The Shulman Center 1


    Greetings from The Shulman Center!

Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding Newsletter 

April 2014--Happy Spring, Passover and Easter!

The Shulman Center Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary 2004 - 2014!


   Serving People 
Since 1992!



Quotes of the Month


Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else. -- Ivern Ball


"I must do something" always solves more problems than "something must be done."   -- Unknown


The trouble with man is twofold: He cannot learn truths which are too complicated and he forgets truths which are too simple.--Rebecca West


It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -- J. Krishnamurti



Stats/Facts of the Month


Identity theft is on the rise over the last several years with 13.1 million reported cases in 2013.

2014 Javelin Strategy Research Fraud Report 


$56 Billion: Amount spent in 2013 by Americans on their pets, up 4.5% over 2012.


Millenials are spending as many as 18 hours a day skimming the Web, watching TV, texting, playing video games, and using social media according to a new analysis. Many young people do two or three of these activities at the same time. --The Wall Street Journal


Detroit officials have proposed raising fines for parking violations after realizing that it costs the bankrupt city $32 to process a $30 ticket. To raise revenues, the city also wants to repair or replace most of its 3404 parking meters, half of which don't work at any given time.



Persons of the Month:


The 6 million+ new
healthcare enrollees


Whatever you think or feel about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), its substance, its website glitches, etc, it now appears there are enough new enrollees to see if this brave new experiment will actually work over the course of time. Some will root for it to work, some to fail, but not too many can say that nothing should have been done to improve the access and affordability to basic health care. 



Book of the Month:


Mating in Captivity


Esther Perel


From the inside cover...


One of the world's most respected voices on erotic intelligence, Esther Perel offers a bold, provocative new take on intimacy and sex. Mating in Captivity invites us to explore the paradoxical union of domesticity and sexual desire, and explains what it takes to bring lust home.



Drawing on more than twenty years of experience as a couples therapist, Perel examines the complexities of sustaining desire.


Through case studies and lively discussion, Perel demonstrates how more exciting, playful, and even poetic sex is possible in long-term relationships. Wise, witty, and as revelatory as it is straightforward, Mating in Captivity is a sensational book that will transform the way you live and love.



Films of the Month:


Twelve Years a Slave

Directed by

Steve McQueen


Winner of the recent Oscar for Best Picture, it apparently took a British Director to bring such a raw and unflinching story of America's "original sin" to the silver screen. 


Adapted from Solomon Northrup's own harrowing story of a free man being kidnapped and sold into slavery, this film is a must-see not only as a historical record but also for its more personal odyssey and (spoiler alert!) redemption of its subject from freedom to slavery and back to freedom. 


This is a perfect film to watch (or watch again) during this season of Passover and Easter which bring us opportunities to meditate on the theme of suffering and overcoming. One might also even find a metaphor on addiction and recovery in Northrup's journey. 


This movie manages to capture the essence of the 1977 TV series "Roots" in just over 2 hours and then some!



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


April 3-4, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present on hoarding disorder and on the DSM-5 at the Annual Conference of Michigan Social Workers in East Lansing, MI.


April 29, 2014--Mr. Shulman will co-present on hoarding disorder to a group of mental health professionals in Sterling Heights, MI.


May 9, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present on compulsive stealing at The Empowerment Professionals Process Addictions conference in Royal Oak, MI. See


May 11, 2014--Listen to Mr. Shulman live on discussing compulsive theft, spending and hoarding.


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


May 22, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present on hoarding disorder at The Community House in Birmingham, MI. 


May 30, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present on compulsive stealing, spending and hoarding at the West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders in Palm Desert, CA. See


July 14-16, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present on compulsive shopping and hoarding at the 13th Annual Leadership in Faith Conference in Chicago. 


August 6-8, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present on compulsive hoarding at the Addiction Studies Institute in Columbus, Ohio. 


August 22-24, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present on compulsive stealing, spending and hoarding at the National Conference on Addictive Disorders in St. Louis, MO.


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


October 7, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present on compulsive shopping/spending at the 4th Lifestyle Intervention Conference in Las Vegas. See 


Follow us on Twitter @terrenceshulman or @TheShulmanCenter and on Facebook at The Shulman Center.


Please check out share on our new and improved blog at:


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: Shulman Center Training


A recent testimonial from November 2013: 


"Thanks Terry for providing a supportive educational environment that helped my understand and learn more about kleptomania and shoplifting addictions. I look forward to using the tools, resources, and treatment approaches with my clients. This training has helped me gain a better understanding and provided everything I need to treat individuals diagnosed with this disorder."


Melissa Oliver, MA, NCC, LPC 

Pittsburgh, PA 




As most of us slough off this long, hard, cold winter and wait in anticipation for the new buds of spring, Passover and Easter remind us of the triumphs of breaking free and being reborn. You don't have to be religious to embrace these universal themes and journeys.

This is a great time to ask ourselves the following questions:
What did I learn during my winter slumber?
What have I been enslaved to and how am I finding new freedom from this?
How have I recently died (symbolically) and who has this process given rebirth to?

During my winter slumber, I continued the process of reclaiming my truest sources of strength and abundance which does not lie within certain people but, rather, more deeply within myself and the universe-at-large. 

I've continued to see more clearly--painfully sometime--how I still have patterns of deep fear around failure and around not having enough money to survive. I also continue to see more clearly how I have tended to live out my early family role of the strong one, the self-sufficient one, the one who never gets angry. Is it any wonder I shoplifted on and off for ten years from age 15-25? 


