The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft & Spending

         January 2008 e-Newsletter

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What's Next?
Terrence Daryl Shulman


           Happy Holidays everyone! Welcome to our 30th monthly newsletter and 2008's first!

First... Looking back:

2007 was another busy year. We have continued to make progress in creating awareness, acceptance, and options for change relating to compulsive stealing and shopping/spending. And we're surviving the holidays... didn't we?

2007 was also a year of change and challenge. We changed our company name from The Shulman Center for Theft Addictions & Disorders to The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft & Spending as we've continued to see a growing interest and need for specialized education and treatment for compulsive shopping & spending which often co-exist with people who steal. Money issues are increasingly common for all of us. And since a landmark Stanford University study in 2006 recognizing "compulsive shopping/spending disorder" we've seen a spike in the media's coverage of this: the A & E Cable Channel's Show "Big Spender," the recently released documentary "What Would Jesus Buy," and next year's major motion picture "Confessions of a Shopaholic," based on Sophie Kinsella's best-selling novel.

We, however, remain committed to our work with compulsive stealing and are sensitive to dilluting our reputation as specialists and experts in this field. We continue to see a need for more education and treatment options for compulsive shoplifters and people who steal from work. The employee theft epidemic, in particular, is more pervasive than shoplifting yet gets very little attention in comparison.

We were disappointed we were not able to produce our 2nd International Conference on Theft Addictions & Disorders. We hope to do so in 2008, perhaps combining it with compulsive shopping and spending.

C.A.S.A.-Detroit celebrated its 15th Anniversary in September. Mr. Shulman decided to take a lesser role in leading and guiding the group and feel confident that several members of the group are taking responsible and passionate stewardship of it. Some other national chapters of C.A.S.A. have faded in Philadelphia, Connecticut, and Seattle but may start again in 2008. Meanwhile, several other chapters have launched in Virginia, Georgia, Lincoln (Nebraska), and Redding, Sacramento and Los Angeles CA. There are now C.A.S.A. chapters in 10 states!

The Shulman Center continues to offer options for help through several sources: counseling in person and by phone (individual, couples, family, and group), local and online support groups, books, websites, through classes, presentations, and trainings. Mr. Shulman began writing his third book--this time the topic is compulsive shopping and spending and money dysfunctions.  This book will be published in the Spring of 2008.

Some other highlights from 2007:

- Mr. Shulman gave a 90 minute Power Point presentation on shoplifting, cheating, and dishonesty to a group of 100 students in the auditorium of a suburban Detroit high school.

- Dr. Keith Ablow and Dr. Phil re-aired segments featuring compulsive shoplifters.

- Mr. Shulman was featured on the East Coast's Retirement Living TV discussing shoplifting, employee theft  & overshopping/overspending.

- Mr. Shulman was featured in a Chicago-area article about the trend of theft of items from restaurants.

- Mr. Shulman spoke at the Michigan Counseling Association's Summer Seminar on compulsive shopping, shoplifting, and employee theft.

- Mr. Shulman completed a 14-week teleconference class with Dr. April Benson, a pioneer in the field of Overshopping. 

- Rachel Ray aired a segment about compulsive shopping.

- The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet aired a show on compulsive shopping.

- Mr. Shulman appeared on The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet on the topic of shoplifting addiction.

- Mr. Shulman assisted in and appeared on Women's Entertainment TV's "Secret Lives of Women" segment on shoplifting addiction.

- The Shulman Center was mentioned several times in articles in The Detroit Free Press.

- Mr. Shulman wrote an article for the national Psychotherapy Networker magazine on shoplifting addiction.

- Mr. Shulman gave a 90 minute Power Point presentation at The Annual Kentucky Accountants Conference.

- Mr. Shulman was interviewed on radio locally and nationally about compulsive shopping and spending

- The documentary film "What Would Jesus Buy" was released

- A & E Cable channel begins airing "Big Spender"--a boot camp intevention for shopaholics

Looking forward to 2008 and beyond:

Imagine a world where compulsive stealing and spending are absent or exceeding rare. Imagine a world where money and things don't matter as much and the economy is healthy and vibrant! Imagine a world where trust and honesty are the norms, where going to the store is a pleasant adventure, where going to work feels supportive, exciting, and full of purpose... As John Lennon sang "you might say, I'm a dreamer... but I'm not the only one."

