The Shulman Center

Terrence Shulman
Founder/Director of
The Shulman Center

Terry Shulman

November 2009 Monthly e-Newsletter
The Costs and Rewards of Standing Up for Yourself
Terrence Daryl Shulman


Mark your calendars! Airing November 3rd: Mr. Shulman will be a featured guest expert on compulsive shopping and spending on The Women's Entertainment Channel's "Secret Lives of Women"; and airing December 3rd: Mr. Shulman will be a featured guest expert on compulsive shoplifting and stealing on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation's "Doc-Zone" series. Check listings for times/channels.

Therapist Telephone Training on Compulsive Theft begins this year! Please contact Terrence Shulman at or 248-358-8508 for more information. Be on the cutting edge of a new and exciting field of treatment. Led by Mr. Shulman, learn how to assess and treat clients who suffer from compulsive shoplifting and stealing.

Group telephone counseling for persons struggling with compulsive theft and/or spending starts this year! Relapses frequently occur just before, during, or after the holiday season! Get a jump on creating a solid foundation before the holiday season ramps up! Individual phone counseling pre-holiday tune-ups are available as well. Contact Terrence Shulman 248-358-8508 or by e-mail at for more information.

What are the costs and rewards for standing up for oneself, one's causes, one's beliefs, one's truth? I've been through an almost two year personal and professional battle. The costs have been measured in terms of dollars, time, energy, stress, relationship issues, and more. And the costs may continue to bear out over time. But what of the benefits? The benefits are often a bit less tangible and may need to be embraced out of sheer declaration. I can say that, despite frequent moments of fear and doubt, my life shall never be the same. I can say that my marriage has gotten stronger as we pulled together. I can say that many friendships have been strengthened. I can say that I have pride and dignity over not allowing myself to be steamrolled over. I can say I got an education--albeit an expensive one--about myself, the workings of the American legal system, and life. I can say I have managed to hold onto some things that are very valuable to me.

Only each of us can say whether "the fight" was worth it. It is rare that taking such a risk does not involve pain, discomfort, stress, or loss. In essence, there's no guarantee that our courage will be applauded, rewarded, or that that which we are fighting for or against will happen. Is it like the old saying: it's not whether you win or lose but how (or if) you play the game? For every story book ending of David vs. Goliath or Rocky Balboa, there are "noble defeats" and "untriumphant victories."

There are many examples of how people suffer dearly for their causes--from Jesus to Gandhi to Martin Luther King to our troops in the military. I'm sure each one of us has experienced at least a couple life-defining moments of warrior battle--whether seemingly large or small. Again, sometimes we pay for it--literally and figuratively--for years to come. Only we can decide--continuously--if it was worth it. Hopefully, we can come to some peace around our decision and our performance instead of living in a world of regret and "what ifs." Often, this takes time.

When was the last time you stood up for yourself?
What were the costs? The rewards?
When was the last time you spoke your truth?
What were the costs? The rewards?
How do you know when to fight or surrender?

The late Irish poet, philosopher and former priest John O'Donahue wrote in "The Question Holds the Lantern": "When your soul awakens, you begin to truly inherit your life. You leave the kingdom of fake surfaces, repetitive talk, and weary roles and slip deeper into the true adventure of who you are and who you are called to become. The greatest friend of the soul is the unknown. Yet we are afraid of the unknown because it lies outside our vision and our control. We avoid it or quell it by filtering it through our protective barriers of domestication and control. The normal way never leads home... Once you start to awaken, no one can ever claim you again for the old patterns."

Standing up for ourselves may feel scary as we face uncertainty and even death (true, symbolic, or ego). We must find support wherever we can; we cannot go it alone... even when we feel alone.



I recently got back from Las Vegas where I attended and presented at The 2009 National Conference for five distinct groups: The American Psychotherapy Association, The American College of Forensic Examiners, The American Board for Certification in Homeland Security, The American Association of Integrative Medicine, and The American College of Counselors. About 600 interesting people from all parts of the country converged to share and learn the latest knowledge on topics such as terrorism, identity theft and fraud, CSI techniques, holistic medicine, and psychotherapy. My presentation on compulsive shopping and spending was well-received.

One of the keynote speakers was Frank Abagnale, subject of the "Catch Me if You Can" book and movie. Mr. Abagnale was a former check forger and famous imposter from age 16-21 before he spent about six years in prisons. Since then, he has worked with the FBI and started his own consulting practice designed to prevent fraud at all levels and to educate the public. I bought his book "The Art of The Steal" and found it very informative. It details his own life as well as how prevalent all kinds of fraud are in our society and how slow and ineffective we are at doing much about it. It's a real eye-opener.

I got to meet Mr. Abagnale after his talks. He signed a copy of his book for me and I presented him with complimentary copies of my two books "Something for Nothing" and "Biting The Hand That Feeds."

Winona Ryder, the world's most famous shoplifter, was in the news recently. She was quoted last month in Interview Magazine, discussing her relative drop out of the public eye since her notorious 2001 shoplifting arrest. "It wasn't like a breakdown, but I had to just stop and take care of myself. I was struggling. I nevver went out. I was just terrified and exhausted. I approached my work very seriously, and it just got to be too much for me. I just felt like I really wanted to hold on to who I was and try to have as much of a normal life as I could."

