Celebrating 20 years
Quotes of the Month
can't hide your true colors as you approach the autumn of your
"Fall is the season for
enjoying the fullness of life--partaking of the harvest, sharing it
with others, and saving and reinvesting portions of it for another
season of growth."-Dennis Waitley
may change with the seasons but the seasons will not change
Stats of the Month
you ever cheat on a test or exam?
most students cheat at least once? 70% said yes
Rasmussen Reports, July 2012 (1,000 adults)
don't have a monthly budget because:
not worth my time (23%)
tried and it doesn't work (19%)
don't have time (18%)
spend all my earnings each month (17%)
AARP Bulletin 2012 (1,019 adults)
Kropp, age 16
BRANCH, MI -- Cheers erupted and cameras flashed Friday as Whitney
Kropp stepped onto her high school football field as a star.
overwhelmed," she said later, with flowers in her hair and the
straps on her red, ruffled dress sparkling under the stadium lights.
a 16-year-old sophomore, made headlines this month when she decided to
join Ogemaw Heights High School's home-coming court, despite being
nominated as a joke. Many people around West Branch, as well as across
the country, praised her courage, embraced her anti-bullying message.
Books of the Month:
The Righteous Mind:
Good People Are Divided by Politics And Religion by Jonathan
in time for election season, this fascinating book by psychologist and
professor Jonathan Haidt examines where our political and religious
beliefs come from and concludes that they mostly evolve based on our
individual personality types.
various experiments and studies he posits that people who lean more
liberal are, indeed, more open-minded and less fear-based whereas
people who lean more conservative tend to prefer consistency, order,
and are more anxiety-influenced.
author doesn't take sides but helps us see that liberals and
conservatives both have similar values such as fairness and justice
but that they tend to interpret what those values mean and look like
in the world.
book attempts to explain why we, as a society, have become more
polarized than ever and sheds light on a potential path for us to
begin to see the "other" not as bad or crazy but, rather, as
the yin or yang side of the whole.
in the middle of reading this book and highly recommend it to learn
simple, effective ways to express our needs to others and to hear
others' needs and to learn conflict resolution skills. Mr. Rosenberg
has written a couple of other books on this topic. See article in this
Secret World of Recovery" (Directed by Leslie and Lindsay Glass,
for a 2012 Voice Award, this film is directed by a mother-daughter
team and is one of the first documentaries to show how the progressive
journey of recovery is working for people in many stage of recovery
and socio-economic groups across America.
people in recovery, along with addiction leaders and family
professionals, explain the critical components that go into long-term
recovery and what families need to do to heal.
film sets the state for a new genre of movies and entertainment that
focus not on the dark and hopeless sides of addiction but, rather, on
solutions and the positive realities of recovery today.
Shulman Center on the move and in the news...
Shulman was interviewed on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding
and men's issues in therapy on metro-Detroit radio by Body, Mind,
Spirit Guide. See: Interview
(Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous) metro-Detroit celebrated
its 20-year anniversary.
Mr. Shulman was interviewed on compulsive theft, spending &
hoarding on Blog Talk Radio. See: Interview
Shulman was quoted in an online article about shopping addiction for
Fox Business News. See article: Article
Shulman attended and presented on compulsive theft, spending &
hoarding at the National Conference on Addictive Disorders in
Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on hoarding disorder in
Royal Oak, Michigan. See: Health Fair
Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on hoarding disorder in
Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Shulman will be presenting on hoarding disorder and its costs at the
Association of Financial Counselors, Planners and Educators in St.
Louis, MO. See: www.afcpe.org
Shulman will be talking about and presenting his book in the
Metro-Detroit Jewish Book Fair.