Why we do what we do...

This past month, a woman traveled 3,000 miles by plane to work with The Shulman Center program intensively here in the Detroit area over the course of 3 days. She is now in recovery from compulsive shopping and shoplifting and has a court date pending for a recent shoplifting arrest. She attended our local C.A.S.A. meeting and shared how appreciative she was to have a safe space to heal and grow. It is our judgment that this woman got a lot our of her time here. I did as well. We always learn from our clients and appreciate the opportunity to serve others. In our opinion, she came ready to work and was committed to herself. Obviously, her journey will continue. It's hard, at times, to hear from so many people by e-mail or phone who say they want help but won't commit the time, energy, and money necessary to receive that help. Often, we just don't trust or don't feel worth investing in oursleves. Is 2008 the year you take your life to the next level?

2008 is shaping up to be another powerful year in the field of compulsive theft and spending!!!

- Prospective: Mr. Shulman may present a workshop in April or May at the National Association of Social Workers in Michigan's Annual Conference on the topic of compulsive shopping and spending and money dysfunctions.

- Prospective: A 4th Metro-Detroit area C.A.S.A. chapter in early 2008 at a local "megachurch."

- Mr. Shulman continues to work with a British documentary producer on a show on shoplifting addiction and kleptomania.

- Mr. Shulman is working with a U.S. producer of a documentary on American excess called "American Dream: The Movie" see

- Mr. Shulman will be featured in an upcoming book on recovery in the USA called "Recovery USA" by Benoit-Denizen Lewis.

- Look for the upcoming major motion picture version of author Sophia Kinsella's bestseller: "Confessions of a Shopaholic."

- Mr. Shulman will complete his third book--on compulsive shopping and spending and money dysfunctions to be published in Spring.

- We look to hold our 2nd International Conference--likely on compulsive theft and spending--tentatively scheduled for late Summer or early Fall.

- We're working on continued alliances with the retail and corporate sectors to understand, deter, and offer treatment for compulsive theft and spending.

*Please note our web log address for comments, thoughts, and ideas about compulsive theft and/or spending. See

The following is a repeat from our January 2007 E-newsletter but we thought it might help you

New Year's (Re)Solutions - 8 Keys to Success!

It's that time of year again. As January 1st approaches, admit it: you've probably been thinking of making at least one New Year's resolution. I know I have. But if you're like me, you've probably had your fair share of past disappointments. Some studies have estimated that roughly 9 out of 10 New Year's resolutions "fail" within the first 30 days.

When we choose to embark upon important life changes or set goals around New Year's or anytime of the year, there's no shortage of suggestions out there about how best to achieve these. I've never been the kind of person to suggest that "one size fits all." But through looking at my own life and combing through the research, I'd like to offer a few perspectives that may assist you in realizing your better life.

First, it may be wise to focus on just one or two changes or goals at a time rather than a slew of them. For some, we must tackle the hardest and most important changes/goals first. For others, it may work to build some steam and confidence by starting with smaller, less challenging changes/goals.

Two: it makes sense to me that while New Year's is a natural time for renewal and a fresh start, we might be wise not to make too much of this time marker. If a change or goal is so important, why not start now? There may at least be action steps we might begin taking in advance of New Years and also recognize that our actions likely will be ongoing through January, through the year and, perhaps, throughout our lives. Getting sober or weight reduction and management are examples of this.

Three: Instead of thinking of some desired change as a resolution or a promise or a vow, how about thinking about it as a "solution" to something that is obviously bothering you. What sounds better: "I'm making a resolution" or "I'm creating a solution." If I fall short on a resolution, it feels like I've already failed; if, however, I fall short on my solution, it feels more like I've just hit a little bump in the road and I need to create a way to get back on track. It sounds like semantics but it's human psychology at its simplest and gentlest.

Four: we need to be honest with ourselves about whether we're really ready to change or accomplish what we tell ourselves or others. Prochaska and DiClemente, noted theorists, outlined five stages of change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, investigation, implementation, and maintenance. Each of these stages can last a long time. What stage are you at with each goal or "solution" you're entertaining? It's likely you're at the contemplation stage. So, how do we get to the next stages?

