missing from her re-election account, wrote a $5 million check to her campaign account to make up for the losses. The senior senator is one of several politicians who have filed lawsuits to recoup some of the allegedly stolen money. The lawsuit also names the California bank Durkee used for her business, arguing that the number of money transfers between accounts 

and overdrafts Durkee allegedly used to cover her embezzlement scheme should have raised a red flag for the institution.




by Melinda Beck, Wall Street Journal Tuesday March 27, 2012

Mark Carter concedes that he's a digital hoarder.

He estimates he has 24,000 MP3 files, 4,000 digital books, 2,000 CDs, 3,000 family photos saved on DVDs and at least 1,300 saved emails, including some from 20 years ago. "They're great memory aids," says the 42-year-old inventory manager at the Wal-Mart in Bloomington, Ill.

It's not as messy or dangerous as hoarding clothing, rotten food or live animals, but "digital hoarding" may have some of the same psychological roots. "I save these things mainly because I worry they may vanish from the Net or that I'll want them sometime when I'm away from my Internet connection," he says.


The definition of hoarding is accumulating items beyond the point of usefulness, and it typically applies to things like clothing or cats. But it can also pertain to digital files, a practice that is more hidden than physical hoarding.


"Digital clutter doesn't beget mice or interfere with walking around the house," says Kit Anderson, past president of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, a nonprofit in St. Louis, that studies hoarding behaviors. "But it's more insidious because no one else is going to insist that you get help."


Nobody knows how many Americans have digital-hoarding issues (an estimated 5% are physical hoarders), but the proliferation of devices, the explosion of info, and the abundance of cheap storage have made it all too tempting for some people to amass emails, text messages, Word documents, Web pages, digital photos, computer games, music files, movies, home videos and entire TV seasons than they can ever use or keep track of.


"Digital hoarding is a huge problem. There is so much available storage, we don't have to make decisions anymore," says David D. Nowell, a neuropsychologist specializing in attention issues in Worcester, Mass. "The problem isn't that it slows down your computer-it slows down your brain," he warns, since each of those photos, links and folders demands some mental energy.


Digital hoarding can stem from the same psychological issues as other kinds of hoarding, experts say. "It comes down to fear and indecision," says Katherine Trezise, current president of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. "I see people who have hundreds of icons on their screen because they're afraid they can't find them again."


Hoarding is officially considered a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but some hoarders also suffer from attention-deficit-hyperactive disorder. Some digital hoarders are driven perfectionists who don't know when to stop researching or collecting.


When a Busy Inbox Signals a Problem

There are no official criteria for 'digital hoarding' but there are some tell-tale signs:


* You've exceeded your 7 gigabytes of free space in Gmail and have to buy more.

* Deleting anything makes you anxious-even things you can't remember why you saved.

* You spend more time searching for a file than it would take to download it again.

* You have dozens of icons on your desktop and don't know what they're for.

* You can't remember all your email or social-media accounts or how to access them.

* You have flash drives scattered in drawers, pockets and purses and no idea what's on them.

* Of your thousands of digital photos, the vast majority are duds.

* You have entire seasons of bad TV shows you have no intention of watching.


Digging Out

Professional organizers who specialize in technology issues offer these tips for conquering digital hoarding:


*Practice 'zero email.' Discipline yourself to clean out your inbox completely every day, answering, filing or deleting each item.

* Declare 'email bankruptcy.' Delete every unread email in your inbox and alert your 10 best friends and colleagues that if they have sent something crucial, they should send it again.

* Unsubscribe to every newsletter and mailing list you don't need or want immediately.

* Set your spam filter to block any regular emails you don't want to receive.

* Don't check your inbox continuously, and disable the 'dinger' alerts. Set specified times to read and answer email each day.

* Don't copy and save documents; save Internet addresses where you can find them later, if necessary.

* Remember, people typically use only about 20% of what they save.


Click here to see of rest of the article 




Have you bought your Mega Millions lottery ticket(s) yet? Today marks an historic event: the world's largest lottery pot: $540 Million (US). I have to admit, I bought a ticket earlier this week and plan on buying one today. I'm not a big gambler by nature but, I figure, a dollar here or there won't hurt me if I lose it.. But would it hurt me if I actually won it? Most of us have heard the cautionary tales of lottery winners who go through their money quicker than they thought and end up being miserable for a number of reasons--including the stress it surprisingly causes, the life changes, the family and friends who come out of the woodwork, etc.


And while I don't know for sure what I'd do differently if I did win--whether $540 million or some smaller portion of this (taxes usually take about 1/3 and most jackpots are much smaller). Most people interviewed say that if they won the lottery they'd quit their job, buy a new home, go on vacation, etc... I honestly don't know if I'd quit my job--at least not right away. I think I'd get bored. I don't know if I'd buy another house--maybe--but I'm not into big houses. I probably would travel--there's many places I'd like to visit with my wife and maybe a few family members and friends. I don't know if I'd really buy much stuff. I think I'd pay off my mortgage, invest a lot of the money, start a foundation of sorts, and hire a trusted financial advisor to help me make decisions about if, when and how to distribute any money to family, friends, and others. If I could help someone, though, I think I'd get more pleasure out of spending my money that way than on myself.


