The Shulman Center 1


    Greetings from The Shulman Center!

Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding Newsletter 

July 2013 -- Happy Independence Day!


   Serving People 
Since 1992!



Quotes of the Month: 


"For to be free is not just to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." --Nelson Mandela


"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to err." --Mahatma Ghandi


"The truth is I love being alive. And I love feeling free. So, if I can't have those things then I feel like a caged animal and I'd rather not be in a cage. I'd rather be dead. And it's real simple. And I think not uncommon."--

Angelina Jolie


"There are two freedoms-- the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; and a true, where a man is free to do what he ought."Charles Kingsley



Stats/Facts of the Month


76% of Americans feel out of control when it comes to money. (2011, LearnVest study)


For the fifth year in a row, money is the most common source of stress for Americans. --

American Psychological



Only 13 states out of 50 (or 25 percent of the U.S. population) require students to take a personal finance course as a high school graduation requirement.



Person of the Month
Nelson Mandela 


In honor of our own Independence Day...


As Nelson Mandela, 94, lies in a South African hospital slipping away just shy of his 95th birthday, one can't help but take a moment to recognize what an incredible life he has had and also given to millions of his fellow countrymen and women.


After spending 27 years in prison, Mr. Mandela was released in 1990, signaling the end of apartheid. He soon after became the country's president and inspired many through his forgiveness of his adversaries and by leading South Africa forward toward its own freedom.


A modern-day Ghandi or Martin Luther King, whatever his fate in the next course of time, he remains a beacon of strength and hope to us all.



Book of the Month:


Why Rich Women Shoplift (When They Had it All!)

by John C. Brady



This book on shoplifting was written by John C. Brady, a California forensic psychologist. I wrote the foreword for the book. I haven't seen the actual book as it was just released, but I read the rough draft and it is a very interesting read. 


The book highlights some of Dr. Brady's more interesting cases he's worked on as well as de-constructing the kleptomania definition so we can understand why people really shoplift and steal. Dr. Brady also takes aim at the pharmaceutical industry for their limited treatment of theft behaviors. 



Film of the Month:


"The Bling Ring" (2013)


Emma Watson 

and Paris Hilton

Directed by 

Sofia Coppola


Based on the Vanity Fair article turned book, this movie couldn't come at a better time. "Documenting" the real life story of five L.A. area teens (two girls and a gay male friend) who, just a few years ago, made headlines by breaking into the homes of several celebrities, including Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, and made off with millions in clothing, jewelry cash, and drugs.


This is a story of extreme envy gone to extremes. More than just plain thievery, these teens seem to violate the homes of and steal the "bling" of their victims to feel closer to them, to almost become them. It's a cautionary tale about today's youth emulating celebrity and the materialism associated with fame and success.


The irony is not lost that, after getting arrested (spoiler alert!), these teens gain a certain celebrity and notoriety of their own. Adding to the irony and absurdity, Paris Hilton allowed her actual home to be used in some of the film's scenes.


If you want to keep up on pop culture and see where the minds of many teens are today, this movie is a must-see--even as it refrains from delving further into their lives or making any blatant social commentary.

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


July 10, 2013--Mr. Shulman will deliver a presentation on animal hoarding disorder at the Detroit Dog Rescue office in metro-Detroit.


July 20, 2013--Mr. Shulman will deliver a presentation on hoarding disorder at the Commerce, MI Public Library. 


October 2013--Mr. Shulman will have an article about honesty in the workplace in the Jack Hayes International quarterly newsletter. 


October 4, 2013--Mr. Shulman will be have a booth at the Annual Royal Oak, MI Health Fair. 


October 7-9, 2013--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on employee theft at The 3rd Annual Lifestyle Intervention Conference in Las Vegas, NV.


October 25 and October 27, 2013--Mr. Shulman will be presenting 2 all-day seminars on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding at Jewish Family Services in West Bloomfield, MI.


