The Shulman Center 1


    Greetings from The Shulman Center!

Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding Newsletter 

November 2013 -- Happy Thanksgiving!


   Serving People 
Since 1992!



Quotes of the Month


After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations. -- Oscar Wilde


I am grateful for what I am and what I have. My thanksgiving's perpetual O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches.  No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but, rather, enjoyment. -- Henry David Thoreau


Be thankful for what you have. Your life, no matter how bad you think it is, is someone else's fairly tale. -- Wale Ayeni


Thanksgiving is the holiday that really encompasses all others. All of them, in one way or another, truly are about being thankful. --

Jonathan Safran Foer


If you are really thankful. what do you do? You share. -- W. Clement Stone



Stats/Facts of the Month


Likelihood of shopping on Thanksgiving day or night: 


37% Not at all

25% Unlikely

22% Somewhat

16% Very


Source: USA Today/ 2013 Accenture Survey


27% of Americans plan to finish their holiday shopping by December 1st. (Source: American Express)


The 2012 holiday shopping season marked the first year Americans spent more online shopping than at actual stores. Source: various


73% of Americans view their government as highly corrupt; 94% of Czechs do; only 14% of Swedes do.  Source: 2013 Gallup poll



Person of the Month:

Jim Leyland
Retired Manager
of The Detroit Tigers 

In the world of sports, it's not uncommon for there to be a lot of drama--not just on the playing field but off it, too. It can't be easy managing a team of varied personalities including some high-paid egos.


But Jim Leyland, the 68-year old recently retired manager of the Detroit Tigers (my home team!) did just that. 


While I must admit, I was disappointed by the Tigers' failing to make it to the World Series this year and agonized over their 4-0 shut-out to the San Francisco Giants in last season's title game, I always admired the way Leyland handled himself and his team in the 8 years he managed the Tigers. 


Apparently, in his 20+ years of managing other teams, he succeeded, too: he took the Pittsburgh Pirates to a Game 7 loss in the 1992 World Series, won with the Florida Marlins in 1997, lost with the Tigers in 2006 but won in 2012). 


Leyland was a grumpy old man--reminds me of a typical unapologetic grandpa. But as tough as he was--he had a heart. It wasn't beyond him to show emotion and support his players unconditionally even if they made mistakes on or off the field. Heck, he even had a sense of humor--doing his own version of the moonwalk just before the playoffs.


In a world where we often hear of leaders (such as Detroit's own former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick) letting their troops and the public down, Leyland was a class act and a pretty rare one at that. 



Book of the Month:


It's All Too Much


Peter Walsh


There are many books out there on hoarding and cluttering but I just picked up and read this little gem from 2007 by Briton Peter Walsh--perhaps best known for his show "Enough Already!" on Oprah's OWN channel and TLC's "Clean Sweep."


Mr. Walsh is neither a trained nor licensed therapist but is one heck of a good professional organizer and writer. His book's under-title is

"An Easy Plan for Living A Richer Life with Less Stuff." His book outlines why this is important and how to achieve it.


"It's All Too Much" is a book for low-level hoarders and clutterers; more serious cases may not be impacted by his simple, direct and fun-filled coaching style. Still, I found this book easy to read and full of good tips and strategies for anyone needing an extra nudge to declutter.



Film of the Month:



(Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney)


My wife and I recently saw "Gravity" in 3-D while out of town. Naturally, we were curious about the special effects and encouraged by the numerous positive reviews. We were not disappointed.


Sure, the special effects are stunning but what surprised us was that this was a great film on many levels. Little has been written about the understory of Sandra Bullock's character and her unhealed grief over the death of her 4-year old daughter and how her crisis in space was not merely a technical one (finding a way home after debris wrecks her ship) but an existential one. My wife was moved to tears.


Gravity is a story about the human will to survive--both physically and emotionally. And while space is filled with lightness and wonder, silence and stillness at times, like the old saying goes: "there's no place like home."






CONTACT US NOW at 248-358-8508!



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


November 2013 TBA--Mr. Shulman was quoted in an article on employee theft for 


November 2, 2013--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on hoarding disorder at the Redford Public Library in Redford, MI. 


November 5, 2013--Mr. Shulman will present on hoarding disorder to Michigan Nurses and Medical Social Workers Association. 


November 7, 2013--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on hoarding disorder at The Community House in Birmingham, MI.


December 2013--TBA--Mr. Shulman will be co-presenting on hoarding disorder to the AAA-1B Agency on the Aging in Southfield, MI.