It would be nice if Ms. Ryder one day decides to share more openly about the extent of her shoplifting problem, what she believes contributed to it, if she still feels temptations, and what she does differently to cope.

Workplace satisfaction is a crucial issue for companies and employees alike. In today's competitive market, retaining loyal employees reduces turnover, theft, and unproductivity. The Detroit Free Press recently released an article on the "Top Workplaces of 2009." In the article, companies were rated by employees who listed these Top 10 reasons which instilled confidence and satisfaction in their leadership:

1. Good communication skills
2. Good listening skills
3. Good vision or goals
4. Caring
5. Makes sound, timely decisions
6. Sets a good example
7. Openness
8. Positivity
9. Strength
10. Good values

In 2006, a major Human Resources conference surveyed thousands of employees and found that 73% of them listed poor leadership in their organizations as the primary reason for low morale.

The Dow hit 10,000 for the first time in over a year recently. And as we continue to receive dual messages to save more and to spend more, it's sometimes hard to tell up from down. What, if anything have we learned about ourselves individually and collectively since the bubble burst in 2008?

How are you doing with your money and spending? Have you woken up at all? Have you made any significant changes in your values or habits?

Some reports indicate that we're hardly out of the woods yet and that there likely will be another wave of mortgage foreclosures as more ARM rates readjust and more balloon payments come due.


Lawsuit Update:

Due to some unanticipated rulings by the judge and mounting costs to defend this lawsuit, we have chosen to move toward settlement. We are in the final stages. Wish us luck.

Compulsive Theft & Spending in The News! October/November 2009:

October 6--Mr. Shulman presented a 90-minute interactive discussion on compulsive theft and spending at The Costick Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

October 14-16--Mr. Shulman presented on compulisve theft and spending at The American Psychotherapy Associations Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV.

October 23--Mr. Shulman presented on compulsive theft and spending at 2 day-long seminars presented by The Jewish Family Services in the metro-Detroit area.

November 3--Mr. Shulman will be featured on Women's Entertainment TV's "Secret Lives of Women" episode about compulsive shopping/spending.

November 12--Mr. Shulman will be featured as a guest expert on compulsive shopping on CNN's/HLN's "The Joy Behar" show.

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 is offered through The American Psychotherapy Association and is available for purchase by APA members and non-members and CEs are available. See

Mr. Shulman created an online education course called "Creating an Honest and Theft-Free Workplace" based on his book and Power Point presentation through 360 Training Services. CEs are available. See

Mr. Shulman is assisting with a CNN TV news story about compulsive shopping/spending in today's economy.

Mr. Shulman will be featured in a segment on shoplifting addiction in the MSNBC series "Theft in America" to air in late 2009.

Mr. Shulman is consulting on the development of a major motion picture tentatively called "The Rush" in which the lead character is addicted to shoplifting and stealing.

Mr. Shulman continues to assist the Kingman, Arizona court system with his court-ordered homestudy program for retail fraud offenders. The program is based on material from his book "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery" (2003).

Beyond November...

December 3--Mr. Shulman will be featured on Canadian Broadcast Corporation's "Doc-Zone" series about compulsive shoplifting and stealing.

January 19--Mr. Shulman will be interviewed on an Internet radio station devoted to parenting issues.

Mr. Shulman wrote an article on compulsive shopping and spending to appear this Fall in Paradigm Magazine published in association with Proctor Hospital and The Illinois Institute for Addiction and Recovery.

Mr. Shulman is consulting with an author who is writing a novel about two kleptomaniacs who fall in love.

Mr. Shulman submitted a chapter on employee theft for a U.K. book entitled "Risky Business" to be released in early 2010.

Contact The Shulman Center

Terrence Shulman
P.O. Box 250008
Franklin, Michigan 48025


Call (248) 358-8508 for free consulation!

Related sites by Terrence Shulman:
The Shulman Center
Cleptomaniacs and Shoplifters Anonymous

Something For Nothing
Biting The Hand That Feeds
Bought Out and $pent

Products for Purchase--ON SALE through 2009!

Mr. Shulman's 75 Minute DVD Power Point Presentation on Employee Theft at Livonia, Michigan Financial Manager's Conference 10/19/06. $75.00

Mr. Shulman's 75 Minute DVD Power Point Presentation on Employee Theft at Louisville, Kentucky Business in Industry Conference 9/19/07. $75.00

Mr. Shulman's two books "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction & Recovery" and "Biting The Hand That Feeds: The Employee Theft Epidemic... New Perspectives, New Solutions" are availabe for $25.00 each (includes shipping/handling) or both for $45.00 (includes shipping/handling).

Mr. Shulman's 90 minute DVD Power Point presentation for young people: "Theft and Dishonesty Awareness Program." $75.00

Mr. Shulman's 33 minute psycho-educational DVD: "The Disease of Something for Nothing: Shoplifting and Employee Theft." $50.00

First International Conference on Theft Addictions & Disorders 4 DVD set (13 Hours). Recorded 10/05. $125.00.

Second International Conference on Compulsive Theft & Spending 2 DVD set (6 Hours). Recorded 9/08. $100.00.

Click here to purchase

E-mail Mr. Shulman:


Call (248) 358-8508