The Shulman Center 1


    Greetings from The Shulman Center!

Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding Newsletter November 2012 

       Happy Thanksgiving!


   Celebrating 20 years  

 of Serving People! 

   1992 - 2012


 20th Anniversary Year




Shoplifters Anonymous



Quotes of the Month:


"When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty, my only response is that I'm grateful I have a cup."  --Sam Lefkowitz


"There are only two ways to live your life: one, as if nothing is a miracle or, two, as if everything is a miracle." --Albert Camus


"Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart rather than the mind."--Lionel Hampton


"Saying thank you is more than good manners, it's good spiritually." --Alfred Painter


"The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it."-- Richard Bach



Stats of the Month:


-The average American shopper will spend $749.51 on holiday gifts in 2012, up slightly from 2011.--National Retail Federation


During the four weeks leading up to Christmas, an estimated $1.84 billion in merchandise will be shoplifted this year, according to The Global Retail Theft Barometer, a survey of retailers worldwide. That's up about 6 percent from $1.7 billion during the same period last year. (2011)


-115 million: Number of occupied housing units across the U.S. for trick-or-treaters to stop. (2011)


-41 million: estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters ages 5-14 across the U.S. (2011) 




Person of the Month: 


  The American Voter


Election Day is upon us! Each one of us is entrusted with using our heads and hearts to do our part in voting to help shape the future direction of our country. Voting is both a privilege and a duty.



Book of the Month:


    How To Be Good:

By Randy Cohen (2012)


Randy Cohen, the creator and editor of the New York Times Sunday magazine column "The Ethicist," offers a book-full of essays and published columns on various ethical dilemmas. 


Mr. Cohen offers guidance on every moral issue under the sun-alternating between the profound and the mundane. He waxes philosophic on money, work, family, among others. His trademark humor and acumen for distilling issues with clarity and practicality, I highly recommend this book. It's fun as well as very thought-provoking.



Film of the Month:


"Miss Representation"


The documentary Miss Representation by Jennifer Siebel Newsom premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and aired on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.


The film explores how the media's mis-representations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence. 


See Film and Film clip


Dear :     


See our updated website


Get Mr. Shulman's 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, CONTACT THE SHULMAN CENTER NOW! See website:



Here's what some therapists who recently completed the training say:


I greatly benefitted from taking Mr. Shulman's phone training program for therapists like me who wish to learn more about shoplifting addiction and how to effectively treat clients with this disorder. 

-Randall Soland, LPC, Psychiatric Associates (Springfield, IL)

The three of us really enjoyed and learned a lot from Terry Shulman's intensive therapist phone training program for shoplifting addiction. We look forward to applying our new knowledge and sensitivity in our prison ministry program.

-R. Anne Eyster, Facilitator
-Steve Balarin, Facilitator
-Elly Ferrell, Facilitator
-Bexar County Prison Ministrie (San Antonio, Texas)



If you or someone you know is struggling with compulsive shoplifting, stealing, shopping or hoarding, the holidays see a marked uptick in these behaviors. Avoid a holiday crisis. Call now to schedule a 1-hour holiday recovery tune-up! It may be the best gift you can give yourself or your loved one. 248-358-8508


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


October 15--Mr. Shulman was quoted in The Buffalo News on compulsive shopping/spending. See Buffalo News


November 1--Mr. Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on hoarding disorder in Farmington Hills, Michigan.


November 14-16--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on hoarding disorder and its costs at the Association of Financial Counselors, Planners and Educators in St. Louis, MO. See:


November 18--Mr. Shulman will be talking about and presenting his book "Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls" at the Metro-Detroit Jewish Book Fair.


November 29--Mr. Shulman will be talking about and presenting his book "Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls" at The Lido Gallery open mic night in Birmingham, Michigan from 7-9pm. 


November/December--Mr. Shulman will have an article on compulsive theft, spending & hoarding in Counselor Magazine. See:


December--Mr. Shulman was quoted in an online article on shopping addiction in Baltimore's Style Magazine 


Holidays Can Be The Best or Worst of Times

(Note: I published this column in my November 2011 eNewsletter but felt it was worth repeating!): 


So, here we are again: at the start of the holiday season: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years. Each of us, especially those in recovery, has a choice how we want our holidays to go. Research shows that addictions and relapses tend to increase during these times. We don't have to fall off the deep end and go through the ritual of making New Years resolutions on January 1st. 


It's been my experience working with compulsive stealing, spending and hoarding that the holidays are a particularly stressful and tempting time. Don't wait until you're in the midst of the holiday craze to have an action plan: if you're not preparing for recovery, you're preparing to relapse. 


Here's a few tips to keep you centered and grounded and safe...


1. If you choose to shop, shop early, before the crowds hit. 


2. Go through your belongings and see if there are any gifts you can re-gift or recycle. 


3. Set a budget that works for how much you can spend comfortably on yourself and others. 


4. Remember the spirit of the holidays--it's not about the things, it's about the joy and shared experience with key family and friends. 


5. If you have few family or friends and you're worried about loneliness, be proactive and find local support group meetings, other open gatherings/events, and make a plan to attend some: you might just make a new friend or two. 


