The Shulman Center 1


    Greetings from The Shulman Center!

Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding Newsletter 

February 2014--Happy Valentines Day

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


   Serving People 
Since 1992!



Quotes of the Month


Loving is not just looking at each other but looking in the same direction. -- Antoine St. Exupery


Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart.  -- Unknown


Kisses are a better fate than wisdom -- e.e. cummings


If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?  -- Unknown


Who, being loved, is poor? -- Oscar Wilde


Without love, the rich and poor live in the same house. -- Unknown


True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked.   -- Erich Segal


You don't marry someone you can live with, you marry someone you can't live without. -- Unknown


Better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all. -- St. Augustine



Stats/Facts of the Month


The following shopping seasons statistics are from IBM Digital Analytics:


Online sales were up 10.3% over  2012 and sales through mobile phone accounted for 35% of online sales--up 40% from 2012.


U.S. overall shopping season spending was up 3.5% over 2012 but brick-and-mortar store sales was down 21%.


The following statistics come from a 2009 Josephine Institute of Ethics study:


51% of teens age 17 or younger believed that cheating was necessary for success while only 10% of people older than 50 thought so.


A 2012 study found that women are just as likely as men to lie for a financial reward if that reward was big enough.


A 2013 study found that those who come from divorced families and those who major in business are more likely to be dishonest. The same study found that those who believe in a loving God are more likely to cheat than those who believe in an angry God.


Perhaps most notable is that some recent studies found that many people who cheat say they feel good afterwards, sometimes referred to as a "cheater's high."



Person of the Month:

First Lady
Michelle Obama


Whatever you think about Michelle Obama--her politics or her personality--it would be gracious to commend her for her ongoing efforts to address childhood obesity through better eating and nutrition as well as her "Let's Move!" initiative. 


Statistics just came in that are cautiously encouraging: obesity among children declined last year for the first time in over a decade. While this could be due to many factors, few could argue that Mrs. Obama's efforts have paid some dividends.



Books of the Month:


Secret and Lies:

Surviving the Truths

That Change Our Lives


Jane Isay


From the inside cover: 


On the day her husband revealed his long-hidden homosexuality to her, Jane Isay's future seemed to evaporate before her eyes. When the couple decided to maintain the facade of a happy marriage to protect their sons and his career, Isay joined the world of secret keepers. Now, through her own story and the stories of dozens of people she interviewed, Isay, the author of two groundbreaking books on family relationships, offers a road map to the dangerous terrain of secrets and revelations.


We know that most people keep secrets and that most secrets are eventually exposed. What secret keepers don't know is how to calculate the effect of their discovery. In Secrets and Lies, Isay shows the toll of keeping a secret on the person who cannot bear to admit the truth: guilt, fragmentation, and lack of intimacy. She describes the finder's initial response to the news: shock, rage, and sorrow. And she sketches the new opportunities that a life based on the truth can offer, suggesting new pathways to acceptance and recoery. With the compassion, insight, and psychological acuity that are her trademarks, Jane Isay brilliantly illuminates the art of surviving a secret.



Coming Clean:

A Memoir


Kimberly Rae Miller


From the inside cover: 


Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a tidy apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. You would never guess that Kim grew up behind the closed doors of her family's idyllic Long Island  house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging newspapers, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room--the product of her father's painful and unending struggle with hoarding.


In this moving coming of age story, Kim brings to like her rat-infested home, her childhood consumed by concealing her father's shameful secret from friends, and the emotional burden that ultimately led to an attempt to take her own life. And in beautiful prose, Miller sheds light on her complicated yet loving relationship with her parents that has thrived in spit of the odds.


Coming Clean is a story recognizing where we come from and the relationships that define us--and about finding peace in the homes we make for ourselves.



Film of the Month:



Starring Joaquin

Phoenix, Amy Adams, & Scarlett Johansson

Directed by Spike Jonze


My wife and I recently saw this film and would highly recommend it not just for its great acting and well-scripted story and visuals, but because it left us talking about it afterwards.


If you haven't already heard the film's premise, it takes place in the not-so-distant future Los Angeles. A middle-aged man struggles to sign divorce papers a year after he and his wife have broken up. He's lonely and anxious about dating again and works days creating poetic hand-written letters for all occasions--one gets that feeling that, in the future, nobody writes personal letters anymore and, so, this is a novelty.


