The Shulman Center 1


    Greetings from The Shulman Center!

Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding Newsletter 

December 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, Hanukkah & Christmas!


   Serving People 
Since 1992!



Quotes of the Month


I think holidays create so much pressure because people feel they should be having a good time. But you shouldn't.. -- Craig Ferguson


You know, if the U.S. Government wanted to boost the economy, there's a simple solution: make Black Friday the refund date for your federal and state taxes. -- Stanley Victor Paskavich


The best and most beautiful things cannot be touched or even seen--they can only be felt in the heart. -- Helen Keller


New Year's Day is everybody's birth-day! --Charles Lamb


Sharing the holidays with other people, and feeling that you're giving of yourself, gets you past the commercialism 

--Caroline Kennedy



Stats/Facts of the Month


This year, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day--a rare event, indeed! The next time this happens will be in more than 500 years!


20-40% of yearly sales for small and mid-size retailers take place during November and December.--National Retail Federation


40% of shoppers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween.-- National Retail Fed.


55% of consumers plan to visit stores on Black Friday or Cyber Monday



Holiday sales are expected to increase by up to 11% this year.-- Experian


The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to increase by just 3.9% this year.


Nearly half of shoppers plan to buy holiday gifts online this year--Google



Persons of the Month:

Toronto Mayor
Rob Ford
Florida U.S. Rep.
Trey Radel

A contrasting tale of two politicians has played out recently in the media. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has finally admitted to crack cocaine use and drunken binges. His other bizarre behaviors have also been on full display and made him and the city of Toronto a laughing stock. 


Mayor Ford reminds me of Charlie Sheen: he appears to be in deep denial about his substance issues and how this and his other bizarre behaviors are affecting others. Full of hubris and narcissism, he has lashed out at others and refused to even take a leave of absence to get help. As a matter of fact, he's recently suggested he might run for Prime Minister!


Contrast Rob Ford's case with that of Florida U.S. Rep Trey Radel who recently was caught in a sting trying to buy cocaine from an undercover officer. Whatever you think of his politics or his sincerity, he had the common sense to own up to his problem, apologize, get into treatment, and even offered to donate his salary to a charity while he's gone. Interestingly, members of his own party are asking him to resign immediately.


Cases like these provoke laugher and amazement but they are also sad--for the person and those they affect. Politicians are human, of course, but I believe that holding office means they should be held to a higher standard than the average Joe.



Book of the Month:


Talk with Your Kids:

Conversations about 

Ethics.... (2012)


Michael Parker


I'll be giving a talk locally on February 18th at the Annual Michigan Fathers Conference. I'm still finalizing a title. It's either going to be "Cultivating Honesty and Integrity in Kids in an Ethically Challenged  World" or "Raising Kids in a World of Liars, Cheats and Thieves."


This little book is a gem. Written by a British author, it is applicable to all cultures. Full of stories and examples of ethical dilemmas for kids and adults, it also includes scripts and tips for communicating with your child about ethics, honesty, rules, and morals. 


This book is both fun to read and very insightful in its analysis of why its hard to always do the right thing and why its important for parents to adopt the best and right approach in response.



Film of the Month:



(Starring Bruce Dern and Wil Forte)


My wife and I recently saw a free preview screening of this small, low-budget, black and white film by Director Alexander Payne ("Sideways," "About Schmidt," and "The Descendants") and found it to be both very funny and very touching.


Actor Bruce Dern won a Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor as 80ish Woody Grant--an old fart and alcoholic who believes he's won $1 million and has to travel from Montana to Nebraska--his boyhood home--to claim his prize. He and his son embark on a road trip that leads to some very interesting situations and revelations.





CONTACT US NOW at 248-358-8508!


Dear Friends,


Looking to make a meaningful tax-deductible gift? Please consider writing a check to C.A.S.A., LLC (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous).


Since starting the first nationwide C.A.S.A. support group in metro-Detroit in 1992, we have seen this group expand both in metro-Detroit as well as across the U.S. We also have online and phone support groups, too!


Nearly 10% of Americans shoplift, approximately 75% of Americans engage in employee theft, and many more engage in other forms of addictive-compulsive stealing.


People need various resources to confront and deal with their problems with stealing. The holiday season is a particularly difficult time for many.