I just celebrated 24 years of recovery last month. I can see how far I've come not only in my recovery but in my life. I feel blessed to have had so many opportunities in my recovery and in my work to meet and help others and to be a voice for hope and recovery. I continue to experience periodic doubts and insecurities, frustration and impatience around finances and where my path may lead. I suppose that's human.

So, what has died (or is dying) in me in order to be reborn? Well, that is still emerging. But, I hope, I can learn to speak my truth more, take myself and life more lightly, trust I will be provided for, and balance work and play. In other words, I hope the Terry I am continues to become more himself.

When to take a stand and when to let go and surrender is not always an easy call. When is it time to uproot and make an exodus and when is it time to allow ourselves to be nailed to the cross in the name of something bigger than ourselves? Standing up for ourselves, for a cause, or to others can be hard. And we may suffer for it and die in some sense to be reborn. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Jesus and Moses certainly went through their trials and tribulations but they have endured as symbols of strength and transformation for millions.

For those who've wandered "40 years" between enslavement and freedom (how many have been in their addictions that long!) and those who have felt crucified and resurrected and those budding flowers of spring both delicate and strong beyond measure, we face the cycle of the seasons within and without. We must grow, we must move toward freedom and toward rebirth. It is our calling and destiny.




In an article in the March 27, 2014 issue of Time Magazine, Harry McCracken writes about how, thanks to Smartphone, GPS, and Apps, retailers are testing and implementing technology--iBeacons--which can track your whereabouts and then prod you at any moment with an advertisement or sale pop-up on your phone.


Four ways iBeacons could change shopping and leisure include the following:


1. Line hints at ballparks or stadiums: when you step away to buy a hot dog, an app directs you to the closest concession stand with the shortest line.


2. Instant coupons in department stores: linger in the jewelry department without buying anything and a coupon will pop up on your phone.


3. More context at museums and galleries: an app tells you historical information about each piece of art as you walk through the room.


4. Reminders at grocery stores: an app reminds you of each item on your list when you're in the right aisle to pick it up.




Commentary: while technology may continue to make shopping easier, there's no doubt we're increasingly being prompted by advertising and technology to buy more and more, often what we don't really need. So, in the end, is this a good thing?






I was grateful to recently escape the Michigan cold and visit our new partners at 3rd Millennium Classrooms in San Antonio, Texas. Founded about 10 years ago by Gary Moorman, 3rd Millennium specializes in developing online education programs from high schooler, college students, and court-ordered probationers on topics of alcohol awareness, marijuana awareness, and shoplifting awareness/prevention, as well as other topics like better parenting.


It was an honor and privilege to be contacted by 3rd Millennium 6 months ago to partner and consult with them on improving their online shoplifting awareness/prevention course called STOPLifting.


We couldn't have asked to work with more kind, dedicated and creative people than Gary Moorman and his staff, including Katie Church and Shannon Reynolds.


We look forward to the launch of the STOPLifting program by April 1, 2014. Please check out 3rd Millennium's website at




Two Perspectives in March 17, 2014 Wall Street Journal


Money. It has been cited time and again in studies and by experts as a big source of marital conflict and divorce-even in households where there's plenty of it.


Part of the problem is that many people have deeply held beliefs about the purpose of money and how it should be used, and their beliefs don't always match up with those of a partner. In other cases, money becomes an issue of control-perhaps because one spouse significantly out-earns the other or is the only one working outside of the home.


Some couples merge their bank accounts to maintain harmony in their relationship. They believe that if each spouse has complete control over a certain portion of family funds, they will be less likely to engage in the kinds of petty money fights that tear couples apart.


Given the fact that money is such a hot-button issue in relationships, one can't help but wonder: Are married couples better off keeping at least some of their finances separate?


Others believe that having separate accounts simply opens the door to selfishness. Spouses have to put the "team" before themselves, they say, and one of the best ways to do that is for couples to combine all of their assets and liabilities.


See rest of article at: Couples and Money




by Saul Elbein

New York Times March 8, 2014


Garland is just one of millions of people who hoard. It's estimated 


When an AutoZone investigator approached Chris Polston, asking for his help investigating a theft, Mr. Polston was happy to oblige.


He was 20, had worked for AutoZone all through high school in Maryland, and, after graduation, moved to take a job with the chain in Houston. He and his wife had a child on the way, and he thought that AutoZone, the car parts retailer, could be a place to build a career.


That morning in 2010, it all came undone.


According to an account of the day given by Mr. Polston in interviews and in a civil suit against AutoZone, Conrad Castillo, an AutoZone investigator, sat him down in the store's overstock room between a cinder-block wall and a row of batteries. At first, he said, the investigator was friendly, making small talk about the joys of fatherhood. "He was talking to me as if we'd known each other for 10 years and we were at a barbecue," Mr. Polston said.


Then Mr. Castillo's tone changed, Mr. Polston said: Mr. Castillo asked him to sign a statement that said he was not recording their talk. After Mr. Polston signed it, Mr. Castillo accused him of having stolen auto parts. When Mr. Polston denied the accusation, Mr. Castillo insisted. He pointed to a DVD that he said contained proof that Mr. Polston had stolen parts. Mr. Castillo, however, would not let Mr. Polston review the DVD. (In his own testimony, Mr. Castillo, who did not respond to requests for comment, denied showing Mr. Polston a DVD; he said he found Mr. Polston deceptive and hostile.)


See rest of article at: Employee Theft





"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:


Clutter-Hoarding National Clean-Up Services



Honesty is its own reward.--Anonymous


Walk in peace.



The Shulman Center 2014 Ongoing 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 and 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).