Along the way, the our main character--played with incredible subtlety and range of emotion by Joaquin Phoenix--tries out a new operating system for his phone--(a kind of Siri with benefits). Voiced by actress Scarlet Johansson, our hero soon falls in love with her/it. 


There are interesting developments that one must see to fully believe but, it's enough to say, that the film portends the possibility of a future where man and machine become more inter-related and human to human relationships more uncommon.








CONTACT US NOW at 248-358-8508!


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. or through PayPal to


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


February 8, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present on teaching kids honesty and integrity at the Annual Michigan Father's Conference in Pontiac, MI. $25 incl. lunch. See


February 13, 2014--Mr. Shulman will co-present on hoarding disorder for Four Chaplains in Westland, MI. Free.


February 18, 2014--Mr. Shulman will co-present on hoarding disorder for AAA-1B Agency on the Aging in Southfield, MI. Free.


February 18, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present on hoarding disorder at The Community House in Birmingham, MI. $24.


February 21-23, 2014--Mr. Shulman will be in San Antonio, TX working with 3rd Millenium Classrooms, Inc on a forthcoming online education course for shoplifting addiction.


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


March 1, 2014--Mr. Shulman debuts his quarterly column for In Recovery magazine. See


March 7, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present a 4-hour in-depth seminar on understanding and treating hoarding disorder through Core Learning, Inc. from 9am - 1pm at Jewish Family Services in West Bloomfield, MI.


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 10, 2014--Mr. Shulman will present on compulsive stealing at The Empowerment Professionals Process Addictions conference in Royal Oak, MI. See


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. $24. 


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. 


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 regularly on Twitter @terrenceshulman or @TheShulmanCenter and on Facebook at The Shulman Center. Please check out share on our relaunched 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 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 




Note: this article is reprinted from our February 2012 e-Newsletter.


The first major holiday of the new year is upon us: Valentines Day. Many are still recovering from broken New Years resolutions and are just confronting the sticker shock from the past holiday season. According to the Retail and Marketing Association (RAMA), nearly 60% of Americans celebrated Valentines Day in some way, spending about $10 billion dollars--making it one of the biggest spending holidays of the year. 


While I'll probably buy my wife a card, some flowers and take her out for lunch or dinner (probably lunch!), I want to express my love for her in ways besides gifts and spending, too. Gary Chapman's wonderful book The Five Love Languages describes five primary ways we express and receive love: gifts, acts of service,  kind words/appreciation, physical touch, and quality time. 


Using Chapman's model, think about some simple, inexpensive creative way(s) to show your love. Gifts are nice, but both men and women report what's really important to feeling love are the other four "gifts."


The interesting thing about these "five love languages" is that we often find ourselves expressing love in a way we think our partners want to receive it but, more often, we tend to express it in a way we'd like to receive it. Some who love to receive gifts might assume their partner is really into receiving gifts too, but he or she might really desire quality time or a massage. 


So, stop for a moment or two and consider both how you want to express love and also how your partner best receives love. Hopefully, your partner will do the same.


For those who don't have a significant other (as well as for some who do) Valentines Day--and all that goes along with it--can provoke feelings of dread. As I often say: holidays can be the best and worst of times. So, whether you're looking forward to Valentines Day or not, there are many ways to show our love (romantic or not) for others without feeling stressed, obligated or inauthentic. 


Another thing many of us never consider is that Valentines Day is yet another opportunity for us to be our own Valentine, too! In what way(s) might we treat or nurture ourselves in a healthy way? Many of us always put ourselves last! Ideally, we shouldn't need a holiday to remind us to be loving to others or ourselves but it is what it is. So, what is one "gift" you can give yourself using the "five love languages" model? Remember: I'm my only life partner--from the moment I'm born to the day I die. 


One "gift" we can give ourselves (or another) is the gift of recovery. Consider getting counseling, attending a self-help group, and/or reading books on addiction/recovery.


If you're a shoplifter or shoplifting addict, what better gift could you give yourself than the help you really need. No amount of stolen stuff will fill your void or make life right. If money is an issue for your, think of how much it will cost when you're arrested (again?) and have to pay for a lawyer, costs, fines and therapy then! 