In 2009, I registered a non-profit wing--C.A.S.A., LLC--of my company The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft, Spending and Hoarding. I have received occasional requests to donate over the last three years and this is the first time I'm actually putting it out there myself.


If you are interesting in donating any amount of money, I will provide a receipt that can be used on your tax return. Donations to C.A.S.A., LLC help me better serve various individuals in the following ways:


1. Mailing of information, meeting lists, and my books (notably: "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery" and "Biting The Hand That Feeds: The Employee Theft Epidemic") to indigent persons and/or those currently incarcerated;


2. Making phone calls and visits to jails, prisons, or mental health institutions to educate about addictive-compulsive stealing and treatment/recovery options;


3. Assisting individuals nationwide in starting C.A.S.A. support groups;


4. Offering reduced-fee or free counseling services to those who cannot afford it;


5. Offering court-evaluations for those who cannot afford it;


6. Offering free public talks on addictive-compulsive stealing and treatment/recovery options; and


7. Offsetting fees I pay to my website designer to update various C.A.S.A. support group listings and other info online. See: 


So, we encourage you to donate to this cause, especially if our work, books, or any C.A.S.A. support group has helped you or someone you know in any way.


Pay it forward and help someone else. We can only keep what we give away.


Donations may be made payable to "Terrence Shulman/C.A.S.A., LLC" and mailed to PO Box 250008 Franklin, MI 48025 U.S.A.


Thank you for your consideration!


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


December 5, 2013--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 11, 2014--Mr. Shulman will be co-presenting on hoarding disorder to the AAA-1B Agency on the Aging in Southfield, 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.



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 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
Pittsburgh, PA 



Financial Literacy and Compulsive Shopping 

on Internet Radio

"Matters Of The Mind" Wed  Nov. 27, 2013 @ 8p ET


As we head into the holiday season, Dr. Peter Sacco and Todd Miller chat with Maya Corbic from Dinarii Financial Academy, about the services they offer to teach kids and teens healthy money skills by giving them the tools to thrive financially instead of floundering.  Dinarii offers on site workshops at various locations.  We also talk with Terry Shulman of The Shulman Center,  about compulsive spending and overshopping which only seems to get worse around the major holidays.  Terry has been a guest on Oprah, Ricki Lake, Nightline, The Today Show and many more, and is considered to be an expert on compulsive behaviours such as overspending, hoarding, kleptomania and employee theft. He and his team work both in person and via Skype. See below link for tonight's broadcast:






Are you one of those people who love the holiday season or hate it? Or a little of both? A combination of difficult memories, stressful family gatherings, the winter blahs, and pressures to buy, spend, shop and "be cheery" take a toll on many of us. Research shows that addictive behaviors and relapses increase during the period between November and January. Eating, drinking, drugging, and gambling all escalate. 


But three other pitfalls which are less seriously noted also reach epidemic proportions during the Holiday Season: compulsive shopping/spending, shoplifting, and employee theft.  Of course, they also occur each and every day. At their core, as with all addictions, are misguided beliefs around happiness, satisfaction, abundance and fairness. I ought to know. I've been in recovery from shoplifting and employee theft behavior since 1990 and have counseled hundreds of clients over the last 10 years engaged in these behaviors and other clients who were "shopaholics."


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! Not to be outdone, Macy's announced it, too, would open at 8pm Thanksgiving eve. As will J.C. Penny.


About 10% of Americans suffer from compulsive buying disorder. You don't have listen to Oprah, Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman to know there's a problem in our midst. Even our nation is $17 trillion in debt.  It's well-known that early 50% of marriages end in divorce but it's less known that conflicts around money and spending are the leading contributing factor. The average American carries nearly $10,000 worth of credit card debt-most of it due to shopping-related or non-essential purchases.


Shoplifting-compulsive shopping's "secret" cousin-has outpaced the technological advances of security systems and the trend of harsher penalties in courts.  Nearly 90% of Americans have shoplifted at least once and about 10% shoplift regularly resulting in over $13 Billion dollars in annual losses to retailers. Who's doing all the stealing? Not just plain criminals but anyone and everyone. The typical shoplifter is not impoverished, drug-addicted, or a professional thief.


