Announcements! Happy Labor Day, Rosh
Hashanah, Honoring Anniversaries of Katrina, 9/11
The Shulman Center e-Newsletter celebrates its 5-year
out our new 1-hour
employee theft online course. Learn why people commit
employee theft, how to deter/prevent it and what to do when confronted
out short video on employee theft: http://www.clickondetroit.com/video/24810528/index.html
Check out our seven new short uploaded webvideos on
shoplifting addiction, employee theft, and compulsive shopping/spending
out our new websites for
therapy for hoarding and cluttering.
See www.hoardingtherapy.com and www.hoardersanonymous.org
out our newly updated
blog at: http://blog.theshulmancenter.com
Happy 18th Anniversary to C.A.S.A. metro-Detroit!
We started our first meeting in September 1992!
C.A.S.A. Turns 18: A Brief History from Infancy to
For anyone who has ever attended
a recovery support group or known someone who has, it's not unusual to
hear or feel this sentiment: "I don't know where I'd be without this
group." The feeling of being all alone and misunderstood is
devastating; support groups often feel like a "godsend."
C.A.S.A. (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous) in metro-Detroit
celebrates its 18th year of existence on September 1, 2010. I started
this group in September 1992. While it isn't the first support group for
recovering "kleptomaniacs/shoplifters" it, likely, is the
longest-surviving one in the nation. We now have four other active
C.A.S.A. chapters in the metro-Detroit area. In addition, C.A.S.A. now
has approximately 20 chapters throughout the U.S (including California,
Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York,
Virginia, and Washington).
Please see our website at: www.kleptomaniacsanonymous.com/support.htm for a
complete listing of groups and also to find out about our online support
group (which turned 10 this year and which has 200 members
worldwide as well as our weekly phone support groups.
movement is coming of age.
Over the last 18 years, I estimate we've seen over 2,000 people attend
our five metro-Detroit C.A.S.A. chapters. And yet, to paraphrase a
line from the film "Schindler's List" -- "we could do so
much more." I'd estimate that over 75% of our local group attendees
are directly court-ordered. My judgment is that most C.A.S.A. members are
court-ordered because they don't know C.A.S.A. exists or, if they do
know, they are reluctant to attend voluntarily either out of fear, shame
or denial they really need help. Still, most metro-Detroit courts know
about C.A.S.A.'s existence but, for some reason, only a handful routinely
refer to our groups. With the economic downturn and a marked increase in
shoplifting and stealing, you would think most courts would be looking for
resources for theft offenders. Things take time. We need to be patient
and, yet, continue to get the word out.
Just as the existence of A.A. and other-related addiction-recovery
support groups have helped influence public awareness and opinion about
the legitimacy of addictive behaviors, the flourishing of C.A.S.A. and
related groups for shoplifters/kleptomaniacs does the same. Remember, it
wasn't too long ago that nobody recognized sexual addiction or shopping
addiction as serious disorders.
It also takes a rare kinds of persons to go out on a limb and start any
support group and, especially, C.A.S.A. groupsI I understand the
hesitancy and I applaud those who have done so. Please, if you or anyone
you know wishes assistance in starting such groups, feel free to contact
us. Thank you.
Excerpts from Mr.
Shulman's book "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction
and Recovery" (2003):
(I'd been arrested for shoplifting a 2nd time in March 1990...)
In April 1992, I got a call from a friend who wanted me to take a
weekend seminar called The Forum. It was a spin-off of the est
training which I had taken at age 15 while in high school. I thought to
myself-- been there, done that--but my friend's excitement drew me
in. I knew I was in a rut and needed some kind of jump start. The est
training had challenged my beliefs and stories about my life and exposed
what kept me stuck in the past. But I think I was too young to get it. I
decided to attend a free introduction to The Forum. I knew there was more
to life than what I was experiencing. I signed up.
