The Shulman Center

Terrence Daryl Shulman
Founder/Director of
The Shulman Center

Terry Shulman

September 2009 Monthly e-Newsletter

Falling Forward Into Change and Transformation
by Terrence Daryl Shulman

2009 has certainly been a year of change for many of us on many levels. Change can feel particularly jarring when it seems to arrive not of our own conscious choices. Change can be frightening when we have to change our beliefs as well as our actual modes of operating. We need new paradigms for meeting change--individually and collectively--if we are to evolve. We may have to change our ways of "doing business as usual"--in our actual businesses as well as in our relationships, managing our health, and in other dimensions of our lives.

We have a tendency toward complacency and settling back into old routines, whether this is the case with addiction relapses or old ways of thinking. As we approach the 8th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, we might recall how--for a short period of time--we felt that event "changed everything." Yet, I suspect for most of us, life eventually went on and we returned to the more trivial, mundane and essential concerns of our own particular lives.

As we approach September and fall--the season of change--we may either be resisting change or hoping and praying for change. Or maybe a little of both. As summer fades and we naturally begin to turn inward with the fading temperatures, we might as well embrace or allow ourselves to "fall forward" into transformation. After all, life is calling us forward not backward.

I just started reading parts of Neale Donald Walsch's new book When Everything Changes, Change Everything.

In his book, Walsch talks about how change can feel threatening to our very notions of safety and security. However, change is also inevitable ("the only thing that is certain is change"). Change is how we grow. The only question is whether we evolve or regress. Sometimes it seems we need to regress before we evolve.

Walsch defines change this way: "Change is the shifting of any circumstance, situation, or condition, physical or non-physical, in such a way that the original is rendered not merely different from what it was, but altered so radically as to make it utterly unrecognizable and impossible to return to anything resembling its former state."

Does this resonate with you?

Real change, thus, can feel like death: death of the former self.

Eckhart Tolle, in his books The Power of Now and A New Earth, uses the term "pain-body" to describe "a negative energy field that occupies your body and mind... and which has two modes: active and dormant." The pain-body can be activated through stressful times, "in intimate relationships, or situations linked with past loss or abandonment, physical or emotional hurt, and so on... The pain-body wants to survive, just like every other entity in existence, and it can only survive if it gets you to unconsciously identify with it. It can then rise up, take you over, 'become you,' and live through you... Pain can only feed upon pain. Pain cannot feed on joy... You are not conscious of this, of course, and will vehemently deny that you want pain."

Tolle goes on to speak about how to approach dissolving or transmuting the pain-body. He states we can only do so by acknowledging its existence and by continuing to observe it and have compassion for it. This is true when we are dealing with addictions which are akin to pain-bodies themselves as they wrap themselves around us and trap us in fear and distorted thinking which leads to the relative inability to step out of our dramas to see the truth of who we really are and the options and choices we have. Indeed, the word addiction comes from a Latin word meaning "to imprison."

Speaking of prison, one of the most dramatic ways in which we imprison ourselves is through living secret lives. Therefore, one of the most dramatic ways we can find new freedom may be to take a risk by sharing intimately with someone something we have previously kept secret. Vulnerability is actually strength--not usually how we think or operate. In my counseling work with clients as well as in my own participation in recovery self-help groups, I regularly witness the struggle people have in "coming clean" about their history of stealing and/or overspending. I have been there myself. I just learned that a friend in longtime recovery still hasn't told her spouse about her addiction history. While it is certainly her choice, I can only imagine the pain, fear, and shame she holds closely inside of her. 

Recently, I assisted a couple of clients with coming "out of the shadows" by revealing the extent of their secret lives with their respective spouses. In each case, it was frightening and liberating. The relief each client expressed at having such a load off their shoulders is why I do the work I do. In each case, real change and transformation now becomes possible. One of my favorite sayings is "we're only as sick as our secrets."

So, in what ways do you feel change beckoning you? Health? Finances? Employment? Relationships? Moving? New projects or goals? Remember: we can resist or welcome change; nothing stagnant grows.

Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous to Celebrate 17-year Anniversary on September 9, 2009!

It is with pride that I announce the upcoming 17-year anniversary of the C.A.S.A. (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous) self-help group and the 9-year anniversary of the CASA-online self-help group (reformatted in 2003 but started in late 2000). Our metro-Detroit area group, founded in 1992, appears to be the oldest ongoing self-help group of its kind. C.A.S.A. has four metro-Detroit chapters. Self-help groups are typically defined as groups run by members rather than outside facilitators. Currently, C.A.S.A. (and similarly named groups) have 4 additional chapters which meet weekly by phone as well as 12 live groups throughout the U.S. There is an online group sponsored by a member in Mexico and there are groups offered in Canada through the Elizabeth Fry Society. Several groups have folded over the years as well.

See for information about self-help group meetings.

We have a way to go before we have self-help groups in every state, let alone every major city, but we continue to hold the vision for this. If you are interested in either starting a local meeting chapter or contributing in some way to assisting this process, we invite you to read the books "Something for Nothing" or "Biting The Hand That Feeds" or to contact us by e-mail or phone.

Second Chance for Shoplifters: Program Gives Them Opportunity to Clear Their Records 

By George Pyle
News Business Reporter
August 8, 2009

A single mother, troubled after having lost her job in the down economy, signs up for a class that meets at a local community college. A common sight these days. A single mother, troubled after having lost her job in the down economy, signs up for a class that meets at a local community college. A common sight these days.

But, this time, the point was not to sharpen her job skills. It was to sweep away her one criminal act — walking out of a Buffalo-area supermarket with a cart full of unpaid groceries — the memory of which still pains her.

