The Shulman Center

Terrence Shulman
Founder/Director of
The Shulman Center

Terry Shulman

May 2011 Monthly e-Newsletter
"May We Be The Change We Want To See In The World"
By Terrence Daryl Shulman

                                                   HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!
                                           Upcoming and Recent Events!!!

April 1--Mr. Shulman was featured in a Detroit Free Press article on Charlie Sheen and celebrity addiction See:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

April 7--Mr. Shulman presented on hoarding disorder at National Association of Social Workers Michigan Chapter Annual Conference. See:

April 16--Mr. Shulman co-organized and co-presented at Michigan cross-addictions conference in Ferndale, MI. See:

May 1--Mr. Shulman will be featured in an article on hoarding disorder and the family in the May/June issue of Social Work Today magazine. See

May 4--Mr. Shulman will be a guest expert on Canada's Vision TV on "The Science of Sin" on greed/envy and shopping addiction on May 4--See

June 3--Lindsay Lohan due back in court in California for trial on misdemeanor larceny charge.

June 2-5--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on compulsive theft and spending at the 2nd Annual West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders in Palm Springs, California. See

Please Note...

Name That Book!
Look for Mr. Shulman's 4th book to be published this fall (yet untitled) on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding. Please e-mail Mr. Shulman no later than May 28, 2011 if you have a suggested title for this book (please suggest a catchy main title and an under-title such as "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery." If we choose your title, we will mail you a free, signed copy of the book when it is published!

Upcoming Conference!
The Shulman Center will conduct an all-day conference in Detroit Saturday October 1, 2011. The Third International Conference on Compulsive Theft, Spending and Hoarding will cover shoplifting addiction, kleptomania, employee theft, compulsive shopping/overspending, and hoarding/cluttering disorders. Please see information, registration, early bird discounts at:

Check out our new online support group for compulsive shoppers/spenders and hoarders. Register by going to the link:

Check out our 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

New sites in progress! and 

Living Recovery in an Addictive World Mini-Conference: A Report
On April 16th, I co-organized and co-presented at a half-day mini-conference in Ferndale, Michigan entitled: "Living Recovery in an Addictive World." We had approximately 50 attendees from all backgrounds. I presented on comulsive shoplifting, employee theft, shopping/spending, and hoarding. My collegue and friend, Debra Waldman Meese presented on hoarding; my colleague and friend Kevin Roberts presented on videogam and Internet addiction (See; and my colleague Kenneth Adams presented on sexual addiction and the relationship between therapy and 12 step groups. (See

The conference was interactive and received very positive feedback. It's our hope to conduct similar half-day conferences on personal growth and recovery-related themes at least twice per year. Stay tuned!To watch Mr. Shulman's 30-minute presentation, See:

The End of An Era?

Beginning in the near future, the website which was under the auspices of Mr. Shulman and The Shulman Center as the primary information site for C.A.S.A. (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous) will no longer take you to the shared site with the N.A.S.P. (National Association for Shoplifting Prevention) at Since November 2009, The Shulman Center and C.A.S.A. has been using the websites and for C.A.S.A.  We encourage any new support group chapters not to use S.A. or Shoplifters Anonymous as its name but, rather, C.A.S.A. or something similar.

Lindsay Lohan Case Set for Trial June 3

It's been a rough couple of days for Lindsay Lohan. The actress returned to Lynwood Jail on Friday after a topsy-turvy day in court, and she is frustrated with the status of her jewelry theft case.

"She is fine," says producer Nathan Folks, who is a close friend of Lohan, 24. "Obviously, she is upset about [being sentenced to four months in jail]."

On Friday, a judge found Lohan, who is accused of stealing is a $2,500 necklace, in violation of probation and sentenced her to the jail time and a hefty 480 hours of community service, which Folks admits was a "setback."

But she was allowed to post bail and released within hours of getting booked. Lohan remains free pending an appeal of the sentence, which legal experts say she has slim chance of winning.

"She is angry because she has been working so hard on turning her life around," says Folks, who insists Lohan is clean and sober. "She didn't do what they said she did. She didn't steal that necklace."

Still, Lohan is resigned to accept whatever decision comes down from the court when her trial begins June 3.

"She is ready to do her time. She wants to go to A.A. and N.A. and to serve her [more than] 400 hours [of community service]," Folks says. "She has already been doing lots of charity work."

