The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft & Spending

          January 2009 e-Newsletter

spacer (1K)

  Welcome to our 42nd monthly newsletter and 2009's first!

"Looking Back, Looking Forward:
Are We Ready to Truly Evolve?"


Terrence Daryl Shulman

You own two shops,
and you run back and forth.
Try to close the one that's a fearful trap
getting always smaller, checkmate,
this way, checkmate that.
Keep open the shop
where you're not selling fishhooks anymore.
You are the free swimming fish.

Excerpt from Rumi's "Tending Two Shops"

There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It's fluid,
and it doesn't move from outside to inside
through conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.

 Rumi--"Two Kinds of Intelligence"


Rumi, born in 1307 in what is now an area between Iran and Afghanistan, has been my favorite poet since I discovered him in 1993. These two poems speak to me lately. Do you ever feel like you're running back and forth trying to attend to life's physical and material tasks and obligations, driven by fear, and sensing or knowing there's gotta be more to life than this "shop," this "busy-ness"? Do you feel trapped in a pattern of relying on "your own best thinking"--that logical, reasonable, prudence which has served you so well but which, lately, doesn't seem to provide the answers and solutions for the same or new problems? It's kinda like you're missing a tool from a toolbox and can't finish the job without it! Ah, to be that "free swimming fish" or possess that "fountainhead of knowledge within" which Rumi's poems so powerfully evoke.

On the cusp of the new year, I feel I'm at a crossroads in my life. I have a strong sense that many others are as well. Perhaps, we as a nation--even a species--are at a crossroads. Great signs of hope and despair interweave in a powerful and fragile dance. With the economy tanking and war and terrorism still making headlines, we in America elected a president who inspires so many with the promise of change and progress. As the days of wild spending and mounting debt face a day of reckoning, perhaps we can return or evolve to a more balanced, simple, and healthy lifestyle and way of thinking. Stories of theft and fraud--from shoplifting's 84% spike during the holidays to Bernard Madoff's $50 billion swindle--alarm us and remind us of the importance of honesty in our individual and collective lives.

2008 was a busy year in which I published a third book, put on a conference, succeded through diet, exercise and medications to knock my cholesterol down, and took steps to strengthen my marriage. All during the year I dealt with a looming lawsuit from an organization in New York that has been claiming an exclusive right to use the term 'shoplifters anonymous." I completed a 10-day silent meditation retreat in November to help balance my life. Two weeks after my return--on December 2nd--I was served with that lawsuit. After some initial shock and disbelief, fear and anger (yes, life feels unfair at times!), I have come full circle and chosen to fight the lawsuit with full force of mind, body, and spirit. I've reached out to family, friends, and others to vent and get feedback and I've hired and fired one lawyer and hired another. I am increasingly aware of the opportunities this "inconvenient event" may be offering me, not the least of which is to stand up for myself as well as to ask for "divine guidance and support." I even had a session with a friend and spiritual advisor who assisted me in a process of meditation and centering to connect more clearly and powerfully with my Higher Power. My wife and best friends nearly fainted when they heard this!

We may have many challenges--legal, financial, health, relational, vocational, emotional; personal, national, or international. And we must manage the realm of the material/physical (dotting our "i's" and crossing our "t's").  But we must also be attentive to the "metaphysical" (through meditation, prayer, openness to miracles wherever they come from); for, often, a problem may be too big or too "unreasonable" to "conquer." 
The problems of the world are going to need new thinking to solve. So, too, will our own problems.

So, I am choosing to view my lawsuit as a metaphor, as a gift. It allows me to face my fears and to recognize that my fighting back is more than about me, it's about the work I do and the work we all do to help educate about and provide treatment options for shoplifting addiction. I won't get into the finer details of the lawsuit here but I am encouraged to have an attorney who believes my case has merit and is confident I will prevail. And, while I'm certain, the organization suing me feels equally righteous in their position that I am, in essence, "stealing" from them, I continue to choose to see the world as a big place where there is enough room for many different voices and contributors. Nobody has a monopoly on the term "shoplifters anonymous"; or, at least in my mind, nobody should.