The course helped get me out of my shell. I started
to meet new people and it occurred to me that I was still on the pity
pot, still feeling like a victim and still feeling that life was unfair. That
old tape. It gave me some breathing space to look at my life. I took
a few more seminars and became more energized, more hopeful. I'd stopped
shoplifting by this point but knew I still had to keep an eye on it. I
was taking my life to the next level.
In July and August, I took the fourth and final
seminar in the main series, Self-expression and Leadership. It got me to
look at where I am and can be a leader in my life, what my passion is,
what I'm good at, and what motivates me. Each participant was asked to
create a project in his community which expressed his deepest and most
authentic concern, passion or contribution. I remember racking my brain,
asking myself: what can I give to the community, I don't have any
passion? And then it hit me: I thought, "right now, I'm passionate
about my recovery and stopping shoplifting." Was this the
opportunity to start the shoplifters recovery group I felt I still needed
and which I was sure others could benefit from?
so C.A.S.A. (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous) was born.
I did the footwork and, in
September 1992, started the group. I secured a meeting room at the church
where I attended my S.O.S. meetings. A respected member of that group
vouched for my character as I figured the church folks might be a little
nervous about a recovering shoplifters group meeting in their building.
To my surprise, they were very supportive.
Because I was a newly practicing attorney I sent
notices to the courts but didn't put my name or phone number on the
flyers. I was afraid of being associated with the group. I naively
invited a newspaper reporter to our first meeting to help publicize our
group but nobody showed up that first night. She interviewed me but
wouldn't write a story about the group until there actually was a group.
I begged her to write it so we could get the word out but she wouldn't.
I was ready to give up
For fourteen consecutive weeks I showed up on
Wednesday nights. Nobody else did. I was ready to give up. I called a
couple of the courts back to see why they weren't sending people to the
group. One court clerk summed it up, saying Oh, yeah, we got your notice
but we thought it was a hoax. A group for shoplifters? And there was no
name or phone number on it. I hit my head and realized I had to go out on
a limb a lot more or give up.
The court clerk gave me the number of a local
therapist who'd given a recent presentation on shoplifting for the
courts. His name was Steve Campbell. I called and went to visit him. He
was a tall trim man in his late 40's with a shock of whitish hair and a
busy grey mustache. I felt at ease with him immediately. He was impressed
with my story and my attempt to start a group. I realized I still had so
much to work on emotionally. He introduced me to men's group work which
became a big part of my life. I met men who were working on father
issues, recovery issues, grief issues, life issues. I moved out of my
mother's and into a house in a trendy part of town with three buddies.
Juniper, my ex-girlfriend, had moved back home out of state.
The day after Christmas, I managed to get an
article about C.A.S.A. in the Detroit Free Press. They tied it into the
holiday season and how there's a great increase in shoplifting and
shoplifting arrests at that time of year. People began trickling into the
group. Before long we had a core group of about five or six people.
Finally, I met people who had the same problem I had. It was the first
time in my life that I felt good about helping others. And I was
getting the help I needed.
a Self-Help Group
I was fortunate by the time I started C.A.S.A. in late 1992 to have
already curtailed my shoplifting through counseling and attendance at
S.O.S. for a year and a half. I witnessed the support group process and
had become able to make a commitment and offer support to others. I had
the added support of a two month personal growth seminar which supported
my creating C.A.S.A. in my community.
I would have done some things differently but I
urge you to be persistent. I showed up 14 consecutive Wednesday evenings
before the first person came to our group. Getting media coverage was a
big challenge. I secured the place and time of the meetings at the church
where my other support group met. I suggest a public place like a church
or an activities center. It may be a little awkward asking if a
shoplifters group can meet there but you can show them this book or some
other literature to prove that it is a legitimate disorder people need
help for. That is more than I had to go on.
I mailed out about 50 flyers to the local courts, a
few big churches and a few counseling agencies. I did not want my name or
phone number on the flyers because I was very concerned and still
somewhat ashamed about this. I suggest that you be willing to take a risk
to use your phone number, at least, as a contact.