December 5, 2013--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on hoarding disorder at the West Bloomfield Library in West Bloomfield, MI.


February 8, 2014--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on teaching kids honesty and integrity at the Annual Michigan Father's Conference in Pontiac, MI


February 18, 2014--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on hoarding disorder at The Community House in Birmingham, MI.


March 1, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present at The Betty Ford Treatment Center in Rancho Mirage, CA on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding. 


May 14, 2014--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on hoarding disorder to the Oakland County (Michigan) Employee Wellness Program.


July 14-16, 2014--Mr. Shulman to  present on process addictions at the 13th Annual Leadership in Faith Conference in Chicago. 


September 16, 2014--Mr. Shulman to  present on compulsive stealing, spending & hoarding at the Thelma McMillen monthly professional medical lecture series in Torrance, CA.






CALL 248-358-808 NOW!


NOTE: If you're a therapist, please consider contacting us to enroll in our brief, affordable local or virtual training to become more proficient at assessing and treating compulsive stealing, spending and/or hoarding disorders. See Training


A recent testimonial from July 2013: 


"Thanks to Terry's help I feel confident that I can now provide 

effective treatment for compulsive spending. I'm glad 

I consulted with him early in my career."

Zac Rhodenizer, M.Ed.
Alberta, Canada 


Black Thursday? Holiday Shopping Season Starts Earlier


Are you ready for or dreading the holiday season? Maybe a little of both? 


Well, Kohl's store recently announced it will open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving-- the department store chain's earliest Black Friday kick-off ever-- and will stay open for 28 hours continuously!


Of course, not to be outdone, Macy's announced it, too, would open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving. As will J.C. Penney.


According to a survey by American Express, consumers facing a late Thanksgiving and shorter than usual holiday shopping season are especially intent on getting finished early with their shopping. According to the survey, 27% of shoppers plan to finish their holiday buying before Dec 1, compared to 24% last year.


So, as CNN news anchors have recently been asking: "is this a good thing or a bad thing?" I admit, I'm biased, but I don't think it's a good thing overall. Yes, people are at choice and yes, earlier shopping might boost our economy (economists predict only modest increase over last year's holiday spending). But is nothing sacred? Can't we just mellow out a bit and settle by the hearth together for one evening? Are we headed toward stores being open all day, every day of the year to compete with the 24/7 Internet?


Of course, with more of us doing our shopping online and increasingly with our smartphones--last holiday season was the first time Americans spent more online than at actual stores--I suppose many will shop before, during and right after the family dinner. Still, can't we as a culture have a modicum of restraint? 


And what are we teaching our kids? And please don't say "nothing they don't all ready know; we're a helplessly, hopelessly materialistic and consumerist people... resistance is futile."


We are at choice in each moment--or, at least, we should be.



What Do You Have to Be Grateful For?


Whatever's going on in our personal lives at the moment and what ever we perceive is going on in the world around us now, we are truly at choice about our reaction, or at least our interpretation, of it. I'm not saying it's easy. And I'm not saying I've mastered this either. But I believe this to be true.


Just around last Thanksgiving, my wife and I bought a small painting from a recent acquaintance at a local art gallery showing. It is a black, white and grayish depiction of a simple glass that with water in it--about half-way. It's entitled "The Half-Full Glass." We were both drawn to it and chose to hang it in our bedroom. My intention was to use the picture as a constant reminder to look at the glass as half-full--my life as half-full instead of half-empty--and even to reflect at the end of each day on how well I'm doing with my "attitude of gratitude." 


Well, I'll admit, I haven't been that regular about it. But, I'd say that, all-in-all, over the last year I've been finding it easier to appreciate the little things in life (even the ups-and-downs).


Is your glass half-full or half-empty? It's all a matter of perception.



Report from Recent Lifestyle Intervention Conference


My wife and I recently traveled from Michigan to Prescott, Arizona to visit a friend and her dog who moved there about a year ago. We had a great weekend with them--Dogtoberfest was a highlight--and then got in our rent-a-car and drove four hours north--right past the Hoover Dam--to Las Vegas, Nevada--Sin City and, curiously, a very common location for addiction-recovery conferences, including the 3rd Annual Lifestyle Intervention Conference where I presented a 90-minute seminar about employee theft.


The Lifestyle Intervention Conference offers four tracks of topics: eating disorders, love/sex/relationships, interventions, and workplace issues. Thus, my presentation on employee theft fell primarily into the last category. 