November 2013--Date TBA--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on hoarding disorder at the Franklin Public Library Franklin, MI.


November 20-22, 2013--Mr. Shulman may be presenting on shopping addiction at the AFCPE (Association for Financial Planning, Counseling and Education) Annual Conference in Greensville, South Carolina. 


Is Our Independence Costing Us Our Freedom?

By Terrence Daryl Shulman


The 4th of July Holiday is upon us. A time for reflection on independence and freedom. For many or most, this opportunity will be marked by bar-b-ques, a day off work, time with family and friends, drinking, eating, shopping. While I'm likely to engage in more of the same, I'm also trying to take a moment to consider the deeper meaning of both independence and freedom. One of the first thoughts that came to my mind is how independence can be both a gift and a trap. I thought about how the "go it on our own" mentality of politics often leads to isolation and chaos rather than co-operation, unity and order. I've thought about my own patterns of fierce independence which have kept me stubborn and stuck at times, afraid to ask for help as if to become "dependent," weak, or needy. I'm reminded that there's a middle ground between independent and dependent: it's called "inter-dependence." 


In personal relationships as in relationships between nations, perhaps it's the most healthy and realistic way to operate. "No man is an island." And no nation either. We are all inter-connected.

Now, nobody likes being a slave or under the thumb of anyone. One of the worst feelings in the world is feeling trapped or unfree-which prompts me to consider the deeper meaning of "freedom." Is freedom an external reality or an internal reality? Is freedom, ultimately, a state of mind? I'm thinking of Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned for 27 years-much of it in solitary confinement. Yet, it seems that he was able to keep his dignity and his mind "free" to a large extent. I'm thinking of Professor Stephen Hawking whose body is confined to a wheelchair with advanced ALS. While he recently experienced the euphoria of weightlessness in a zero-gravity capsule, he never struck me as anyone stuck in the victim mode of his own dire physical condition. On the contrary, he used and expanded his own mind for the benefit of others.


"Freedom's just another word for 'nothing left to lose.'" This memorable line from Janis Joplin's song may mean many things to many people and may be more of a Zen Koan in the end. Does the line imply that we must lose everything in order to be free? Does it call upon us to take risks even if we don't get what we want, we experience freedom itself in the taking of the risk? Does it mean I can just do whatever I want? What's your definition of freedom?


I know I still fall too easily into the mindset of thinking: "I'll be free when..." I'll be free when I have a million dollars. I'll be free when my wife stops "nagging me." I'll be free when I don't have to work anymore. I'll be free when my back doesn't hurt and stiffen. I'll be free when I move to California. I'll be free when I let go of my anger. I'll be free when I cure my addictions once and for all. I'll be free when I move to a deserted island. I'll be free when I don't have any bills or responsibilities. I'll be free when I stop chasing freedom...


I'm going to do my best to be happy that I live in a country that, despite its room for improvement, allows me largely the freedom and independence to shape my own life. I am the ultimate creator of my own freedom. I am also responsible for my own thinking and my own life. If I don't like it, I have the freedom to change it. If I need help doing so, I have the freedom to seek out help. I also have the freedom to do nothing. As for independence, while I often fantasize about needing nobody and nobody needing me, that is not real freedom or real joy when I think about it. Relationships enrich my life. Responsibilities enrich my life. Sure, I don't want to overdo it, but I do see the value in inter-dependence as the goal and the destination.


So, while I'm enjoying my 4th of July vacation on the lake with my wife and family and friends, I'm hoping to do my best to maintain the awareness of deeper, profound freedom and independence that transcends the national and encompasses the universal. Ultimately, I get to say if I'm free or not. Perhaps, that's the greatest form of self-autonomy and independence.


Jack Hayes Releases 2012 Theft Survey Results!


Wesley Chapel, FL - Just 23 major retailers apprehended over 1.1 million shoplifters and dishonest employees and recovered over $189 million from these thieves in 2012, according to the 25th Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International, the leading loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm.