See article at:,,20484424,00.html

'Rush' of Theft May Have Motivated Pitcher Accused of Shoplifting, Doctors Say
Apr 24, 2011 by The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mike Leake, a highly paid major league pitcher, stands accused of trying to steal $59.88 in T-shirts Monday from Macy's. That leaves a lot of people scratching their heads: If Leake really did what he is accused of doing, why?

The clinical term for such a behavioral problem is kleptomania. Such people might steal for "a brief thrill — almost a euphoria, almost like what one gets from taking a drug," says Dr. Tracey Skale, chief medical officer for Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services in Walnut Hills.

He and other doctors who deal with impulse-control disorders say they are not talking specifically about Leake or any other accused celebrities, such as Lindsay Lohan, Winona Ryder and Britney Spears.

"It's a compulsive behavior, and they can't stop themselves," Skale said. "Many gamblers will describe the same kind of rush as people who told me about their shoplifting."

When police took Leake, 23, into custody from the Macy's store, he had $250 in cash and three credits cards, according to Hamilton County court records. Leake was booked and released and appeared in uniform in the dugout at the Reds game Monday night. He started against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.

Skale said she recently counseled a grandmother who described the growing anxiety and urge to take something while shopping, "even when she had money in her pocket," she said.

The theft "relieves the tension, and provides gratification," said Dr. Stephen Strakowski, chairman of the University of Cincinnati's psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience department.

Sometimes the stolen clothing or merchandise is thrown away or donated to charity, Skale said.

"It's the act itself that's important (to the person), not the item," Strakowski said.

See article at:


Retailers Luring Shoppers in a Tough Economy

By USA Today Reporters 4/1/11

In tough economic times, consumers are consistently looking for a deal and retailers are trying various ways to offer them up. It's been an effective marketing strategy for as long as there have been retailers. But today, analysts say, that theory is driving a sales-crazy marketplace in which retailers, desperate to survive tough times, are finding increasingly creative ways to lure consumers who consider 20% off as the new full price.

Retail analysts such as Michael Dart say retailers are becoming more sophisticated at tapping into the psychology of why people buy at the prices they do. After watching daily deal websites — including Groupon, LivingSocial, Gilt and Rue La La — convince online customers that they need to buy immediately, mainstream retailers are embracing one-day-only sales as if their survival depended upon it. Some are trying "flash" sales, which can inspire a sense of urgency among buyers by offering deep discounts on certain items foronly a few hours.

Craig Elston of the marketing and research company Integer Group, says "buy one, get one free" offers and flash sales are examples of "psychological pricing." These strategies play on the "cognitive shortcuts" our brains take to process the deluge of information we're exposed to every day, he says.

The science behind the sales...

A timed sale "gives a sense of exclusivity and urgency to get the deal, or otherwise you'll miss out," Elston says. Eventually, such discounting strategies train consumers to realize, for example, that if they don't show up the minute a store opens at 7 a.m., they won't get what they want.

The recession may not have had the effect debt counselors would hope on many consumers' buying behavior. Credit card debt is starting to trend back up, according to a new report by credit card search company There was net increase of $8.1 billion in credit card debt last year, compared with a net decrease of $10 billion in 2009. In the fourth quarter of 2010, credit card debt increased by $34.8 billion after card companies wrote off their uncollectible debt. That was 154% more debt than in the same quarter of 2009.

Therapist and addictions counselor Terrence Shulman says the recession created what he calls "bargain shopaholics," who think it's OK to spend money if you're "saving" while doing so. That made how little you spent more important than what you got, says Shulman, founder of "To be frugal was now hip." When your weakness is online shopping and a deal lands in your inbox, Shulman says, that should be viewed as "an intrusion."

"We live in a society where we're so quick to respond to an e-mail, a text message or a page," he says. "The bargain shopper in us really goes crazy" for online promotions. April Lane Benson, a psychologist and author of To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop, agrees: "Daily deals trigger some people to buy compulsively when they think they're getting a bargain, especially if it's time-limited."

"It's like the psychology that Wal-Mart uses to make people believe they are going to get the very best deal and don't need to price shop," Sterneckert says. While retailers can't seem to resist deals, many shoppers insist they're resisting the temptation to buy things they don't need. Gillian Murrell of Charlotte says she subscribes to Gilt to "track styles and see how low the prices will go, so that I can compare how much full-price retailers charge."

Benson says that since the economic downturn began in 2008, her clients who shop too much have fallen into three categories: online shoppers happy everyone has to cut back; those who continue to spend and feel guilty about it; and those who have become bargain hunters.

Dangerous waters for some...