20th Anniversary Celebration
September 12, 2012, C.A.S.A. (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters
Anonymous) celebrated its 20th anniversary of existence in
metro-Detroit. When I started this local support group in late 1992,
there was only one or two such groups in the U.S. based on my best-research
(and both have since folded long ago). I'd shown up 14 consecutive
weeks before our first new member finally showed up. I'm glad I hung
in there! Now, we have five local weekly meetings in
metro-Detroit--we've seen an estimated 2,000 people over the last 20
years--and about 15 other meetings throughout the U.S. But we still
have a long way to go.
had 35 members, including some I hadn't seen in a while.
had great food, a cake with 21 candles, and powerful sharing.
gave a 15 minute open talk near the start of the meeting modeled
after Clint Eastwood's recent "performance" at the
Republican National Convention. Standing behind a podium with an
empty chair to my right, I used the chair to illustrate the following:
The empty chair as pure potential--there were just empty chairs
before I even started CASA;
The empty chair to represent the many empty chairs at our first 14
meetings in late 1992 before people started trickling in;
The empty chair in remembrance of a few of our early members who
brought leadership to our group who are no longer living or with us
and those we just haven't seen in a while and wonder how they're
The empty chair for several current members who were in the room who
chose to take on a leadership role;
The empty chair to symbolize the friends and family who have
supported our recoveries whether they've attended our meetings or
not (some have);
The empty chair to symbolize the newcomer to the group (we had two
new young members at their first meeting); and
Finally, the empty chair to symbolize those who either don't know
that CASA exists or who are not yet ready to step through our doors
and take a seat in one of our chairs in our circle.
A Report on
NCAD's Fall Conference in Orlando
the last four days, my wife Tina and I have been in Orlando,
Florida. No, we weren't visiting Micky. Minnie and The Magic
Kingdom, but we were headquartered just down the road at The Gaylord
Palms Resort and Convention Center where I attended the Annual
National Conference on Addiction Disorders. It's always a treat to
attend conferences such as these where I get to meet fellow
addiction treatment professionals from across our country and attend
various presentations. I also was honored to present to nearly 100
attendees on my work with compulsive stealing, spending and
hoarding. There were many good questions, especially about hoarding
disorder. I hope to attend the next conference in Anaheim,
California in September 2013.
stops: October 10 and 11 to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the National
Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program conference which will focus on
helping lawyers and judges with alcohol, drug and gambling problems
as well as mental illness in general. I hope to impress upon the
need to assess and treat legal professionals who suffer from
compulsive stealing, spending and hoarding...
onto St. Louis, Missouri November 14-16 for the Annual Conference
for The Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education
where I'll present on the financial impact of hoarding disorder on
individuals, families, and communities.
Day in The Judicial System
a week ago, I was in court to give a judge expert mental health
testimony at the sentencing of a 40-year old female client (and
mother of two) who was facing a likely 3-10 year prison sentence for
her 7th shoplifting arrest in the last 10 years. Her sentencing had
been postponed from an earlier date because the judge wanted me to
come to court to educate him about kleptomania/shoplifting addiction
before he passed sentence.
my having had a web presence for nearly 15 yeas, my client had only found
out about my specialized counseling services and local C.A.S.A.
support groups about six months ago through an Internet search. She
had several sessions with me and began attending C.A.S.A. shortly
after her 6th arrest and, unfortunately, was arrested again in the
early stages of treatment with me. She ended up working with another
therapist and was placed on new meds--both of which made a great
difference. Like most of my clients, "Sheila" was smart
(she founded and owned two small businesses), caring (she nurtured
two children as a single Mom and treated her employees like family),
and continued to suffer from unresolved loss and trauma and
chronically low self-esteem.
arrived at court at 8:30am; my client, her family, and her attorney
arrived within a half hour. After waiting an hour of for the judge
to take the bench, we waited nearly a half hour longer for our case
to be called. The attorney spoke eloquently on her behalf. Then he
told the judge that I was present--as the judge had requested over a
introduced myself, gave a brief recount of my credentials and
background, and explained that I had seen my client, the defendant,
about four times total as well as many times at our local C.A.S.A.