Indeed, this lawsuit is a reminder to me, as well, to be flexible and gracious as others will certainly build upon and add to what I have pioneered. This is as it should be. To this end, I am also very open and receptive to any support--emotional, legal, financial, or spiritual--which you or others may offer. Feel free to contact me by phone, letter, or e-mail. Thanking you in advance.


2008... Looking back:

2008 was another productive year! We've continued to see a growing interest and need for specialized education and treatment for compulsive theft and spending as the economy has sputtered and many people are bottoming out in debt and credit at the same time shoplifting and stealing have dramatically increased.

Mr. Shulman published his third book in April: "Bought Out and $pent! Recovery from Compulsive $hopping and $pending" which has met with positive response and reviews.

Mr. Shulman also organized and presented at The 2nd International Conference on Compulsive Theft and Spending in Detroit in September. While the turnout was a bit lower than had hoped, we had 15 attendees from across the U.S. and Canada and the quality of presentation and discussion was vibrant and diverse.

C.A.S.A.-Detroit celebrated its 16th Anniversary in September and C.A.S.A.-online celebrated its 8th Anniversary. Mr. Shulman also started a 4th metro-Detroit area chapter in February. In 2008, some other national chapters of C.A.S.A. have discontinued meeting in Minneapolis, Sacramento, Redding, CA, and Lincoln, NE. Meanwhile, other chapters have launched in Carlisle, PA, Reseda, CA, Syracuse, NY, and Spanish-speaking groups have popped up in Culver City, CA as well as online. Weekly phone meetings have taken root as well. Groups continue in metro-Detroit, Seattle, Atlanta, Virginia, and the Los Angeles area. There may be new groups starting in 2009 in west Michigan, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Florida.

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, classes, presentations, and trainings. 

Some other highlights from 2008:

January: Mr. Shulman was featured on re-runs on The Mike and Juliet Show (shoplifting) and Women's Entertainment TV's "Secret Lives of Women" (shoplifting). He also appeared live on The Mike and Juliet Show for a new segment on shoplifting.

June: Mr. Shulman was featured in an article in The Washington Post about compulsive shopping and spending.

July: Mr. Shulman was featured in an article in The New York Daily News on compulsive shopping and spending and in The Gainesville, Florida press for an article on employee theft. Mr. Shulman also appeared live on The Early Show to discuss compulsive shopping and spending.

August: Mr. Shulman was interviewed on National Public Radio's "News and Notes" program discussing shoplifting and compulsive shopping and spending.

September: Mr. Shulman was interviewed on Detroit's local "Street Beat" program about his work.

October: Mr. Shulman was profiled in The Detroit Legal News and The University of Michigan Alumni Magazine.

November: Mr. Shulman was quoted in an article about compulsive shopping and spending in U.S. News and World Report and in an article on shoplifting in The Chicago Tribune.

December: Mr. Shulman was interviewed in articles on compulsive shopping and spending in The Wall Street Journal and The Salt Lake City Weekly. He also filmed on location in Boise, Idaho for a documentary on compulsive shopping and spending to air in early 2009 on Women's Entertainment TV.


Looking forward to 2009 and beyond:

Why we do what we do...

This past month, a woman traveled 1,000 miles by plane from Rhode Island 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 shoplifting and stealing and is looking at her shopping and spending patterns, too. She attended our local C.A.S.A. meeting and shared how appreciative she was to have a safe space to heal and grow. We always learn from our clients and appreciate the opportunity to serve others. She came ready to work and was committed to herself. Obviously, her journey continues.

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 2009 the year you take your life to the next level?

2009 is shaping up to be another powerful year in the field of compulsive theft and spending:

Mr. Shulman will be featured on the MSNBC series "Theft in America" in early 2009.

