The Shulman Center

Terrence Shulman
Founder/Director of
The Shulman Center

Terry Shulman

December 2010 Monthly e-Newsletter
"True Gratitude"
By Terrence Daryl Shulman

           Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings and a Good New Year to All!

The Shulman Center offers special discounted holiday relapse prevention phone counseling "tune-ups." Please contact us to find out how we can help your holidays be safe and successful!

November 25--Mr. Shulman to be featured in The New York Post on shopping addiction and the holidays. See 

Check out our new 1-hour employee theft online course. Learn why people commit employee theft, how to deter it, and what to do when confronted with it. See

Check out our new short uploaded web-videos on shoplifting addiction, employee theft, and compulsive shopping/spending at and also on YouTube under "The Shulman Center" at

Check out our websites on hoarding at &



Is your glass half full or half empty?

For many of us, it's hard enough to really soak in a sense of gratitude when things are going well in our lives. More so, how many of us can find any gratitude when we're going through tougher times? It's plenty challenging to appreciate them in retrospect--even when we survived and learned a valuable lesson or two. But this, to me, is what true gratitude is about.

With Thanksgiving upon us and the other holidays following in quick succession, I've begun to search my mind and heart for feelings and declarations of gratitude. I notice I experience gratitude both as an "inward appreciation" and an "outward pouring out" which seems to prompt me to give back. I know there are "big things" and "little things" I'm feeling grateful for and I notice I feel much more deserving of good things in my life today than I used to--I'm especially grateful for this!

I'm grateful for my wife, my family, my friends, my work, my income, my home, my car, my health, my recovery. I'm grateful for the two doggies I've been watching the last week. I'm grateful for the sun when it's out and even the gray clouds which increasingly cover the southeastern Michigan skies as fall turns to winter. Oh, and I'm grateful for my TV--though I do have to ration my viewing!

When I reflect on my life at this time last year, I had felt anything but grateful: I was embroiled in a year-long lawsuit which cost much time, energy and money; I felt estranged from loved ones; and I worried how I would pay my attorneys' and other bills in the near future. It was probably the hardest time of my life. However, as the saying goes: "this too shall pass." The lawsuit settled, my relationships have progressed if not fully healed, and the bills (including the attorneys') got paid. Then, and only then, did I feel grateful or, at least, relieved. 

Today, I feel grateful there is less drama and stress and less financial insecurity than a year ago. Some, I recognize, are not as fortunate. Especially with today's economy, the holiday season can be an especially sensitive time. And yet, here we all are, living in an increasingly volatile world.

In retrospect, as much as I went through most of last year kicking and screaming, I truly appreciate how much my eyes were opened and how I've made important changes in my life which were long overdue. I've learned to set better boundaries, I've expanded my recovery, I've learned how abundant I am despite weathering a financial crisis virtually alone, and I have a deepened appreciation for those who stepped up to emotionally support me. In a sense, I'm more grateful today than I was a year ago because of the pain and drama I experienced. I'm not just grateful I survived, I'm even more grateful I've thrived!

Recently a woman at a recovery meeting said "I'm not sure if I'm grateful for my addiction but I'm sure the heck grateful for my recovery!" Many have even shared about "the gift of cancer." Tough times can make us stronger. But there's nothing that says we have to go through tough times alone. Reach out--even if it hurts and we don't get what we want or feel we need.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I want to be put through the ringer constantly just to learn and grow. But life will throw us curve balls anyway and it's sure hard to appreciate much when you're striking out! But, eventually, we learn to hit the curve balls--or at least let a few go by without swinging. We're all being called forth to heal, grow, change, and evolve. We can fight it kicking and screaming or learn, step-by-step, to see it all through, grateful that we can do so.

What are you truly grateful for?


by Charles Swindoll

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than the facts. It is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes."


1. Take things one day at a time/one hour at a time/one moment at a time.
2. Stay out of the stores and don't buy into the spending frenzy
3. Get extra exposure to sunlight, full-spectrum light bulbs, and Vitamin D
4. Exercise indoors and/or outdoors
5. Ration your "comfort food"
6. Spend time with friends and/or family members who uplift you rather than drain your energy
7. Get extra rest (but don't overdo it!)
8. Catch up on cleaning, organizing and unfinished projects
9. Play games, read, do puzzles, be creative
10. Slow down and make time for solitude and self-reflection, healing and personal growth


I/we give/receive love...

I/we give/receive compassion...

I/we experience patience...

I/we embrace our true power...

I/we embrace our true wisdom...

I/we accept ourselves and others...

I/we experience stillness...

I/we embrace true abundance...

I/we share our gifts with humanity...

I/we rejoice in nature's beauty and harmony...

I/we know peace.