I estimate that there were at least 250 attendees at the conference. There were three other seminar options opposite my presentation. I counted about 25 attendees--not bad but clearly not close to one-fourth of 250. If statistics show that at least 75% of employees steal or commit some form of dishonesty at their jobs, I often wonder why more people don't take a keen interest in this topic. Maybe it makes them uncomfortable. 


The good news is that the presentation went well and the conversation was lively and open. Most of the attendees were mental health professionals and several were EAPs (Employee Assistance Personnel). I love speaker to mental heath pros and EAPs--they usually raise their hands when I ask: how many of you have ever committed any kind of employee theft. When I've asked the same question during my employee theft presentations to business professionals, accountants, or loss prevention personnel, nobody raises their hands. Uh-huh.


A funny thing happened at the very end of my presentation in Vegas. A guy raised his hand when I made a closing remark that we probably can't totally prevent employee theft but we can certainly reduce it through understanding more deeply and accurately why employees steal and through enacting more progressive and effective strategies to deter, detect, and deal with it. This guy either just stepped into the room or hadn't been paying attention to my presentation because he simply said "you can stop people from stealing from work by just firing them." You could hear a pin drop. I replied, politely, that catching the 75% of people who are stealing at work is challenge enough; firing and replacing them likely would be even more challenging.


Employee theft remains a scourge that is more pervasive and complex than most think. And, yet, it also remains the elephant in the living room that few are really talking about.


Helping A Hoarder: A Recent Case


I recently was contracted by a local company to assist on a hoarding case. The company was put in charge of removing contaminated soil in the front and back yards of about 100 homes in a neighborhood over the last year or so. They had one holdout: a middle-aged disabled man, a chronic hoarder, whose fenced-in backyard literally looked like a junk-yard. Over the last year, he'd rebuffed attempts by the city and the company to get him to clean-up. His was the last property to be remedied and the final deadline was at hand as winter is closing in. 


The company found me online and hired me to be on hand in case they needed me to talk to the property owner and help him finally let go of much of his stuff. Fortunately, he was cooperative on the day we all arrived. We were blessed with good weather but it took a team of ten men and several big trucks and trailers about ten hours to remove several old cars and other large objects.


I didn't get to find out exactly how long the property owner had been hoarding or why he started down that path. I only know that it's good he finally let go and now has a clean yard, the city off his back, and new uncontaminated soil surrounding his house. I'm pretty sure the inside of his house was packed to the gills, too, but that wasn't our concern. I only hope he doesn't start accumulating all over again.  


Spotlight: "In Recovery" Magazine


There's a wonderful relatively new quarterly recovery magazine I want to let you know about. It's called "In Recovery." Founded 2 years ago by Kim Welsh, a recovering person herself, in Prescott, Arizona--home to many treatment centers and half-way houses, this magazine has something for everyone. I visited Kim in October 2013 and was honored to be invited to write a regular column about process/behavioral addictions--starting Spring 2014.


The magazine is available in hard copy as well as online at:



3rd Millenium STOPLifting Online Education Course!


3rd Millenium Classrooms out of San Antonio, TX has been offering high-quality online education courses for alcohol, marijuana and shoplifting issues for many years now. I've been honored to help them fine-tune and update their shoplifting course which many are court-ordered to complete after an arrest.

3rd Millennium Classroom's STOPLifting is an online intervention course designed to assist shoplifters in examining and altering their attitudes and behaviors towards shoplifting. The course incorporates evidential examples and related follow-up questions to discover the student's motives behind shoplifting, reveal possible patterns in his or her behaviors, and identify potential triggers and ways to cope. Through STOPLifting's unique motivational interviewing style, students are encouraged to evaluate the personal consequences of shoplifting and how they affect the individual, his or her family and those around him or her. See:



Target Removes Criminal History Box on Job Apps!


(Taken from reports): Sanctions that make it more difficult for ex-offenders to obtain jobs, housing and even basic documents like drivers' licenses only serve to drive them back to jail. With that in mind, a growing number of states and municipalities now prohibit public agencies - and in some cases private employers - from asking about a job applicant's criminal history until the applicant reaches the interview stage or gets a conditional job offer. These eminently sensible "ban the box" laws are intended to let ex-offenders prove their qualifications before criminal history issues enter the equation.


Earlier this year Minnesota extended its existing law to cover private employers. Now, the Minneapolis-based Target Corporation, one of the nation's largest employers, has announced that it will remove questions about criminal history from its job applications throughout the country. The announcement represents an important victory for the grassroots community group TakeAction Minnesota, which had been pressuring the company to change.