February 14, 2009: The major motion picture "Confessions of a Shopaholic" is scheduled for release. Mr. Shulman was interviewed by People Magazine for an article that will be published in February in relation to this film.

Mr. Shulman will present on compulsive shopping & spending at the National Association of Social Workers--Michigan chapter annual conference April 15-6, 2009 in Lansing, MI.

Mr. Shulman will present on compulsive shopping & spending at the April 22-24, 2009 Foundations in Recovery Process Addictions conference in Las Vegas, NV.

A shout out to two of my good friends and colleagues, Dr. April Benson who has just published her new book "To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop," and John Howard Prin who has just published his new book "The Roadmap to Lifelong Recovery." Both are wonderful reads and are available through Amazon. Congratulations April and John! Terry




spacer (1K)

Fall 2008 Conference on Compulsive Theft & Spending took place Saturday September 27, 2008 in Detroit! If you missed it, it's available on 6 hours of DVD for $100 (includes S/H)!  To order, click on our website to order or contact us directly at 248-358-8508.

NOTE: Mr. Shulman is now providing expert counseling service via Skype telephone &  videoconferencing!

Mr. Shulman is offering 4 to 8 week group phone therapy programs beginning in mid-January 2009. Please contact him ASAP if interested.


Look for a segment on shoplifting this week on ABC TV's Good Morning America.

December 11th--Mr. Shulman was quoted in an article in The Salt Lake City (Utah) Weekly on compulsive shopping and spending.

December 15th--Mr. Shulman was quoted in The Wall Street Journal in an article on compulsive shopping and spending.

December 16th--Mr. Shulman was a guest on Clear Channel's Fox Radio in Denver, Colorado discussing compulsive shopping & shoplifting.

Mr. Shulman was interviewed by phone by MTV for a follow-up segment on compulsive shopping & spending in young women--to air December 31, 2008.

Mr. Shulman was interviewed by People magazine for a story on compulsive shopping & spending to be published in February 2009.

Mr. Shulman assisted RDF/USA Films on a documentary about hoarding and compulsive shopping.

Mr. Shulman filmed on location in Idaho with Pangolin Pictures on a documentary about compulsive shopping to air in early 2009 on the Women's Entertainment Network.

Mr. Shulman continued to assist with a German-based television segment on addictions--including compulsive theft and spending.

Mr. Shulman continued to assist with an Australia-based television segment on addictions--including compulsive theft and spending. 

Mr. Shulman contributed to a book on recovery called "America Anonymous" by Benoit-Denizen Lewis which has just been published.


Mr. Shulman will be featured in a segment on shoplifting addiction in the MSNBC series "Theft in America" to air in January 2009.

Mr. Shulman will present on compulsive shopping & spending at the April 22-24, 2009 Foundations in Recovery Process Addictions conference in Las Vegas, NV.

Mr. Shulman will present on compulsive shopping & spending at the National Association of Social Workers--Michigan chapter annual conference April 15-16, 2009 in Lansing, MI.

February 14, 2009: The major motion picture "Confessions of a Shopaholic"--based on the novel by Sophie Kinsella--is scheduled for release.

Mr. Shulman continues to assist on two U.K. projects on shoplifting addiction--one with the BBC and another with Channel 4.

Mr. Shulman to be featured in an article on compulsive shopping and spending in Elle--Canada magazine--article to be published at a later date.

Mr. Shulman was interviewed for an article on compulsive shopping and spending in Glamour magazine--article to be published at a later date.

Mr. Shulman will be submitting a chapter on employee theft in a 2009 compilation book entitled "Risky Business."

Mr. Shulman is working with A & E TV's "Intervention" show on a shoplifting addiction segment.


spacer (1K)
spacer (1K)
Contact The Shulman Center

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


Call (248) 358-8508 for free consulation!

spacer (1K)
spacer (1K)

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.

Second International Conference on Compulsive Theft & Spending 2 DVD set (6 Hours). Recorded 9/08. $100.00.


spacer (1K)
spacer (1K)
© 2007 The Shulman Center