Five: we also need to be honest with ourselves about why we want to change or achieve something. We're often filled with conflicting feelings and issues. Take losing weight: do I want to lose weight for myself or someone else? Do I hate myself for not being thinner? The law of attraction states: if I'm focused on the negative, I'll get more of the negative. This is why we often need positive assistance to change or achieve something. This is part of the investigation stage. How can I create this solution? Do I need to read a book? See a therapist? Talk to a life coach? Most of us make the mistake of trying to change or accomplish something all by ourselves. It rarely works. Been there.

Six: most of us can muster a great effort at anything but, as they say, as long as we're just "trying" we might as well forget it. As Yoda said, "no try, do."  Someone coined the acronym "S.M.A.R.T." to describe a helpful approach to change or goal achievement. The letters stand for the following:

Specific - (I will lose weight vs. I will become more healthy)
Measurable - (I will lose 10 pounds vs. I will be thinner)
Attainable - (Despite not having lost 10 pounds in a long time, I feel it is attainable)
Realistic - (Losing 10 pounds is more realistic than losing 100 lbs)
Time Sensitive - (I'll lose 10 pounds in 60 days vs. I'll lose 10 lbs--yeah, when? "The deadline is the true inspiration.")

Seven: we are motivated by both pleasure and pain. With losing weight, if I give up eating foods I love, I may lose some pleasure and I may experience some pain of withdrawal and some resistance to disciplining myself. If I can make it through the initial rough patches, the pain will begin to subside and the pleasure of achieving my goal, hopefully, will outweigh the pleasure I derived from overeating.

Eight: nature abhors a vacuum. When we stop doing something or begin making major changes, a shift or emptiness results. We need to fill that space in wisely. Also, it's vital to anticipate the pitfalls and struggles that will ensue without dwelling on them or being intimidated by them. This is where books, activities, friends, and other support really play a crucial role.

Above all, maintain some focus on the positive things about your life currently and how creating solutions for an even better life is what living is all about: moving forward, growing, healing, challenging ourselves to be the best we can be so that our experience of life continues to expand. May 2008 be your best year yet!


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2008 Conference on Compulsive Shopping and Shoplifting is in the works! Also, Mr. Shulman will be publishing a book on compulsive shopping and spending in early 2008. Stay tuned for more details...


November 30th--Mr. Shulman was a guest expert on Fox TV's The Mike and Juliet Morning Show discussing shoplifting addiction and the holidays.


December 11th--Mr. Shulman was interviewed on metro-Detroit's Metrochick radio on the topic of compulsive shopping and spending.

December 19th--Mr. Shulman was interviewed on Cleveland, Ohio area radio station WCPN 90.3 FM on the topic of compulsive shopping and spending. See

Mr. Shulman submitted an op-ed article to newspapers across the country about holiday consumerism.

JANUARY and beyond...

Prospective: Mr. Shulman may be presenting a workshop in April or May at the National Association of Social Workers in Michigan's Annual Conference on the topic of compulsive shopping and spending and money dysfunctions.

Mr. Shulman continues to work with a British documentary producer on a show on shoplifting addiction and kleptomania.

Mr. Shulman is working with a U.S. producer of a documentary on American excess called "American Dream--The Movie"

Mr. Shulman will be featured in an upcoming book on recovery in the USA called "Recovery USA" by Benoit-Denizen Lewis.


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Contact The Shulman Center

Terrence Shulman
P.O. Box 250008
Franklin, Michigan 48025


Call (248) 358-8508 for free consulation!

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Products for Purchase--SALE!

Mr. Shulman's 75 Minute DVD Power Point Presentation on Employee Theft at Livonia, Michigan Financial Manager's Conference 10/19/06. $75.00

Mr. Shulman's 75 Minute DVD Power Point Presentation on Employee Theft at Louisville, Kentucky Business in Industry Conference 9/19/07. $75.00

Mr. Shulman's two books "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction & Recovery" and "Biting The Hand That Feeds: The Employee Theft Epidemic... New Perspectives, New Solutions" are availabe for $25.00 each (includes shipping/handling) or both for $45.00 (includes shipping/handling).

Mr. Shulman's 90 minute DVD Power Point presentation for young people: "Theft and Dishonesty Awareness Program." $75.00

Mr. Shulman's 33 minute psycho-educational DVD: "The Disease of Something for Nothing: Shoplifting and Employee Theft." $50.00

First International Conference on Theft Addictions & Disorders 4 DVD set (13 Hours). Recorded 10/05. $125.00


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© 2007 The Shulman Center
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