Terry Shulman provides a unique glimpse into the minds and hearts of shoplifters and dishonest employees. Terry's personal work as a recovering theft addict combined with his training as a therapist and an attorney give him a rare perspective into the world of theft in the workplace. I have found his material extremely helpful in training both managers and investigators as it allows me to communicate the widespread prevalence of employee theft while putting a human perspective on the experiences of those who commit dishonest and fraudulent actions against retail companies.

Frank Borecki, CFI
Senior Manager, Investigations
Radio Shack


Success in the Workplace...

Excerpts from the 2010 Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces (November 2010). These kinds of practices also help deter and reduce employee theft which is on the rise nationwide. See full article:

Employees with a common goal overachieve...

People are happiest when pushing themselves hard -- and being challenged by bosses and coworkers to push even harder. That's one consistent message from reading through comments of workers at the 105 Michigan employers recognized in the 2010 Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces survey, and interviewing several executives.

Uncommon incentives keep workers motivated...

Microsoft's Donna Bank-Hoglen put in extra hours one weekend to wrap up end-of-fiscal-year matters. The following Monday, the operations and community manager got a bonus.

Little things matter to employees...

A few months after starting a new job at Quicken Loans, Jennifer Rass discovered a small white envelope in her mail from CEO Bill Emerson addressed to her son, Ethan. He had just turned 3. The envelope contained a $10 bill and a birthday card. Company Chairman and Founder Dan Gilbert and Emerson signed the card; Emerson drew a smiley face next to his name.

Respect aids staff growth...

After an operating room nurse died from a heart attack in September, the staff at UnaSource Surgery Center immediately took up a collection for his family. They wanted to ease the burden for his wife and 16-year-old son. Colleagues ordered food and delivered it to the family's house; they rescheduled surgeries for the afternoon of the funeral so staff could pay their respects.

Perks keep morale high at Michigan's top workplaces...

This year's Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces survey shows that the best employers have refused to let a difficult economy distract them from their focus on employee satisfaction.


Excerpts from an article by The Street (See

resident Sue Van Glanden is so committed to shopping on Black Friday that she's celebrating Thanksgiving a day early this year.

having Thanksgiving on Wednesday, so I'll have the whole day Thursday to rest up, get online to do research and check Twitter," Van Glanden says, adding that she plans to hit three or four major department stores before 9 a.m. Friday. "I am a seasoned comparison shopper, so I'll only go after the very best deals for what I was planning to buy this season."

Van Glanden isn't alone in her quest for bargains. The National Retail Federation estimates that Black Friday bargains will entice approximately 138 million consumers to hit stores during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, an increase of 4 million people over last year.

Millions of Americans will brave long lines, overcrowded stores and early morning winter weather in the hopes of scoring the best deals this season. But is the added effort actually worth it?

According to experts, not really.

"Black Friday is a promotion and retailers rally around it," Regina Lewis, who works as a consumer adviser for AOL says, adding that you don't need to shop on Black Friday to get the best deals.

And according to Brad Wilson, founder of the popular deals websites and, even when retailers offer top bargains the day after Thanksgiving, the chances of actually scoring them are slim to none.

"You're really looking at a short window opportunity, from about 4 a.m., when the stores first open, until 12 p.m. to get the best deals," Wilson says. After that, stores typically sell all the discounted items and their advertised prices go back up. The idea, Wilson says, is for consumers who missed out on door-buster sales to spend on items that weren't on their wish lists.

"About 95% of all the deals you find in stores are being offered online," Wilson says, citing Best Buy's plan to honor all of its stores' Black Friday prices on its website. Last year, Bath and Body Works, New York and Co. and actually offered their deepest discounts online.

And, experts say, even when retailers have better offers waiting inside their brick-and-mortar stores, the savings don't usually justify the early morning retail run.

Exposing these Black Friday myths isn't likely to dissuade shoppers from lining up outside their favorite stores the day after Thanksgiving. After all, according to Juliano Laran, a marketing professor at the University of Miami and consumer behavior specialist, the lure of deals is actually a secondary trigger. What really drives the consumers in droves is the social component.

"Standing outside at 4:30 in the morning can't only be about saving," Laran says. "We shop because other people shop."

"There are no deals being offered. It's actually probably more expensive to have dinner at fancy restaurant with your sweetheart," he says. "But people do it because everyone else does."

"People don't want to seem wasteful," Laran says. The fact that everyone is spending money that day makes us feel better about our own financial choices, even if they're not the best decisions.

While most consumers stop short of acknowledging conformity as a reason for braving Black Friday crowds, some do admit that it's not the discount that drives them.

"I've shopped most of my life on Black Friday," says Cleveland resident Kristine Meldrum Denholm. "It's been something I've been doing for probably 30 years with my girlfriends that I grew up with. It's more of a bonding thing, our girl's day out if you will, away from the husbands, kids and careers."

For some, Black Friday is about creating memories.

"I think [Black Friday] has really become a tradition for a lot of folks," adds Lewis. "People do it so later they have stories to tell."

The Shulman Center Comes to You!