This comes on the heels of a similar development earlier this month in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown signed a ban-the-box bill that applies to government employers. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission gave this movement a lift last year, when it expanded and updated a ruling that barred employers from automatically denying people jobs based on arrest or conviction records. The E.E.O.C. guidance made clear that an arrest alone is not proof of illegal conduct or grounds for exclusion from employment. It also explained that employers need to take into account the seriousness of the offense, the time that has passed since it was committed and the relevance of the crime to the job being sought. Given that 65 million Americans now have criminal records, that reminder is crucial.



I was one of the fortunate ones. I had two misdemeanor shoplifting convictions on my criminal record by the time I was 25 in 1990. Despite this, I was narrowly approved for licensure as a Michigan attorney in early 1992. I practiced three and a half years full-time before enrolling in my masters in social work program from 1995-1997. Some colleges don't accept convicted felons. I was able to get my criminal record expunged in 1996. I was hired as a counselor right out of social work school by a chemical dependency clinic in 1997 and was up front about my recovery from shoplifting addiction and a previous criminal history. After 7 years with the clinic, I started my private practice in early 2004.


Others aren't always as lucky as I've been. I can't tell you how many clients I've worked with who've lost their jobs--and often couldn't find work--due to a criminal conviction. It's many, though. 


Thus, it's encouraging to hear that several major retailers--as well as some municipalities--have begun to realize that, often, the rewards of not asking about an applicant's criminal history outweigh the risks. In my research, I've read that about 15-20% of job applicants will have some kind of criminal record. Many times, it's an old charge and it may not have a relevant impact on the job hand. Yet, many people with skills and motivation to work are denied a second chance. While I can understand that any employer might wish to know as much as possible about its future employees, I believe checking an applicant's resume and references for accuracy and monitoring all employees equally are better approaches. Also, removing "the box" doesn't prevent employers from doing universal background checks anyway.


Barneys/Macy's Accused of "Shop-and-Frisk" Profiling


(Reuters) - New York civil rights leaders recently decried the city's brewing "shop-and-frisk" scandal, in which major retailers Barneys and Macy's are accused of profiling black shoppers who say they were detained by police after buying luxury items.


Rap star Shawn "Jay Z" Carter defended his partnership with Barneys after coming under pressure to cut ties with the company.


"We've gone from stop-and-frisk to shop-and-frisk," said the Reverend Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network, alluding to a police crime-fighting tactic that critics say amounts to racial profiling.


A representative of Sharpton's group is set to meet next week with Mark Lee, the chief executive of Barneys New York, following allegations from two black shoppers that they were detained by New York police and accused of fraud after buying luxury items at Barneys.


In a third such allegation this week, actor Rob Brown of HBO's "Treme" told New York's Daily News on Friday he had been "paraded" through a Midtown Manhattan Macy's in handcuffs in June, and held for an hour, after purchasing a $1,350 gold Movado watch for his mother.


Brown said he came forward after reading news accounts of others who had similar experiences at Barneys.


He told the newspaper he "implored" police to check his ID, but "they kept telling me, 'Your card is fake. You're going to jail.'"


Retailer Barneys New York publicly apologized this week, and Macy's Inc said late on Friday it was investigating Brown's allegations.


In 2005, Macy's paid $600,000 to settle similar allegations that many of the chain's New York stores had targeted blacks and Latinos for particular scrutiny of theft, according to the New York Attorney General's office. 



Honesty is its own reward.--Anonymous


Walk in peace.



The Shulman Center Events Calendar ...


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 with360 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:





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:


3rd Millenium Classrooms out of San Antonio, TX has been offering high-quality online education courses for alcohol, marijuana and shoplifting issues for many years now. I've been honored to help them fine-tune and update their shoplifting course which many are court-ordered to complete after an arrest. Please check out their courses on their website at:



There's a wonderful relatively new quarterly recovery magazine I want to let you know about. It's called "In Recovery." Founded 2 years ago by Kim Welsh, a recovering person herself, in Prescott, Arizona--home to many treatment centers and half-way houses, this magazine has something for everyone. I visited Kim in October 2013 and was honored to be invited to write a regular column about process/behavioral addictions--starting Spring 2014.

The magazine is available in hard copy as well as online 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. See:



Debbie Roes is an educator and recovering shopaholic and offers a free insightful blog and e-Newsletter to help you. See:



I recently was told about a website resource that lists strategies for cleaning and de-cluttering and sells various books and products that help with this; so, I'm passing it along... 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).