ANNOUNCEMENTS! Happy Memorial Day! Happy
Check out our newly updated blog
Check out our seven new short uploaded webvideos
on shoplifting addiction, employee theft, and compulsive
shopping/spending at: http://theshulmancenter.com/videoarchive.html
New websites under construction as we
expand our services to include therapy for hoarding and cluttering. See www.hoardingtherapy.com
The Shulman Center is pleased to announce that since
we launched our e-Newsletter 5 years ago, we recently reached 1000th
e-Newsletter subscribers! Thank you for your interest!
Note of interest: Mr. Shulman will be celebrating his
45th birthday on June 27th.
Memorial Daze: Remember Our Soldiers, Remembering Ourselves
Wars continue to be fought
and we honor those who have served long ago or more recently--especially
those who've lost their lives. Many of us here in the U.S. continue to
keep an eye on
the Gulf oil crisis and how scared, helpless and
powerless we feel--just like in war. We ask ourselves: how could this
have been prevented? How can we stop this flow of oil/blood? What can
we learn from this? How can we prevent this from
Interestingly, all these questions are questions
we often ask ourselves (or, at least should) when we're going
through any personal crisis, especially with addictions which are
true battles of their own.
We fight the good fight--as others have fought, too.
But what are we fighting for? We often say "freedom." But what
does freedom mean?
One way to think about freedom is our freedom from
physical incarceration--whether we appreciate that or not. I recently had
a former client who finally was sentenced in the last week to 10 years in
prison for felony embezzlement. I'm also thinking of former Detroit mayor
Kwame Kilpatrick who was also sentence this past week to 1 1/2 to 5 years
in prison for violating his probation due to lying and failing to
adequately pay his restitution to the City of Detroit. Also this week, a
female drunk drive who had been sexually abused and became an alcoholic
was sentence to 25 years in prison for killing 4 teens. People with such
potential often fall off the path and pay dearly. It's a tragedy for
Then there is the freedom of the mind. We can
remember that, today we can be free no matter what our condition--whether
we are ill of health or behind bars. I'm thinking today about my best
friend's mother-in-law who just passed away. A woman of strong will, she
fought her various health issues mightily over the last couple years,
only to be admitted to hospice in the last week and, finally, to
surrender to the great mystery.
What happens when the mind is not at peace? It
creates problems, crises, drama. I've certainly created my fair share.
I'm reminded of late of Connecticut Attorney General Richard
Blumenthal, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, who recently was
caught lying on several occasions about his service in Vietnam--he never
served--and what makes someone embellish the truth and pretend he's more
than he actually is. This is what I used to do all the time. I would play
the hero and, then, play the villain (I was a shoplifter) all at the
same time. I wasn't able to admit I was angry or that I couldn't do it
all. My lies weren't unlike Mr. Blumenthal's--I was lying by propping
myself up through my outlet of stealing to keep my image and erase my
Similarly, I recently worked with a client who
reminded me of myself: she did it all, she was a rock for her work and
her family and, yet, she was shoplifting weekly over the last decade.
Finally, she was caught. I asked her: "If you're such a rock, how
come you have to shoplift?" She told me this question penetrated her
to her core.
Perhaps we're all trying to find freedom from our
false selves and freedom from fear so that we may love ourselves and
others more fully, our planet more fully. When we think of the term
"recovery" we might ask: what is it we're trying to recover?
One possible answer is "our authentic self" which, all too
often, we begin to lose over the course of life's hardships and role
adaptations. However, none of us gets out of here alive and, likely, we
have the opportunity to become even more our authentic selves under the
crucible of struggle if we have good guides and remember that--like our
brave soldiers--if we give our lives for a cause (be that recovery, the
search for meaning, the search for love, the search for passion) we have
the opportunity to be transformed and to co-create our lives with both
awe and an appreciation of the unfolding mystery.
I read two quotes from a book recently; actually,
they were more like Zen koans.
One: "Where is the 'me' I used to be?"
(An illustration shows a young girl's faded face peering through the
shirt over a woman's chest/heart area).
For many war veterans, this question/koan is a
common one? War typically changes its veterans profoundly. However, more
generally, each of us may ask: Is my inner child always with me as I
continue to grow into a more mature adult? Are all my memories stored
somewhere inside as I continue to accumulate more memories? Is my image
of my earlier self still held in escrow as I attempt to expand or shift
my sense of self?