meeting. I assured him that I was not meaning to excuse her behavior
nor did we expect there to be no consequences for it. But I did tell
him that she was quite typical of the hundreds of clients I'd
treated over the last decade and that, in my professional opinion,
she suffered from kleptomania, depression, OCD and, what I referred
to as "shoplifting addiction." I distinguished her
stealing from that of shoplifters who steal more for economic need
or greed or to support an underlying addiction such as to alcohol,
drugs, and gambling. I spoke about how much I've seen her grow and
change since continuing therapy, C.A.S.A. meetings, and changing her
then asked to approach the bench and gave him a copy of my book
"Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and
Recovery" along with my business card, brochure, our C.A.S.A.
meeting flyer, and my latest evaluation letter.
some closing remarks from the attorney, my client spoke haltingly,
choking back tears. She offered an apology, took responsibility for
her behavior, and shared from her heart that, for the first time in
her life, she felt hope, she felt on the right track, she felt
different about herself. The courtroom was hushed as she spoke and
as she ended.
judge then began to explain that he had to balance his duty to
punish, deter, and protect the community. He asked if her
shoplifting behavior was, indeed, like an addiction then why
shouldn't he treat her like a 7th time drunk driving offender who,
despite having a known disease, typically would be looking at a lengthy
prison term. Her attorney replied that drunk drivers are more of a
threat to physically harming others and that kleptomania was similar
to but not exactly like alcoholism.
judge didn't seem entirely convinced. I began to think my appearance
hadn't helped the case much. But, by some miracle, the judge ruled
that he was sentencing Sheila to 2 weeks in the county jail and the
rest of a 1-year period on electronic tether/home monitoring. While
it was hard to hear that my client would have to see the inside of a
jail cell, it was a great victory. She wouldn't lose her business or
her kids, and she would have the opportunity to continue with her
meds, her therapy, and her C.A.S.A. group in due time.
the sheriff handcuffed Sheila and put her in the jury box to await
processing, I caught her eye and gave her the thumbs up. In the
hallway, her attorney, family and I huddled and discussed the
sentence. All were grateful she had dodged a bullet. One can only
pray that when she gets out of jail in a week that she continues to
stay on the right track one day at a time. If she doesn't, I'm not
sure anyone will be able to save her.
A Few Words
you live under a rock, you probably heard the news in the last
couple of weeks about presidential candidate Mitt Romney's
hidden-camera remarks in which he, essentially, called the 47% of
Americans who don't pay (federal) income tax "victims" who
are "dependent upon the government to take care of them"
and who feel (basically) "entitled to health care, food,
housing, you name it" (everything). Well, this got me thinking
more broadly about "victimhood," "dependency,"
and "entitlement" in my field of addiction/recovery and
had to admit, that there have been times in the past and, sometimes
recently, where I've felt like a victim to my perceived abuses,
neglects, cruelties, and unfairnesses I've suffered. As a still
recovering addict, I remember how dependent I have been on stealing,
caretaking others, and other addictive patterns to numb my pain and
get me through the day. I still struggle, at times, with a sense of
entitlement to get something for nothing or to have special
treatment or support given my suffering and my sacrifices. And while
I do need to be firm with myself at times when I'm in my
victimhood/dependency/entitlement states, I also need to treat
myself with compassion, too. They call it "tough love" for
a reason--there's still love in it--not condescension and
conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks recently wrote
about research supporting the theory that most people who are
brought up in the cauldron of family dysfunction, trauma, and other
losses have natural challenges to just picking themselves up by
their bootstraps. Some excerpts:
link between childhood trauma and adult outcomes was
striking.... In Paul Tough's essential book, "How Children
Succeed," he describes what's going on. Childhood stress can
have long lasting neural effects, making it harder to exercise
self-control, focus attention, delay gratification and do many of
the other things that contribute to a happy life.
book is part of what you might call the psychologizing of domestic
policy. In the past several decades, policy makers have focused on
the material and bureaucratic things that correlate to school
failure, like poor neighborhoods, bad nutrition, schools that are
too big or too small. But, more recently, attention has shifted to
the psychological reactions that impede learning - the ones that
flow from insecure relationships, constant movement and economic
has shifted toward the psychological for several reasons. First,
it's become increasingly clear that social and emotional deficits
can trump material or even intellectual progress.
are now casting about, trying to find psychological programs that
will help students work on resilience, equanimity and self-control.