If you're stealing from your work/employer, it may seem easy to justify but you can't feel good about yourself and the double-life you're leading. And, as with shoplifting, there's no such thing as something for nothing: your theft will be discovered and you'll be in a world of financial and emotional pain. 


If you're an overshopper/overspender or a hoarder, no amount of stuff will make you happy of at peace. If you're going to spend money, why not really invest in yourself? There has to be another way. Take that first step... the rest you don't need to do on your own.


Loving and being loved are no hallmark simple endeavors. But this Valentines Day may be your best yet if you can find a way to get real about what love really is and what it really isn't.




(Excerpts from a January 18. 2014 New York Times article)


Sam Polk


In my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million - and I was angry because it wasn't big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted.


Eight years earlier, I'd walked onto the trading floor at Credit Suisse First Boston to begin my summer internship. I already knew I wanted to be rich, but when I started out I had a different idea about what wealth meant. I'd come to Wall Street after reading in the book "Liar's Poker" how Michael Lewis earned a $225,000 bonus after just two years of work on a trading floor. That seemed like a fortune. Every January and February, I think about that time, because these are the months when bonuses are decided and distributed, when fortunes are made.


Dad believed money would solve all his problems. At 22, so did I. When I walked onto that trading floor for the first time and saw the glowing flat-screen TVs, high-tech computer monitors and phone turrets with enough dials, knobs and buttons to make it seem like the cockpit of a fighter plane, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. It looked as if the traders were playing a video game inside a spaceship; if you won this video game, you became what I most wanted to be - rich.


It was a miracle I'd made it to Wall Street at all. While I was competitive and ambitious - a wrestler at Columbia University - I was also a daily drinker and pot smoker and a regular user of cocaine, Ritalin and ecstasy. I had a propensity for self-destruction that had resulted in my getting suspended from Columbia for burglary, arrested twice and fired from an Internet company for fistfighting. I learned about rage from my dad, too. I can still see his red, contorted face as he charged toward me. I'd lied my way into the C.S.F.B. internship by omitting my transgressions from my résumé and was determined not to blow what seemed a final chance. The only thing as important to me as that internship was my girlfriend, a starter on the Columbia volleyball team. But even though I was in love with her, when I got drunk I'd sometimes end up with other women.


After graduation, I got a job at Bank of America, by the grace of a managing director willing to take a chance on a kid who had called him every day for three weeks. With a year of sobriety under my belt, I was sharp, cleareyed and hard-working. At the end of my first year I was thrilled to receive a $40,000 bonus. For the first time in my life, I didn't have to check my balance before I withdrew money. But a week later, a trader who was only four years my senior got hired away by C.S.F.B. for $900,000. After my initial envious shock - his haul was 22 times the size of my bonus - I grew excited at how much money was available.


Over the next few years I worked like a maniac and began to move up the Wall Street ladder. I became a bond and credit default swap trader, one of the more lucrative roles in the business. Just four years after I started at Bank of America, Citibank offered me a "1.75 by 2" which means $1.75 million per year for two years, and I used it to get a promotion. I started dating a pretty blonde and rented a loft apartment on Bond Street for $6,000 a month.


Still, I was nagged by envy. On a trading desk everyone sits together, from interns to managing directors. When the guy next to you makes $10 million, $1 million or $2 million doesn't look so sweet. Nonetheless, I was thrilled with my progress.


My counselor didn't share my elation. She said I might be using money the same way I'd used drugs and alcohol - to make myself feel powerful - and that maybe it would benefit me to stop focusing on accumulating more and instead focus on healing my inner wound. "Inner wound"? I thought that was going a little far and went to work for a hedge fund.


But in the end, it was actually my absurdly wealthy bosses who helped me see the limitations of unlimited wealth. I was in a meeting with one of them, and a few other traders, and they were talking about the new hedge-fund regulations. Most everyone on Wall Street thought they were a bad idea. "But isn't it better for the system as a whole?" I asked. The room went quiet, and my boss shot me a withering look. I remember his saying, "I don't have the brain capacity to think about the system as a whole. All I'm concerned with is how this affects our company."


I felt as if I'd been punched in the gut. He was afraid of losing money, despite all that he had.