"In 2012, shoplifting apprehensions increased 7.4% and the recovery dollars from shoplifters increased a amazing 22.7%". Dishonest employee apprehensions and recovery dollars also increased in 2012, 5.5% and 7.0% respectively", said Mark R. Doyle, President of Jack L. Hayes International. "It should be noted that these increases follow similar increases reported the previous year!" Mr. Doyle added, "The seriousness of retail theft is a much greater problem than many people realize. These theft losses are stealing profits from retailers and driving retail prices higher for the consumer."


Highlights from this highly anticipated annual theft survey include:


*Participants: 23 large retail companies with 18,900 stores and over $596 billion in retail sales (2012).


*Apprehensions: 1,145,688 shoplifters and dishonest employees were apprehended in 2012, up 7.3% from 2011.


*Recovery Dollars: Over $189 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2012, up 18.1% from 2011.


*Shoplifter Apprehensions: 1,074,593 shoplifters were apprehended in 2012, up 7.4% from 2011.


*Shoplifter Recovery Dollars: Over $138 million was recovered from apprehended shoplifters in 2012, an increase of 22.7% from 2011. An additional $46.8 million was recovered from shoplifters where no apprehension was made, up a significant 25.2% from 2011.


*Employee Apprehensions: 71,095 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2012, up 5.5% from 2011.


*Employee Recovery Dollars: Over $50 million was recovered from employee apprehensions in 2012, up 7.0% from 2011.


*One out of every 40 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2012. (Based on over 2.8 million employees.)


*On a per case average, dishonest employees steal approximately 5.5 times the amount stolen by shoplifters ($715.24 vs $129.12).


For full survey results visit the Jack Hayes website at:



How Many Pets Are Too Many?

Understanding Animal Hoarding


Animal hoarding is keeping a higher-than-usual number of animals as domestic pets without having the ability to properly house or care for them, while at the same time  denying this inability. Compulsive hoarding can be characterized as a symptom of  a mental disorder rather than deliberate cruelty towards animals. Hoarders are deeply attached to their pets and find it extremely difficult to let the pets go. They typically cannot comprehend that they are harming their pets by failing to provide them with proper care. Hoarders tend to believe that they provide the right amount of care for their pets. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provides a "Hoarding Prevention Team", which works with hoarders to help them attain a manageable and healthy number of pets.


An animal hoarder keeps an unusually large number of pets, but fails to care for them properly. A hoarder is distinguished from an animal  breeder, who would have a large number of animals as the central component of his or her business; this distinction can be problematic, however, as some hoarders are former breeders who have ceased selling and caring for their animals, while others will claim to be breeders as a psychological defense mechanism, or in hopes of forestalling intervention. Gary Patronek, director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University defines hoarding as the "pathological human behavior that involves a compulsive need to obtain and control animals, coupled with a failure to recognize their suffering." According to another study, the distinguishing feature is that a hoarder "fails to provide the animals with adequate food, water, sanitation, and veterinary care, and... is in denial about this inability to provide adequate care.


Animal hoarding impacts communities across the U.S. on a daily basis with approximately 3,500 reported new cases discovered each year. However, there are many cases that go unreported. There are approximately 250,000 reported animals that are victims of animal hoarding every year. However, there are many cases that go unreported. Animal hoarding in adults often is triggered by an event or situation such as the loss of or stress in a relationship, economic hardship or a major health issue. Animal hoarders have also been known to hoard objects; approximately 40 percent of object hoarders also hoard animals.


Animal hoarders often fall into one of the following three categories but can sometimes exhibit characteristics across categories:


- The Overwhelmed Caregiver: The overwhelmed caregiver initially provides adequate care for the animals and believes that while a problem has slowly developed, it's not as serious as others think it is. The overwhelmed caregiver may be socially isolated but is willing to accept intervention.