Employee theft is even more pervasive. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 75% of employees steal from their work place and most do so repeatedly. The FBI calls employee theft "the fastest growing crime in America, costing U.S. retailers $37 Billion in losses per year. "Time theft"-loss of productivity due to talking on cell phones, surfing the Net, long breaks, and falsified timecards-costs U.S. companies around $500 Billion annually. 


With the Holidays upon us, our spiritual center may either wobble or expand to fully appreciate the joys and true gifts our holidays may bring: a time of wonder, thanksgiving, appreciation, love, miracles, celebration, generosity, rebirth and renewal.While we all like to get something for nothing-a bargain, a discount, a freebie, a "real steal"-most people who resort to stealing or compulsive shopping are actually "crying for help." There is something amiss, wrong, unresolved.


So how do you want your Holidays to go? What is the key to embracing the miracles? You are the gift. I am the gift. We are the gift. No amount of money or things-whether bought or stolen-can truly bring us peace. Give, but don't overdo it. If you do have problems with rewarding yourself-or others-in a pure and sound manner, give yourself the gift of asking for help. This may be your best Holiday yet!





BY JENNIFER GOFORTH GREGORY | November 21, 2013 at


Storeowners don't want to think their employees will steal from their store. But every day merchants discover that their trusted staff members have done exactly that. According to a retail theft survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International, a loss prevention consulting firm, one out of every 40 employees was apprehended for theft by their employer in 2012. The survey also found that on average, employees steal 5.5 times more than shoplifters on a per-case average ($715.24 vs $129.12).

Thankfully, there are ways to surround yourself with staff you can trust. Here are six tips from our experts:

1. Weed out bad apples. Run a background screening and a drug test on all potential hires. Employees with drug addictions are at higher risk for stealing to support their habit. "I believe that past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior," says King Rogers, chief executive officer of the King Rogers Group, a loss prevention and security management consulting company. "If someone has been convicted of theft in the past, then you don't want them handling your money."

2. Use the buddy system. Often theft happens when one employee is alone in the store or at the register. Doyle recommends having two employees work for both opening and closing to limit opportunity. Always have refunds and voids witnessed by a second employee or a manager as well, says Mark Doyle, president of Jack L. Hayes International. Rotate the employees paired together and avoid having close friends witness transactions for each other.

3. Keep a virtual eye on employees. People will be less likely to steal if they know that you are always watching. A video surveillance system helps deter employees as well as catch theft after it happens. Be sure to include cameras in storage rooms and loading areas as well as in the store. Use high-definition video so you can clearly identify employees and transactions along with allowing integration with facial recognition software. Another way to keep an eye on your employees is to use an exception-based reporting system at your point of sale, says Doyle. He says that the systems will flag possible fraudulent transactions, such as excessive refunds or voids, and excessive refunds or voids outside of store hours. Review video daily and POS several times a week to determine if there are any issues that you need to look into further. Limit the access to your surveillance systems to as few people as possible to avoid tampering.


4. Monitor trash removal. Employees often steal merchandise by concealing it in the outgoing trash and then retrieving it later from the outside trashcan or dumpster. "It's trash. No one wants to deal with trash, so dishonest employees will often take advantage of this opportunity," says Doyle. He recommends putting controls in place to reduce the opportunities, such as using clear garbage bags, requiring all boxes to be flattened and locking all dumpsters.

5. Have an employee tip line. Set up a confidential way for employees to communicate their co-workers' suspicious behavior and offer a reward for staff members who provide information to prevent thefts. You could set up an email address for tips as well as a locked-box for tips in the break room. "If people know that their fellow co-workers are watching out for theft, they will think twice before stealing because there are higher odds they will be caught," says Terrence Shulman, founder of the The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding and author of Biting the Hand that Feeds: The Employee Theft Epidemic (Infinity Publishing, 2005).

6. Get to know your employees. It's much easier to steal from someone you don't know very well, but it is much harder to steal from someone with whom you have a relationship. Shulman recommends connecting with your employees and being aware if they are going through financial difficulties or experiencing high levels of stress, which can increase the impulse to steal. "You might be able to give them extra work, point them in the direction of a local food bank or help them connect with charitable services in the community," says Shulman. "A happy employee is a more honest employee. It really does help reduce employee theft when your staff feels that you care." 




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:






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).