From that moment on, I started to see Wall Street with new eyes. I noticed the vitriol that traders directed at the government for limiting bonuses after the crash. I heard the fury in their voices at the mention of higher taxes. These traders despised anything or anyone that threatened their bonuses. Ever see what a drug addict is like when he's used up his junk? He'll do anything - walk 20 miles in the snow, rob a grandma - to get a fix. Wall Street was like that. In the months before bonuses were handed out, the trading floor started to feel like a neighborhood in "The Wire" when the heroin runs out.


But I was lying to myself. There were plenty of injustices out there - rampant poverty, swelling prison populations, a sexual-assault epidemic, an obesity crisis. Not only was I not helping to fix any problems in the world, but I was profiting from them. During the market crash in 2008, I'd made a ton of money by shorting the derivatives of risky companies. As the world crumbled, I profited. I'd seen the crash coming, but instead of trying to help the people it would hurt the most - people who didn't have a million dollars in the bank - I'd made money off it. I don't like who you've become, my girlfriend had said years earlier. She was right then, and she was still right. Only now, I didn't like who I'd become either.


Wealth addiction was described by the late sociologist and playwright Philip Slater in a 1980 book, but addiction researchers have paid the concept little attention. Like alcoholics driving drunk, wealth addiction imperils everyone. Wealth addicts are, more than anybody, specifically responsible for the ever widening rift that is tearing apart our once great country. Wealth addicts are responsible for the vast and toxic disparity between the rich and the poor and the annihilation of the middle class. Only a wealth addict would feel justified in receiving $14 million in compensation - including an $8.5 million bonus - as the McDonald's C.E.O., Don Thompson, did in 2012, while his company then published a brochure for its work force on how to survive on their low wages. Only a wealth addict would earn hundreds of millions as a hedge-fund manager, and then lobby to maintain a tax loophole that gave him a lower tax rate than his secretary.


Despite my realizations, it was incredibly difficult to leave. I was terrified of running out of money and of forgoing future bonuses. More than anything, I was afraid that five or 10 years down the road, I'd feel like an idiot for walking away from my one chance to be really important. What made it harder was that people thought I was crazy for thinking about leaving. In 2010, in a final paroxysm of my withering addiction, I demanded $8 million instead of $3.6 million. My bosses said they'd raise my bonus if I agreed to stay several more years. Instead, I walked away.


The first year was really hard. I went through what I can only describe as withdrawal - waking up at nights panicked about running out of money, scouring the headlines to see which of my old co-workers had gotten promoted. Over time it got easier - I started to realize that I had enough money, and if I needed to make more, I could. But my wealth addiction still hasn't gone completely away. Sometimes I still buy lottery tickets.


In the three years since I left, I've married, spoken in jails and juvenile detention centers about getting sober, taught a writing class to girls in the foster system, and started a nonprofit called Groceryships to help poor families struggling with obesity and food addiction. I am much happier. I feel as if I'm making a real contribution. And as time passes, the distortion lessens. I see Wall Street's mantra - "We're smarter and work harder than everyone else, so we deserve all this money" - for what it is: the rationalization of addicts. From a distance I can see what I couldn't see then - that Wall Street is a toxic culture that encourages the grandiosity of people who are desperately trying to feel powerful.


Dozens of different types of 12-step support groups - including Clutterers Anonymous and On-Line Gamers Anonymous - exist to help addicts of various types, yet there is no Wealth Addicts Anonymous. Why not? Because our culture supports and even lauds the addiction. Look at the magazine covers in any newsstand, plastered with the faces of celebrities and C.E.O.'s; the superrich are our cultural gods. I hope we all confront our part in enabling wealth addicts to exert so much influence over our country.


I recently got an email from a hedge-fund trader who said that though he was making millions every year, he felt trapped and empty, but couldn't summon the courage to leave. I believe there are others out there. Maybe we can form a group and confront our addiction together. And if you identify with what I've written, but are reticent to leave, then take a small step in the right direction. Let's create a fund, where everyone agrees to put, say, 25 percent of their annual bonuses into it, and we'll use that to help some of the people who actually need the money that we've been so rabidly chasing. Together, maybe we can make a real contribution to the world.