"When they put the handcuffs on me, it hurt," Kate said. "And they didn't care. I'm used to being the good citizen that the cop is taking care of. But this time, I guess, I was the criminal."

Facing the fact that shoplifting is a crime — and not a victimless crime — is the point of the class that Kate (not her real name) graduated from recently.

The Stop Shoplifting Education Program is operated by the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York and Child and Family Services. Successfully completing the three-hour class, doing 25 hours of community service and staying out of legal trouble for six months will give her back her clean criminal record...

See rest of article at: 

Debt Collectors Accused of Scamming and Harassment

PRLog (Press Release) -- Aug 05, 2009 -- Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about would-be debt collectors who call "payday" loan holders, threatening arrest if they don't pay immediately.

A payday loan, also known as a paycheck advance, is a short-term cash advance intended to cover expenses until the holder's next payday.

The callers claim they are lawyers with the "Financial Accountability Association" or the "Federal Legislation of Unsecured Loans," and they are armed with stolen personal information from their victims, indicating a major security breach of unknown origin. The names used by the scammers may change with time.

According to Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti, payday loan holders appear to be particularly at risk.

"Because the scammers have so much information about potential victims, BBB is concerned that this may be the result of a data breach.  Thousands of people may have had their personal information compromised."

Reports received by Better Business Bureau and posted online explain the con artists threaten the loan holders of defaulting and claim they are being sued.  The imposters threaten the loan holders with imminent arrest and extradition to California to stand trial, unless they immediately wire $1000 or provide bank account or credit card information.

Connecticut Better Business Bureau has advice for consumers who receive suspicious telephone calls about an outstanding debt:

-Don't be bullied into immediate action.  Ask the debt collector to provide official documentation that substantiates the debt.

-Do not provide or confirm any bank account, credit card or other personal information over the telephone until you confirm the legitimacy of the call.

-If you believe a debt collector is trying to scam you, file an abuse complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at www., or by telephone at (202) 326-2222.
Also file a complaint with your Better Business Bureau at or by telephone at 203-269-2700, extension 2.

NOTE: The New York Attorney General--as well as several other State's Attorneys General--are also suing certain debt collectors who are calling up people and harrassing and threatening them which is against the law.

Lawsuit update:

I was deposed for nearly 7 hours on August 25th. It was pretty grueling and exhausting but I feel I held up pretty well. We didn't get to fully complete the deposition due to time limits but we got through most of it. Some further questions may need to be asked under oath by telephone in the near future and then my attorney has the right to ask some questions of me on re-direct for clarification; we still have to complete one earlier deposition we took in New York this way. In both cases, some further documents need to be furnished by both sides. Also, there is one other deposition scheduled for September 11th by phone—the Plaintiff is deposing an ancillary witness—a loss prevention person in California—and my attorney and I will be attending at my attorney's office by teleconference. So, the bulk of the depositions are done but not complete.  

If you are interested in supporting our cause and in defending against this current lawsuit, please contact us with any words of support or financial contributions @ e-mail address:

Compulsive Theft & Spending in the news! August/September 2009:

Mr. Shulman created an online continuing education course on compulsive shopping and spending based on his book and Power Point presentation through the American Psychotherapy Association. This course is available for purchase by APA members and non-members alike.

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

September 12--Mr. Shulman will be speaking at The Men of Today monthly meeting at Renaissance Unity Church on the topic "Reclaiming Our Soul and Authentic Power in Tough Times."

Mr. Shulman was interviewed by NOW Cable TV Network in Hong Kong (China) on compulsive shopping and spending in America.

Mr. Shulman has created an online course on employee theft and ethics in the workplace for 360 Training to be online soon. See

August - September--Mr. Shulman's articles featured on Corporate Combat's monthly loss prevention e-Newsletters. See

Beyond September...

Mr. Shulman continues to work as a consultant on a new TV program about compulsive shopping and spending, currently in development.

Fall 2009: Mr. Shulman will have published an article on compulsive shopping and spending in Paradigm Magazine which is affiliated with Proctor Hospital and The Illinois Institute for Addiction and Recovery.

October 6--Mr. Shulman will be giving a free talk at The Costick Center in Farmington Hills, MI about compulsive shopping and spending.

October 14-16--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on compulisve theft and spending at The American Psychotherapy Associations Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV.

October 23 and 25--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on compulsive theft and spending at 2 day-long seminars presented by The Jewish Family Services in the metro-Detroit area.

November 5-8--Mr. Shulman will be presenting a 3 hour workshop on compulsive theft and spending at the Annual Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS) in Palm Desert, CA.

Mr. Shulman is consulting on the development of a major motion picture tentatively called "The Rush" in which the lead character is addicted to shoplifting and stealing.

Mr. Shulman submitted a chapter on employee theft for a U.K. book entitled "Risky Business" to be released in late 2009.

November--Mr. Shulman will be featured in a Toronto-based magazine article on compulsive shopping and spending.

December 1--WETV (Women's Entertainment TV) will be airing a segment on women who compulsively shop and spend in which Mr. Shulman was interviewed working with a woman in Bosie, Idaho.

December--CBC Television in Canada will be airing a segment on shoplifting addiction in which Mr. Shulman appears along with the Detroit area C.A.S.A. support group.

Mr. Shulman continues to assist the Kingman, Arizona court system with his court-ordered homestudy program for retail fraud offenders. The program is based on material from his book "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery" (2003).

Contact The Shulman Center

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


Call (248) 358-8508 for free consulation!

Related sites by Terrence Shulman:
The Shulman Center
Cleptomaniacs and Shoplifters Anonymous

Something For Nothing
Biting The Hand That Feeds
Bought Out and $pent

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.

Click here to purchase

E-mail Mr. Shulman:


Call (248) 358-8508