Some schools give two sets of grades - one for academic work and one
it's not just schools that are veering deeper into the psychological
realms. Health care systems are going the same way, tracing obesity
and self-destructive habits back to social breakdown and stress.
you look over the domestic policy landscape, you see all these
different people in different policy silos with different budgets:
in health care, education, crime, poverty, social mobility and labor
force issues. But, in their disjointed ways, they are all dealing
with the same problem - that across vast stretches of America,
economic, social and family breakdowns are producing enormous
amounts of stress and unregulated behavior, which dulls motivation,
undermines self-control and distorts lives.
it's time for people in all these different fields to get together
in a room and make a concerted push against the psychological
barriers to success.
Center 2012 Events Calendar
5--Mr. Shulman was interviewed on compulsive theft,
spending and hoarding on metro-Detroit radio by Body, Mind, Spirit
12--C.A.S.A. (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous)
metro-Detroit celebrated 20-year anniversary.
15--Mr. Shulman was interviewed on compulsive theft,
spending & hoarding on Blog Talk Radio.
28--October 2--Mr. Shulman attended and presented on compulsive
theft, spending & hoarding at the National Conference on
Addictive Disorders in Orlando, Florida.
17--Mr. Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on
hoarding disorder in Royal Oak, Michigan.
1--Mr. Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on
hoarding disorder in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
14-16--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on hoarding disorder
and its costs at the Association of Financial Counselors,
Professionals and Educators in St. Louis, MO.
18--Mr. Shulman will be talking about and presenting
his book in the Metro-Detroit Jewish Book Fair.
Shulman will have an article on compulsive theft, spending &
hoarding in Counselor Magazine.
Shulman has penned the "Foreword" for upcoming book Shoplifters:
Are They Out of Control? by California forensic
psychologist John C. Brady.
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.
Shulman created a 1-hour employee theft online course with 360
Training. Learn why
people steal from their jobs, how to deter it, prevent it, and what
to do when confronted with it. Enroll at: http://theshulmancenter.360training.com
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:http://www.americanpsychotherapy.com
YOUR NEW YEAR with MONEY LIFE-COACHING!
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:
CONSULTING AND EDUCATION ON FRAUD
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.
Eve Cantor, a 30-something professional organizer in the New York
City area offers in-person and Skype coaching for women in need of
assistance with their wardrobe and clutter. See Eve's wonderful
website and video at www.shopyourcloset.com
VOICE ANALYSIS LOSS PREVENTION TOOL
Colburn, of Vancouver, British Columbia has been in the loss
prevention field for many years and recently was trained in Israel
to work with layered voice analysis technology. LVA allows
interviewers (and interrogators) to accurately determine a subject's
truthfulness or evasiveness. See: www.elitelva.ca
MONEY SHIFT (Book, Board Game and Seminars)
Palka, CFP, a metro-Detroit area financial planner, and I recently
met. He's worked in finances for over 25 years and has written a
book, developed a board game, and offers seminars on transforming
our thinking about money and wealth. See his website at www.themoneyshift.com
RETURNS Court-orderd Programs for Shoplifting
Richardson, LMSW, of Joplin, Missouri recently contacted me and we
had a long-talk by telephone. Terry worked in the correctional
system before returning to school to obtain his MSW. In 2003 he was
approached and soon founded the first court-ordered program for
theft offenders in Joplin, MO. It seems this small town was
experiencing a steady rise in shoplifting and Terry developed a
program that has made a real dent in shoplifting and has helped
countless shoplifters of all backgrounds. His program is available
for sale. See: www.positivereturnsprogram.com
for purchase now!
Addiction and Recovery (2003)
The Hand That Feeds:
Employee Theft Epidemic... New Perspectives, New Solutions (2005)
Out and $pent!
from Compulsive $hopping/$pending (2008)
Lives, Empty Souls:
Stealing, Spending and Hoarding (2011)
Contact The Shulman Center:
Daryl Shulman, JD,
LMSW, ACSW, CAADC, CPC
The Shulman Center for
Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding
358-8508 for a free