A reminder: The Shulman Center offers counseling services here in the metro-Detroit area, by telephone and/or SKYPE, or--in certain circumstances--we may be able to come to you. Please feel free to contact us to explore what option works best for you

Free Intimacy with Money Telephone Seminars

It is with great excitement and confidence that I share about the free "Intimacy with Money" telephone seminars conducted by my long-time friend Tom Lietaert and my more recent friend Andrew Hogan who currently work out of Boulder/Denver, Colorado.

To learn more and to register, please go to:

Please check out -- Dr. April Lane Benson's new website!

Book of the month:

"The Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart" by Daphne Rose Kingma (2010, New World Library). This is a great book and a good companion to Pema Chodrun's "When Things Fall Apart" and Elisabeth Lesser's "Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow." Ms. Kingma's suggestions/chapters include: "Cry Your Heart Out," "Face Your Defaults," "Do Something Different," "Let Go," "Remember Who You've Always Been," "Persist," "Integrate Your Loss," "Live Simply," "Go Where the Love Is," and "Live in the Light of the Spirit."

Compulsive Theft & Spending in The News! November/December 2010:

November--Mr. Shulman published and article in Recovery Today online on compulsive theft & spending. See

November--Mr. Shulman had an article on compulsive theft and spending featured in the Fall edition of Addiction Professional magazine. See

November--Mr. Shulman had an article and ad featured on

November--Mr. Shulman consulted on two reality TV shows about compulsive shopping/spending--one on Bravo Network and another on The Discovery Channel.

November--Mr. Shulman is consulting with MSNBC's "Your Business" discussing employee theft.

November 2--Mr. Shulman was interviewed on compulsive shopping/spending and the holidays on metro-Detroit local community access cable TV.

November 10--Mr. Shulman conducted a Skype Interview about compulsive shopping/spending.

November 10--Mr. Shulman was interviewed by on compulsive shopping/spending.

November 11--Mr. Shulman was featured on the radio interview on compulsive shopping/spending on out of Colorado.

November 15--Mr. Shulman was featured online about compulsive shopping/spending on and

November 25--Mr. Shulman was interviewed in The New York Post on shopping addiction and the holidays. See 

November 29--Mr. Shulman will be interviewed by a reporter with The Oklahoma Journal Record on shopping addiction.

December 1-3--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on employee theft detection and prevention at The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

December--Mr. Shulman to be featured in Real Simple magazine about compulsive shopping and spending.

December--Mr. Shulman to be featured in articles in The Toronto Star newspaper and in Canada's Chatelaine magazine on shoplifting addiction.

January 2011 and beyond...

January 2011--Mr. Shulman will have an article published in the Jack Hayes Loss Prevention quarterly newsletter.

January 2011--Mr. Shulman will have an article published on healing the holiday overspending hangover in Renew recovery magazine. See

January/February--Mr. Shulman to speak about employee theft at the Detroit-area American Society of Employers.

February 4, 2011--Mr. Shulman will be presenting a 2-hour seminar on employee theft to metro-Detroit area recipients rights workers at Washtenaw County Community College.

Fall 2011--Mr. Shulman is hoping to assist with organizing and presenting at an all-day conference in San Francisco, CA on various impulse control disorders.

October 1, 2011--Mr. Shulman will be presenting an all-day seminar on compulsive theft & spending & hoarding in the metro-Detroit area.

November 4, 2011--Mr. Shulman will be presenting an all-day seminar on compulsive theft & spending & hoarding in the Chicago area through Proctor Hospital's/Illinois Institute for Addiction and Recovery's ongoing learning program.



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, offered through The American Psychotherapy Association, is available for purchase by APA members and non-members. CEs are available. He's working on  a therapist certification program in compulsive theft/spending for the APA. See

Mr. Shulman is assisting the Baton Rouge, Louisiana court system a court-ordered three hour  facilitated educational program for retail fraud offenders. The program is based on material from his book "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery" (2003).

Mr. Shulman created a 1-hour employee theft online course with 360 Training. Learn why people commit employee theft, how to deter it, and what to do when confronted with it. See

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

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

Mr. Shulman is consulting with an author who is writing a novel about two kleptomaniacs who fall in love with each other.

Contact The Shulman Center

Terrence Daryl Shulman, JD, LMSW, ACSW, CAAC, CPC
P.O. Box 250008
Franklin, Michigan 48025


Call (248) 358-8508 for free consultation!

Related sites by Terrence Shulman:


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

Products for Purchase--ON SALE through 2009!

Mr. Shulman's three books "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction & Recovery" and "Biting The Hand That Feeds: The Employee Theft Epidemic... New Perspectives, New Solutions," and "Bought Out and $pent! Recovery from Compulsive $hopping and $pending" are available for $25.00 each (includes shipping/handling).

Click here to purchase

E-mail Mr. Shulman:


Call  (248) 358-8508