The Shulman Center 1


    Greetings from The Shulman Center!

Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding Newsletter December 2012 

       Happy Holidays!


   Celebrating 20 years  

 of Serving People! 

   1992 - 2012


 20th Anniversary Year




Shoplifters Anonymous



Quotes of the Month:


"A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell." -- George Bernard Shaw


"Once again, we come to the holiday season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice." --

Dave Barry


"Even before Christmas has said 'hello' it's saying 'buy, buy, buy.'" --Robert Paul


"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under the tree."--Roy L. Smith




Stats of the Month:


-28% of weekend shoppers were at stores by midnight on Black Friday in 2012 up from 24.4% last year. National Retail Federation


-2012 saw a 17.4% increase in online sales on Thanksgiving Day over last year, setting up a 20.7% increase in online sales on Black Friday, totaling $1.024 billion. National Retail Federation/com.score


-In the U.S. shoplifting has risen 20% between 2007 and 2011 from 785,228 offenses in 2007 to 940,903 offenses in 2011.  --FBI Uniform Statistics



Person of the Month: 


The American Voter


Well, you did it! You voted, we voted, or your chose not to vote. Either way, our system worked. We have a relatively peaceful transition or continuation of power in a world where many countries can't say that. 


Let's do our best to work together and move our country forward!



Book of the Month:


Hooked! Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to

Consume Edited by Stephanie Kaza (2005, Shambhala Publications)


This is a wonderful 200 page book of numerous essays by various noted Buddhist monks and psychologists all around the theme of desire, greed, and attachment. You don't have to be Buddhist to relate to the stories and apply the practices.


As the book cover states: At one time or another we have all experienced a sudden, all-consuming desire for a material object that is so strong it seems we couldn't possibly be happy without it. Yet, when we give in to that intense impulse, we are often frustrated and empty. It is this feeling of being "hooked" that advertisers bank on when selling us products. And, from a global perspective, it is the same feeling that fuels our rampant consumption, which is having a devastating impact on the world's economy and the environment. 


Here, some of the most well-respectedBuddhist teachers explore our seemingly endless drive to acquire--and other practical ways to combat consumerism on a personal and global level.



Film of the Month:


"The Sessions" (2012) Directed by Ben Lewin, starring Helen Hunt, John Hawkes and William H. Macy


The little movie has been getting rave reviews and they are well-deserved. The film tells the remarkable true story of a 38-year old man who was afflicted with polio and is paralyzed from the neck down but who is a poet and romantic at heart. He decides he wants to lose his virginity and know physical love with a woman before he dies. He has to battle against both his Catholic conflict and his own multiple personal insecurities. He decides to hire a professional sex surrogate. The rest, you have to see.


This is an incredibly well-acted and touching film, full of intimacy, humor, and awkward moments. But it is also a story of triumph over obstacles, physical, emotional and spiritual.

My wife and I loved it! I was left convinced that all the stuff that holds us back from loving and being loved can be overcome given the right mind and heart-set and the right partner!



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 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...  


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


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


November 18--Mr. Shulman presented his book "Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls" at the Metro-Detroit Jewish Book Fair.


November 26--Mr. Shulman was quoted in The Detroit News about shoplifting during the holidays. See Article Here


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


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


December 4--Mr. Shulman will present a 90-minute talk entitled "What Would Jesus Buy" about the holidays and consumerism from 7-8:30pm at The Franklin (Michigan) Public Library. 


December 4--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on coping with holiday stressors (especially with addictions) from 6:30-7:30pm at Motor City Java House next to The Redford Theater.


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




Thanksgiving came early this year--November 22nd--and the holiday shopping "frenzy" came earlier still with advance online sales offers and  "Black Friday" moving up a day as many stores recently announced they'd be open Thanksgiving Day which--according to surveys, most Americans disapprove of.


Stuff. Stuff. Stuff. How much is enough?


To piggyback on a dietary analogy, we need more protein and less "stuff"ing. What is the protein? You get to decide but how about rest, relaxation, quality time together, or creating or spending a memorable event together.


The National Retail Federation predicted that holidays sales this year would increase 4.1% to $586.1 billion and online sales are supposed to rise 12% over last year, reaching close to $96 billion.


The preliminary stats are in and both in-store and online shopping have already greatly exceeded last year's numbers.


Fiscal cliff? What fiscal cliff?


Now, I don't mean to be a scrooge. There's nothing wrong with gifts just as there's nothing wrong with having a good meal or a drink or two. 


It's the excess, silly! How much is enough?