See full article at:For The Love of Money




Why Treating and Paying Retail Workers Better

May Make Everyone (Including Their Employers) Richer

(Excerpts from a Dec. 31, 2013 New York Times article)


Adam Davidson


When my wife and I first visited the supersize Ikea in Red Hook, Brooklyn, in 2008, we didn't take time to stop for the lingonberry jam or meatballs. Soon after we walked in, we just wanted to leave. We realized that the place was a crowded, labyrinthine mess lacking the adequate amount of staff to help us chose between the Ekby Hensvik and the Ekby Bjarnum. We left angry and exhausted, and we swore - for the sake of our marriage - never to return. Ikea, I thought, was just like Walmart or countless other big-box retailers that seemed to have embraced a Faustian bargain with their customers. The chains would sell absurdly inexpensive stuff - like a Lovbacken coffee table for $60 - but as a consequence, customers would have to put up with huge stores manned by small, often unhappy and unhelpful staffs.


One recent Sunday, however, my wife and I caved. We needed to buy four separate closets and all the interior trimmings, and Ikea was the only place we could find them for less than $600. Coincidentally, it was the same weekend in which I was reading "The Good Jobs Strategy," by Zeynep Ton, a business professor at M.I.T.'s Sloan School of Management. Ton, 39, grew up in Turkey and spent several summers working at her father's apparel factory, often sewing pockets for bathrobes. The job was, like many menial low-wage tasks, both pressure-filled and boring, and Ton wished she could find a way to make such workers happier. After a volleyball scholarship brought her to the United States as a young adult, she eventually dedicated her academic career to figuring out how to make low-paid work more rewarding for employees and employers alike.


In the last few years, Ton has become a revolutionary force in a field that would seem unlikely to generate many - the Kafkaesque-titled Operations Management. Her central thesis is that many of those big-box retailers have been making a strategic error: Even the most coldhearted, money-hungry capitalists ought to realize that increasing their work force, and paying them and treating them better, will often yield happier customers, more engaged workers and - surprisingly - larger corporate profits. This sounds Pollyannaish, sure, but a study co-authored by Marshall Fisher, a Wharton professor who specializes in retail-management studies, backs it up. For every dollar of increased wages, one retailer that was studied by Fisher brought in $10 more in revenue. For more-understaffed stores in the study, the boost was as high as $28.


Ton, however, argues that workers are not merely a cost; they can be a source of profit - a major one. A better-paid, better-trained worker, she argues, will be more eager to help customers; they'll also be more eager to help their store sell to them. The success of Costco, Trader Joe's, QuikTrip and Mercadona, Spain's biggest supermarket chain, indicate, she argues, that well-paid, knowledgeable workers are not an indulgence often found in luxury boutiques with their high markups. At each of the aforementioned companies, workers are paid more than at their competitors; they are also amply staffed per shift. More employees can ask customers questions about what they want to see more of and what they don't like, and then they are empowered to change displays or order different stock to appeal to local tastes. (In big chains, these sorts of decisions are typically made in headquarters with little or no line-staff input.) Costco pays its workers about $21 an hour; Walmart is just about $13. Yet Costco's stock performance has thoroughly walloped Walmart's for a decade.


I was thinking about this as my wife and I re-entered Ikea. From the moment we walked into the store, we realized that something changed. A greeter at the entrance pointed out a shortcut to get to the closet department, which probably saved us half an hour. When we got there, a salesman guided us through the options. Suspicious that this was a fluke, I made a point of asking questions of every worker we passed, but every one was pleasant, knowledgeable and helpful. Even on a crowded Sunday, there seemed to be plenty of roving employees looking to answer, direct and expound upon the various differences between the Pax and the Stuva closet systems - of which, I can now tell you, there are many.


This wasn't a fluke. A couple of days later, Rob Olson, the C.F.O. of Ikea U.S., told me that since my last visit, the company had invested in a new work-force-management system that reminded me of much of Ton's thesis. The software helps the company to better distribute workers throughout the store, so that there are more of them in the areas where people have the most questions, like closets. The new system was designed by Kronos, a large work-force-management company (both The New York Times and my other employer, NPR, are customers). Charles DeWitt, Kronos's head of business development, told me that he and his colleagues have been profoundly affected by Ton's work and are building a new set of work-force-management products designed to help retail chains enact some of her ideas. Ikea's system is only the beginning, he said. He has been traveling the country selling the concept to other retailers.