Some people allow the e-mail alerts for daily deals to take over their lives, Benson says. One of her clients — she wouldn't identify her because of patient confidentiality requirements — was a compulsive online shopper. The client was barraged with e-mails about sales and routinely received calls from retail salespeople "who knew how vulnerable she was and how difficult it was for her to pass up a new handbag," Benson says. It turned out the newly divorced woman suffered from insomnia, so she was passing time in the middle of the night shopping online. To address the problem, Benson persuaded the woman to enroll in an online support group for overindulgent shoppers, so she could chat instead of shop; remove all of her bargain-alert notifications; and unsubscribe from her online retailers. The client also practiced ways to fend off aggressive store clerks who called or targeted her in stores.

See rest of article at:

When All Feel Cheated, Who'll Play Fair?
By Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press, Apr. 28, 2011  

Social scientists who study dishonesty have observed that people who cheat often harbor a deep-seated conviction that they themselves have been cheated.

Dr. Anjan Chatterjee, a neurologist at the University of Pennsylvania who has conducted research into the use of prescription drugs to boost intellectual performance, says cheating is easier to justify "when you cast yourself as the victim of some kind of unfairness.

"Then it becomes a matter of evening the score," he explained in the New York Times last week. "You're not cheating; you're restoring fairness."

Perhaps this is not so surprising. We human beings have always been better at rationalizing bad behaviors than we are at cultivating good ones.

Still, the news that cheaters share a common sense of grievance is disconcerting in an era when such grievance is epidemic.

Is there anyone in the America of 2011 who doesn't feel cheated? Who among us doesn't secretly suspect, no matter how comfortable our own circumstances, that somewhere, somehow, persons less deserving than ourselves are getting more, paying less, or generally reaping rewards disproportionate to their own merit?

Whoever you are and whatever you do in America, there are media working round the clock to convince you that right here, right now, someone is cheating you out of what is justly yours. If you're a union member, it's the corporations who are screwing you; if you're a taxpayer, it's the public employee unions.

Even those of you lucky enough to be members of the ruling class are alerted daily to the myriad ways in which trial lawyers and tax collectors are rigging the game against you.

My point is not to dismiss the many examples of injustice I've witnessed, nor to promote the Pollyannaish delusion that "it all comes out in the wash." The middle class really is shrinking. An ever-smaller share of the population really is commandeering an ever-larger share of the money. And the growing numbers getting the short end of the social compact have every reason to be angry.

But it's not the merits of anyone's particular claim of injustice that concerns me here so much as the way this increasingly ubiquitous perception of unfairness is distorting our attitude toward one another...

See rest of article at:

Shattered Faith: What Fall of Greg Mortenson Tells Us about America's Longing for Heroes
By Hamton Sides, Newsweek Magazine 4/24/11

Greg Mortensen with school children in Afghanistan.

I remember my first Mortenson Moment. It was a few years ago, in an old auditorium in Santa Fe, N.M., and I sat waiting with my wife and son in a large murmuring crowd. Greg Mortenson, arriving late, flashed a shy smile and a namaste sign as he took the stage. He had a bashful cluelessness that somehow made him all the more endearing. Soon he launched into The Story: How in 1993, he stumbled into the tiny Pakistani village of Korphe after a failed attempt on K2. How the kind villagers nursed him back to health with many cups of tea. How as payment for their generosity, he returned to build a school. How that one school became hundreds of schools across Pakistan and Afghanistan. And how, tonight, we could help him build more.

I wish I could say now that I was skeptical of Mortenson's performance, but I wasn't. Like everyone else, I wrote a check and bought a book and stood in line. I, too, believed.

This past week, thanks to a 60 Minutes exposé followed by an extended piece of electronic journalism by bestselling author Jon Krakauer, we learned that Mortenson may very well be a charlatan. That significant passages of The Story appear to be fictions (including the whole genesis tale about his sentimental recovery in Korphe). That the "Taliban abductors" so harrowingly described in Three Cups of Tea were supposedly friendly villagers protecting him as a guest of honor. That his charity, the Bozeman, Mont.--based Central Asia Institute, is apparently hopelessly mismanaged. That many of its schools stand empty—some of them serving as storage sheds for hay.

It's only natural to feel betrayed and disappointed upon discovering that those we admire are flawed. But this was more than simple imperfection. Mortenson stood accused of literary, managerial, and fiduciary sins so sweeping that they threatened to demolish the entire edifice of his good works. Believers like me were left to pick up the million little pieces of yet another shattered hero. And to wonder, how could we have been so gullible?