And while some will say that increased spending is a boon for our economy and a sign of increasing consumer confidence, I'm not so sure. What if it's a sign that old addictions die hard and we haven't learned a lesson of moderation? Does it help the economy if I get myself in credit card debt? A recent study estimates the average American carries credit card debt of over $5,000.


Consider what we are teaching our children about the holidays and, more broadly, about consumerism, not to mention, greed and gluttony.


Consider between now and Christmas, donating time, money, and/or gifts to the more needy--take the family and volunteer at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or other charitable institution.


Locally, a Deloitte LLP survey of Michiganians found shoppers expect to spend 2.2 percent more for the holidays this year than in 2011 - better than the 1.2 percent increase in a similar survey of U.S. consumers for the National Retail Federation.


There is also a well-studied uptick in the amount of shoplifting and employee theft that occurs during the holiday season, not to mention an increase in the use and abuse of alcohol, drugs, gambling, and other addictive behaviors.


The holidays can be the best of times or the worst of times. It's really up to us. 





Lessons on The Fall of General David Petraeus


Were any of you shocked to hear that General David Petraeus had an affair? Perhaps for a moment, right? Yeah, me, too. But then it sunk it yet again... nothing surprises us anymore. People have affairs all the time. It's estimated that between 30-60% of married individuals will be unfaithful during some period of their marriages. And people who have affairs have a lot to lose besides their marriage: their reputation, their relationships with their kids, friends and other family members, and even their jobs in some cases. What's perhaps most surprising is when an otherwise faithful and moral individual believes he or she won't be found out and risks so much for seemingly so little. "What were they thinking?" As they say: the heart is a lonely hunter; it wants what it wants. 


It is certainly ironic that General Petraeus, who was Director of the C.I.A.--the agency entrusted with keeping secrets--had a secret of his own exposed. It's unclear how long the affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, had gone on but it's likely at least a year. And they didn't really hide it that well--as hundreds of e-mails on their unsecured gmail accounts attest. There's a theory that suggests that most of us secretly want to be caught when we're engaging in deceptions, that the inner conflict is usually too much for us. Of course, there's a counter theory that many truly feel invincible and that the rules don't apply to us.


One can only speculate what was going on in Petraeus's heart and mind--not to mention Ms. Broadwell's as she, too, was married with children. Was it love? Was it the stress of the job? Did he secretly or unconsciously want a way out of his C.I.A. position, his marriage, or the public spotlight? And did Ms. Broadwell consider that her participation could bring down the man and compromise even the country? Probably not much. If one thing is clear, General Petraeus appears to not have been in touch with the shadow side we all possess--the side that we have to monitor especially when we're held up as guardians of the light.


People in high positions are naturally going to be held to higher standards than most. It comes with the territory. Some say we hold these people to impossible standards--and that may, indeed, be partly true. Some say that Petraeus used poor judgment (or no judgment) and that this, alone, disqualified him from continuing in his job; others say that, practically speaking, his actions would have been a distraction if he stayed on. 


What will be General Petraeus's legacy? For those who viewed him as a hero, will those opinions change due to his affair? Will we take pity on him? Will we all be reminded that the higher they fly, the steeper they fall? I, for one, hope both General Petraeus and Ms. Broadwell do some soul-searching and find the where-with-all to move forward in their personal and professional lives.


Nothing surprises anymore except that we continue to put our faith in the notion of men (and women) as flawless. 


It's Not Too Soon to Think About The New Year!


Assuming the world is still here after December 21st (the last day of the Mayan calendar), what are your hopes and dreams for 2013? While 2012 ain't over yet and it's also a good time to reflect on lessons learned during the past 12 months, the new year always presents us with the opportunity for renewal and improvement. Instead of taking this on as pressure and with a natural fear of failure, let's look at 2013 as a time of opportunity both for each of us personally as well as globally. It's easy to be pessimistic or cynical but don't let that stop you! This is your life. This isn't a dress rehearsal. It might be helpful to meditate on new ways to change, heal, grow or evolve and to figure out ways and people to support this. We are the ones we've been waiting for...



Walk in peace.



The Shulman Center 2012 Events Calendar 


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


December 4--Mr. Shulman will present a 90-minute talk entitled "What Would Jesus Buy" about the holidays and consumerism from 7-8:30pm at The Franklin (Michigan) Public Library. 


December 4--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on coping with holiday stressors (especially with addictions) from 6:30-7:30pm at Motor City Java House next to The Redford Theater.


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.


April 28, 2013--Mr. Shulman is a proposed presenter on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding at the NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) in Los Angeles, CA.


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).