- The Rescuer Hoarder: The rescuer hoarder develops a compulsion based on a strong desire to rescue animals from possibly deadly situations. He/she actively acquires animals and believes no one else is capable of caring for them. Often working with a network of enablers, the rescuer hoarder gains proximity to the animals and finds it difficult to refuse taking in any new animals.


- The Exploiter Hoarder: The exploiter hoarder takes in animals to serve his/her own needs and is indifferent to any harm caused to the animals. Typically denying a problem exists, this type of hoarder rejects authority figures or any outside help and has a strong need to be in control while expressed very little remorse or guilt. The exploiter hoarder may continue to acquire animals over time.


- The Breeder Hoarder initially breeds animals for sale and becomes overwhelmed with the amount of care they require and the sheer number of animals in the home. This type of hoarder doesn't recognize the severity of the conditions to which the animals are subjected.


Individuals at the beginning stages of hoarding exhibit some ability

 to care for their animals. If they are aware a problem is developing, they are unable to correct it. Therefore, conditions for the animals continue to deteriorate.



Cut Clutter: Two Ways to Put Your Inbox on a Diet

 Excerpts By Walter Mossberg, Wall Street Journal June 26, 2103


Do you have two much stuff in your email inbox? Walt Mossberg reviews Mailstrom and Sizzle, both of which are web-based services to help you clean out junk mail and other unwanted inbox clutter. 


Lots of people feel they're drowning in email, with swollen inboxes that make it hard to pinpoint important messages in a sea of annoying marketing mail and unwanted newsletters.


Some major email players have tried to improve the situation. Google's GOOG +0.41% Gmail now has a "Priority Inbox" feature that uses algorithms to help highlight important messages. Apple's Mail program lets you designate important senders as "VIPs" with their own folder. And Microsoft's MSFT +0.09% (formerly Hotmail) has a "Sweep" feature for easier deletion of unwanted emails.


Some new programs try a more brute-force approach, analyzing inboxes from many email services and letting you delete large batches of unwanted messages with a single click. They also make it easy to unsubscribe from mailing lists. This week, I tested two, both free and from startups: Mailstrom and Swizzle.

Neither are email programs, like Outlook or Apple Mail, designed as your primary way to receive and send email. They are complementary tools, meant to be used periodically to chop down the size of an inbox. Both are Web-based though Swizzle plans a mobile version soon.


Even though both make mass deletion and unsubscribing simple, they do take some effort and time to use. You have to study their analysis of what's in your inbox and choose which senders or topics merit mass deletion or unsubscribing. I found the effort was worth it. Right away, I used Mailstrom to get rid of around 22,000 emails in about half an hour. The feeling of satisfaction was huge.


The two programs are quite different. Mailstrom attacks all your email, including messages from individuals, businesses and list blasters. Swizzle is tuned to just highlight marketing email, like offers for goods and services. Swizzle also suggests other marketing email you might want to start receiving. It offers to send these to you in a less annoying way, bundled into a "Daily Digest."

Mailstrom says it only downloads the subject line and metadata of emails. Swizzle says it only analyzes the bodies of emails to detect if they're marketing messages.


I much preferred Mailstrom because it gave me a more comprehensive, detailed analysis of my inbox and because my mission was to reduce all email clutter. Swizzle's offers to send me new email-even compressed into a Daily Digest-would add to the inbox.


Both programs share some disappointing downsides. For technical reasons, neither works with most company email systems, which typically use Microsoft's Exchange service. Neither works with Microsoft's online email service,, still usually called Hotmail. Nor do they work with email services that use a back-end system called "POP" or "POP3,"used by services like EarthLink, that doesn't synchronize what's deleted among devices.


Read rest of the article at:

WSJ Article


Honesty is its own reward.--Anonymous


Walk in peace.



The Shulman Center 2013 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:





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:  




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:



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 ShulmanJD, 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).