Americans have a profound longing for heroes—now perhaps more than ever. We need our explorers, our sports icons, our Medal of Freedom winners, our Nobel laureates. We need our Greatest Generation warriors, our "Sully" Sullenbergers, our Neil Armstrongs. On some level, we still subscribe to the myth of the man in the white hat. We yearn to believe not only in his good deeds but in his inherent goodness as a person. Perhaps it's something rooted in our Puritan past, but we seem to have a monochromatic view of heroism. We have a hard time believing that the doer of a heroic deed could have serious defects or even be rotten to the core. Heroes are supposed to be heroic—period. We prefer to take ours neat.

Yet all heroes and saints are imperfect—even the greatest ones. Mother Teresa, Mortenson's professed role model when he was growing up, was widely criticized for the deplorable condition of her clinics—and for accepting large sums of money from mafia dons and Third World dictators. Martin Luther King Jr. plagiarized parts of his Ph.D. thesis and engaged in marital infidelities. Gandhi had a decidedly weird habit of sleeping beside naked young women to test his vow of celibacy—and, according to a new biography out last month by Joseph Lelyveld, may have had a homoerotic relationship with a German-Jewish architect in South Africa. So what? Their accomplishments seem all the more heroic for their having been complicated, multidimensional, flesh-and-blood human beings.

Perhaps the most telling quote from Krakauer's piece speaks to this same theme—the notion that Mortenson's story was allowed to blossom without check for years because it soothed the national conscience during a messy, intractable war. "He's a symptom of Afghanistan," a former Mortenson colleague told Krakauer. "Things are so bad that everybody's desperate for even one good-news story. And Greg is it."

As of late last week, it remained unclear how Mortenson's organization would weather this fast-moving storm. Mortenson himself said he was heading to the hospital for surgery to repair a "hole in my heart"—presumably a literal one. Until we hear from him, I prefer to hold on to the perhaps naive belief that the final truth of these allegations will fall somewhere shy of doing irreparable harm to his great cause. The idea of Three Cups of Tea remains heroic, even if its creator has gone astray.

I, for one, still want to believe.

See more of article at:

Hoarding Disorder Information Website:

25th Annual Debtors Anonymous Conference
To be held in Detroit, Michigan August 2011. Stay tuned for more details or check

Book of The Month: 
Business Fraud: From Trust to Betrayal... How To Protect Your Business in 7 Easy Steps by Jack L. Hayes (Bascom Hill, 2011). This new book from legendary loss prevention expert consultant Jack Hayes contains 200+ pages of facts, stories, and strategies about employee theft and fraud which Mr. Hayes relates with wisdom and wit. This is a must-read for any business owner or anybody interested in human psychology.

The Shulman Center Comes to You!
A reminder: The Shulman Center offers counseling services in the metro-Detroit area, by telephone and/or SKYPE. 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!

Sacred Odyssey/Intimacy with Money Life Coaching
It is with great excitement and confidence that I share about the "Intimacy with Money" program offered by my long-time friend Tom Lietaert, life coach and gestalt counselor, of Boulder, Colorado. Tom works with clients in person and by phone. To learn more or to register, please go to:

Compulsive Theft, Spending and Hoarding in The News! May 2011:

May--Mr. Shulman will be featured in an article on hoarding and the family in Social Worker Today magazine.

May 4--Mr. Shulman will be featured as a guest expert on shopping addiction, envy and greed on Canada's Vision TV series "The Science of Sin."

June 2011 and beyond...

June 2-5--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on compulsive theft and spending at the 2nd Annual West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders in Palm Springs, California. See www.wcsad.

July 29--Mr. Shulman will be conducting a full-day in-service on compulsive theft, spending and hoarding at The State Bar of Michigan in Lansing, Michigan.

September--Mr. Shulman will be featured in an article on shoplifting addiction in Reader's Digest magazine.

September 26-28--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on compulsive theft at the 24th Annual Foundations Recovery Network's "Power, Fame & Recovery" conference in Palm Beach, Florida.

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

November 4--Mr. Shulman will present 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 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 steal from their jobs, how to deter it, prevent it, and what to do when confronted with it. See or enroll in course at: 

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 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. CEUs are available. He's working on a therapist certification program in compulsive theft/spending for the APA. See:  

Mr. Shulman collaborated with the Kingman, AZ courts with a 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's 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
Founder/Director, The Shulman Center
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 2011!

Mr. Shulman's three books "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction & Recovery"
"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