I don't expect to win but it's kind of fun to dream. I'll be all right if all things remain the same. While I still like getting something for nothing (or relatively little), there's nothing like earning one's own money. 


What would you do if you won?


Walk in peace.



The Shulman Center 2012 Events Calendar 


April 14--Mr. Shulman to co-organize/co-present at 2nd metro-Detroit forum: "Living Recovery in an Addictive World."


April 19/20--Mr. Shulman to present on helping counseling clients with legal issues at the Annual Michigan Social Workers Conference.


June 2012--Mr. Shulman will have an article on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding in Addiction Professional Magazine.


June 19--Mr. Shulman will present a 2-hour seminar on hoarding disorder at Birmingham (Michigan) Community House. 


July 10--Mr. Shulman will present a 2-hour seminar on men's issues in therapy at Birmingham (Michigan) Community House. 


August (prospective) Mr. Shulman to present on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding at the Annual Addictions Studies Institute in Columbus, OH.


August (prospective) Mr. Shulman to present on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding at the Annual Cape Cod Institute summer conference in Cape Cod, MA.


September--Mr. Shulman will have an article on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding in Counselor Magazine.


September 12--C.A.S.A. (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous) metro-Detroit celebrates 20-year anniversary.


September 28 - October 2--Mr. Shulman will be attending and presenting on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding at the National Conference on Addictive Disorders in Orlando, Florida.


Late 2012--Mr. Shulman has penned the "Foreword" for upcoming book Shoplifters: Are They Out of Control? by California forensic psychologist John C. Brady.


Ongoing ...


The Baton Rouge, Louisiana court system has a court-ordered, facilitated educational program for retail fraud offenders. The program is based on material from Mr. Shulman's book Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery.


Mr. Shulman created a 1-hour employee theft online course with 360 Training. Learn why people steal from their jobs, how to deter it, prevent it, and what to do when confronted with it. Enroll at:  


Mr. Shulman created an online continuing education course on compulsive shopping and spending called Bought Out and $pent! based on his book and Power Point presentation. The course, CEs offered, through The American Psychotherapy Association. at:




Tom Lietaert of Sacred Odyssey and the Intimacy with Money programs offers individual money coaching as well as various group workshops on money. Check out Tom's sites: /


LAYERED VOICE ANALYSIS Loss Prevention Technology


Kevin Colburn, of Vancouver, British Columbia has been in the loss prevention field for many years and recently was trained in Israel to work with layered voice analysis technology. LVA allows interviewers (and interrogators) to accurately determine a subject's truthfulness or evasiveness. See: 


THE MONEY SHIFT (Book, Board Game and Seminars)


Tom Palka, CFP, a metro-Detroit area financial planner, and I recently met. He's worked in finances for over 25 years and has written a book, developed a board game, and offers seminars on transforming our thinking about money and wealth. See his website at


POSITIVE RETURNS Court-orderd Programs for Shoplifting


Terry Richardson, LMSW, of Joplin, Missouri recently contacted me and we had a long-talk by telephone. Terry worked in the correctional system before returning to school to obtain his MSW. In 2003 he was approached and soon founded the first court-ordered program for theft offenders in Joplin, MO. It seems this small town was experiencing a steady rise in shoplifting and Terry developed a program that has made a real dent in shoplifting and has helped countless shoplifters of all backgrounds. His program is available for sale. See his website at




Mr. Shulman's books

available for purchase now!




Something for Nothing: 

Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery (2003) 

See also:






Biting The Hand That Feeds 

Biting The Hand That Feeds:

The Employee Theft Epidemic... New Perspectives, New Solutions (2005) 

See also:





Bought Out and Spent 

Bought Out and $pent! 

Recovery from Compulsive $hopping/$pending (2008) 

See also:







Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: 

Compulsive Stealing, Spending and Hoarding (2011) 

See also:




Contact The Shulman Center:


Terrence Daryl Shulman, JD, LMSW, ACSW, CAADC, CPC  


The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding


P.O. Box 250008 

Franklin, Michigan 48025




Call (248) 358-8508 for free consultation!



Our Web Sites:

The Shulman Center

Shoplifting Addictions

Kleptomaniacs Anonymous

Something For Nothing

Shopping Addictions 

Shopaholics Anonymous

Bought Out and Spent 

Employee Theft Solutions

Biting the Hand that Feeds

Hoarding Therapy

Hoarders Anonymous


Books by
Terrence Shulman: 


Something for Nothing:Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery

Biting The Hand That Feeds:The Employee Theft Epidemic

Bought Out and $pent! Recovery from Compulsive $hopping and $pending

Cluttered Lives Empty Souls: Compulsive StealingSpending and Hoarding


All book are available for $25.00 each (includes shipping and handling).