6. Stop and remember what has happened and how you felt when you were in your addiction during holidays past. Did you shoplift or steal from work and feel guilty? Were you arrested or fired from a job for stealing? Did you break your budget and regret it later, starting the new year stressed out? Did you feel ashamed to have friends or family over because your home was a disaster zone? KISS--Keep It Simple Silly! 


7. If you have kids and you're feeling pressured to buy for them, stop and remember what you're teaching them. Remember when you were a kid, it's most likely your best memories are about the activities and the time together you spent with loved ones, not the stuff you got! Be creative and get kids engaged in activities they'll cherish forever. Take photos. Have fun! 


8. If you feel lack due to finances or other issues in your life, consider volunteering (and bring the kids, too, if you have them) at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or donating Toys for Tots (again, recycle gifts if need be). Bring a smile--safely and responsibly--to the lives of those less fortunate. 


9. Don't abuse alcohol, drugs or food: they're a waste of time, energy and money. Have a plan to get some moderated exercise, get some outdoor fresh air, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and find some quiet solitude. 


10. If getting together with family/friends brings up difficult emotions, choose either not to attend or minimize the time spent with them and "book-end" your visits with calls to support people or meetings before, during, and after your visit.





New Series on Shopping Addiction Premiers!


A new weekly series debuted earlier this month on the Oxygen Network late Monday evenings called "My Shopping Addiction." It's a cross between A&E's "Intervention" and the various hoarding shows on cable TV. I've watched a couple or episodes and don't think it's the most sensitive, in-depth treatment of the serious problem of shopping addiction but it might be of some value to some. There are two therapists who interact with the diverse collection of "shopaholics." The therapy, I feel, is a bit condescending and confrontational and the editing of the show is too fast-paced and stylistically sensational. However, so far I'm encouraged to see the show highlight a range of overshoppers (men, women, young, old, different cultural backgrounds) as well as different forms of overshopping--from malls to resale shops, etc. Check it out and you be the judge! See: the website or YouTube for clips:


The Detroit Tigers--Is Second-Best Good Enough?


The Detroit Tigers baseball team, my home team which I've followed intensely these past eight months, made it to the World Series but were swept 4 games to none by the San Francisco Giants. Like any good sports fan, I went into a period of mourning. I actually cried myself to sleep after game 4, mumbling in my pillow "it's not fair, it's not fair." I would have at least liked a more competitive series. And it certainly would have been good for the Detroit area which has seen some very hard financial times over the last four years. We don't always get what we want. There was no fairy-tale ending for me, my team, or my city. 


Still, while the Tigers were expected to make the World Series at the start of the year, they struggled with chemistry, some injuries, and some underperforming by key players. By mid-season, it was a miracle that they made the playoffs, a miracle that they won the decisive game 5 against Oakland at Oakland, and a miracle they swept the vaunted New York Yankees for the American League pennant. Besides, it was also an honor to watch third baseman Miguel Cabrera win the fist Triple Crown (led league in home runs, rbi's, and batting average) since the late '60s.(Though he may be more remembered for having a sub-par World Series, hitting only one home run, and standing like a statue on a called 3rd strike to give the Giants their crown. 


Perhaps, it's best to not get greedy and not feel too bad that we didn't win it all. We live in a world where second-best often isn't good enough, where runners-up are usually just considered "losers." I am reminded in recovery how much my perfectionism and my difficulty making mistakes, feeling like a failure, and always pushing myself contributed to my addictions. So, as much as I'd still liked to have seen the Tigers as World Champs, I'm accepting that they still had a great year and, hopefully, they'll be competitive again next year. Today, at least, second-best is nothing to hang one's head in shame about.



Walk in peace.



The Shulman Center 2012 Events Calendar 


October 17--Mr. Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on hoarding disorder in Royal Oak, Michigan.


November 1--Mr. Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on hoarding disorder in Farmington Hills, Michigan. 


November 14-16--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on hoarding disorder and its costs at the Association of Financial Counselors, Professionals and Educators in St. Louis, MO. 


November 18--Mr. Shulman will be talking about and presenting his book in the Metro-Detroit Jewish Book Fair. 


November 29--Mr. Shulman will be talking about and presenting his book "Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls" at The Lido Gallery open mic night in Birmingham, Michigan from 7-9pm. 


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


January 2013--Mr. Shulman will have an article about shoplifting addiction in the Winter 2013 issue of Jack Hayes International Loss Prevention Newsletter.


Thursday January 24, 2013--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on hoarding disorder at the Birmingham Community House from 7-9pm.


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 two websites at: /




Gary Zeune of Columbus, Ohio has been a friend and colleague of mine for nearly two years. He has been a consultant and teacher on fraud discovery and prevention for nearly 30 years. He is interviewed in my book Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding. I recently saw Gary in action recently when he presented an all-day on fraud to metro-Detroit accountants. 



Eve Cantor, a 30-something professional organizer in the New York City area offers in-person and Skype coaching for women in need of assistance with their wardrobe and clutter. See Eve's wonderful website and video at


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:




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:





CLES cover 

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 a 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).