Two: "Do I need to leave to truly know what I
have left?" (An illustration shows a boy with wings
flying out the open door of a bird cage while
his parents and sibling sit within the cage on a perch).
Do we need to lose our freedom, our careers, our
marriages, our health, our families, our money, our environment, our
reputations, even our lives in order to more deeply appreciate and
know ourselves and our blessings? Sometimes, perhaps, this might be
avoided. All too often, however, it seems like part of the age-old human
story: we must lose or leave that which we've clung to so preciously in
order to be burned up and made new.
So, this Memorial Day, as we remember those who've
fallen in war or through other battles, let us also remember ourselves
and, hopefully, how we've survived and even thrived through battles of
Sex and The City
2: A Return to Conspicuous Consumption?
I am a fan of the "Sex and The
City" TV series and of the first movie version that came out 2
years ago, a lot has happened with our economy since that time. While I
haven't seen the cinematic sequel which just arrive this past weekend,
I'll be curious how it will feel to me (and others): if its long-standing
homage to haute couture and all things glamourous will land with a thud
of sorts given the economic meltdown, war, and the Gulf oil crisis. Of
course, we can never underestimate the power of our individual and
collective need to escape.
Early reviews of the film state that it's inferior
to the first one--more fluff than stuff--that the character have become
mere charicatures of themselves. On the other hand, several reviews have
shared that the first film was too angst-ridden and not fun enough and
that the sequel makes up for that.
As with the "Confessions of a
Shopaholic" phenomenon, my point is not to be heavy-handed about
escapist fun or making light of potentially serious problems. Indeed, one
of my favorite new TV sitcoms is "Cougar Town" in which
virtually all the characters are obvious alcoholics or, at least, alcohol
abusers. Still, I feel we must be mindful at least when conspicuous
consumption (or excessive drinking for that matter) is presented in a way
in which our own vulnerabilities may not be able to filter out the
intended or unintended lures of behaviors which can really cause harm.
So, have fun and escape a little but stay awake,
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
Free Intimacy with Money Telephone
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,
To learn more and to register, please go to: http://www.sacredodyssey.com/iwmhome.html
Compulsive Theft & Spending in The News! May/June
1--Mr. Shulman is a featured contributor on compulsive theft and spending
in Carol Lawyer's May Intervention e-Newsletter www.interventionfirst.com
10--Mr. Shulman was quoted in Buffalo News article about compulsive
May 25--Mr. Shulman was featured in an article on AOL Finance on
May 29--Mr. Shulman's online education course called "Creating an
Honest and Theft-Free Workplace" based on his book and Power Point
presentation through 360 Training Services will be available.
CEs are available. See www.360training.com
Mr. Shulman is currently assisting Seventeen magazine with an article on
teens and overshopping.
June--Mr. Shulman will be featured in articles in The Toronto Star
newspaper and in Canada's
Chatelaine magazine on shoplifting addiction.
Mr. Shulman will be featured in Real Simple magazine about compulsive
September 8-11--Mr. Shulman will be a guest presenter on compulsive
shopping and spending at
The National Conference on Addiction Disorders near Washington, D.C.
September: Mr. Shulman authored a chapter on employee theft for a U.K.
book entitled "Risky Business" which will be released.
October 29--Mr. Shulman will be a featured presenter on compulsive
shopping/spending and hoarding at a metro-Detroit all-day addiction
conference for mental health professionals.
December 1-4--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.
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 is also working on
authoring a therapist certification program in compulsive theft and
spending for the APA. See http://www.americanpsychotherapy.com/
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
Mr. Shulman is consulting on a major motion picture tentatively called
"The Rush" in which the lead character is addicted to
shoplifting and stealing.
Shulman continues to assist the Kingman, Arizona court system with his
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.
The Shulman Center
P.O. Box 250008
Franklin, Michigan 48025
(248) 358-8508 for free consultation!
sites by Terrence Shulman:
Something For Nothing
Biting The Hand That Feeds
Out and $pent
for Purchase--ON SALE through 2009!
Shulman's three books "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction
& Recovery" and "Biting
The Hand That Feeds: The Employee Theft Epidemic... New Perspectives, New
"Bought Out and $pent! Recovery from Compulsive $hopping and
$pending" are available for $25.00
each (includes shipping/handling).
International Conference on Compulsive Theft & Spending 2 DVD set (6
Hours). Recorded 9/08. $100.00.
Click here to purchase