See full article at: Thinking Outside The (Big) Box 





(Excerpts from a Jan. 17, 2014 Wall Street Journal article)


Shelly Banjo and Drew Fitzgerald


Best Buy Co. on (recently) became the latest retailer to chime in with weak holiday results. Like other chains, the electronics retailer blamed the race to offer the deepest discounts, a game of brinkmanship that hurt profit margins and held back revenue.


But there is a deeper malaise at work: A long-term change in shopper habits has reduced store traffic-perhaps permanently-and shifted pricing power away from malls and big-box retailers.


Despite those changes, visits to Best Buy dropped off after Thanksgiving weekend, Chief Executive Hubert Joly said in an interview. Not only are more people shopping online, the Web has eroded demand for former consumer-electronics staples, such as compact discs, he said.


"There is a phenomenon that impacts traffic to the physical stores," Mr. Joly said. "There is no doubt about it."


Traffic to U.S. retailers was hurt during the financial crisis and recession, when job losses soared and shoppers kept a tight grip on their dollars. But nearly five years into the recovery, it appears many of those shoppers may never be coming back.


Retailers got only about half the holiday traffic in 2013 as they did just three years earlier, according to ShopperTrak, which uses a network of 60,000 shopper-counting devices to track visits at malls and large retailers across the country. The data firm tracked declines of 28.2% in 2011, 16.3% in 2012 and 14.6% in 2013.


Online sales increased by more than double the rate of brick-and-mortar sales this holiday season. Shoppers don't seem to be using physical stores to browse as much, either. Instead, they seem to be figuring out what they want online then making targeted trips to pick it up from retailers that offer the best price. While shoppers visited an average five stores per mall trip in 2007, today they only visit three, ShopperTrak's data shows.


Shoppers like Sara Rhein see little reason to spend much time in brick-and-mortar stores. "I love to shop, but since having three kids the mall is the biggest waste of time I can think of," said Ms. Rhein, 37 years old, who works at a Washington nonprofit. "My weekends are one long to-do list, so I've gravitated to online retailers that make it easy for me to shop without having to go into the store."


It isn't just the mall. Traffic has weakened at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. since the summer of 2012, according to analysts at Cowen & Co., even with tamer gasoline prices, which typically allow consumers to shop more.


A Target spokesman said shoppers are making fewer trips as "traffic has been impacted by the uneven economic environment," but are spending more when they do show up.


Online sales accounted for just 5.9% of overall retail sales in the third quarter, according to the Commerce Department, but they have an outsize impact on how shoppers use stores and what they will pay.


Meanwhile, online stores have further sharpened purchase decisions and prices, leading some shoppers to come into the stores only when they can cherry pick discounted items.


In general, the change in foot traffic at brick-and-mortar stores is among the reasons retailers such as Home Depot Inc. cut back on new store openings in favor of shifting that investment toward online operations. Meanwhile, Sears Holdings Corp., Gap Inc. and others have closed hundreds of stores over the past couple of years.


On Wednesday, J.C. Penney said it planned to close 33 underperforming stores and trim 2,000 positions to focus on locations that generate the strongest profits.


Only 44 million square feet of retail space opened in the 54 largest U.S. markets last year, down 87% from 325 million in 2006, according to CoStar Group, Inc., a real-estate research firm.


Macy's Inc., which last week announced plans to close five stores and lay off 2,500 employees, said store closures weren't caused by traffic declines. But the shift is causing the department store chain to rethink its brick-and-mortar stores to make them more productive by serving online sales.


"Traffic habits are changing, but it's not leading us to close more stores," Chief Financial Officer Karen Hoguet said in an interview Thursday. "Now we can supplement store traffic with Internet sales."


Best Buy said on a conference call with analysts Thursday that expanding its online presence will be a top priority in 2014. Chief Financial Officer Sharon McCollam said the company will invest more in online marketing and customer databases this year to catch up with its competitors.


"We were out-competed from an online marketing standpoint," she said.


See full article at: No More Mall Shopping?




"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:


Books by Terrence Shulman: 


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).