I had a reporter show up at the very first
scheduled meeting. I tried to convince the reporter that there were many
people who needed help out there but I needed her to help me get the word
out. That story never got printed but a few months later I got a hold of
another reporter who decided to write an article about our group, me in
particular, and how shoplifting increases during the holiday season. This
is always an attractive tie-in subject for the media.
Here are some ideas I've
used to help start, maintain C.A.S.A.:
Establish a meeting place and time (list phone number, too)
Create flyers and mail, post and fax about town especially to courts,
churches, counseling offices, newspapers, criminal defense attorneys,
bookstores, coffee shops
Contact the media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines)
Create a website
Post flyers at other support group meetings
List your group information with your state self-help
clearinghouse--usually located in your state's capital
Write an article (even anonymously) for a paper
Notify stores who may pass on the word
Ask for ideas or help from friends/family
List in your local newspaper's health calendar
List some of
Recent Celebrity Shoplifters?
Caroline Guiliani, Former NYC Mayor Rudy Guilian's daughter
Former Miss USA Shannon Marketic
Former Seton Hall Basketball Coach Bobby Gonzalez
Former Connecticut TV News Reporter Desiree Fontaine
Theft Toll Reaches nearly $1 Trillion Per Year
While office theft by employees has been a problem since the invention of
the office, it seems during times of economic uncertainty office theft
rises substantially. Just how bad is it? How about 994 billion dollars being
attributed to employees stealing? The infographic below clearly shows
that employee theft is on the rise; and more startling is the fact that
no one is immune to the lure of free pencils or getting a
five-finger-discount when it comes to electronics and other office
equipment. All levels of education are guilty and those with
bachelor's degrees are the biggest offenders when it comes office
See rest of article: http://www.infographicsshowcase.com/employee-theft-statistics-infographic/
We're Learning? Average U.S. Credit Card Debt Decreasing
The average national credit card borrower debt slid
downward for the fifth consecutive quarter by 4.1% to $4,951, marking the
first time the average has been below $5,000 since 2002, according to a
report released today by TransUnion.
This, coupled with the fact the national credit
card delinquency rate for borrowers 90-plus days delinquent plummeted to
0.92% in Q210 (down 17.1% from the first quarter and 21.3% from last
year) suggests that borrowers are saving more and spending more
"It appears that consumers have come to
realize that material improvement in unemployment is unlikely in the
short-term, and now is the time to balance saving versus spending,"
said Ezra Becker, director of consulting and strategy at the credit and
information management and research firm. "It remains to be seen
whether this dynamic will be short term or a new paradigm for consumer
See rest of this article at:
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.
learn more and to register, please go to: http://www.sacredodyssey.com/iwmhome.html
Website of Interest: www.financiallysmitten.com
run by Lora Sasiela. Check it out!
Books of the month:
"Passionate Marriage" by David
Schnarch, PhD (1997/2009) For anyone interested in the topic of couples
or intimate relationships, this is a must-read book!
I'd also highly recommend "The Wizard of Oz and
Other Narcissists" by Eleanor Payson, MSW (2002) for
a good read on narcissistic personality disorder and how, to some extent,
we all possess some narcissistic traits--especially those of us who think
we don't because we're always focusing on others.
Compulsive Theft & Spending in The News! August/September
August 7--Mr. Shulman was featured in an article on
employee theft in The Connecticut American-Republican.
August 26--Mr. Shulman presented a seminar on
employee theft deterrence and prevention for the metro-Detroit Agency on
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.
Mr. Shulman will be featured in Real Simple magazine about compulsive
Mr. Shulman will be featured in articles in The Toronto Star newspaper
and in Canada's Chatelaine magazine on shoplifting addiction.
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.
October--Mr. Shulman will be featured in a Milwaukee Magazine article on
employee theft and shopping addiction
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.
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 http://www.americanpsychotherapy.com/
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
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
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
P.O. Box 250008
Franklin, Michigan 48025
Call (248) 358-8508 for free consultation!
Related sites by Terrence Shulman:
The Hand That Feeds
Out and $pent
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
Click here to purchase
E-mail Mr. Shulman: