The work begins when you complete a Personal History and Demographic Data Questionnaire, two valid and reliable compulsive buying rating scales, and a Purchasing Recall form. Completing these intake forms will immediately increase your awareness about your overshopping behavior and give us important information that will help us to get to know you more quickly. The goal of the work is to break the cycle that leads to compulsive buying and to teach skills, tools, and strategies to help you eliminate your compulsive buying behavior and develop the capacity to lead a richer life in the process.
The comprehensive program in Dr. Benson’s book, To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop is the basic structure of the individual work, although the program is tailored to each person’s specific needs. The coaching we’ll do approaches the problem from feeling, thinking, and behavioral levels and employs a variety of effective techniques to meet the goal of helping you to resist and eliminate self-defeating overshopping behavior and replace it with interests, relationships, and competencies that enhance your life rather than erode it.There is no set number of sessions, although it usually takes at least 12 50-minute sessions to get through the entire program.
The focus is on changing problematic buying behavior, and the program employs a wide array of techniques to achieve this goal. Each individual receives a copy of To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop and the companion Shopping Journals. One of the Journals is for more narrative writing and the other is for on the spot writing and reference. Over the course of the twelve weeks, you track your spending and the relative necessity of each expenditure. You also write a money and shopping memoir and construct a money dialog to help you better understand the roots of the problem and the way those roots manifest themselves in your current behavior.
An important part of the process is formulating specific, achievable, and measurable weekly goals.
Early on in the work, you:
- Discover why you overshop and how it all began
- Identify your shopping triggers
- Look closely at what your habit’s costing you
- Eplore your relationship with saving money
- Calculate the true cost of your credit card debt
- Record and evaluate all your expenditures
Later on, you:
- Find out what you’re really shopping for—and how to get that
- Focus in on your underlying needs, goals, and values
- Practice shopping without overshopping
- Get control of catalog, TV, Internet, and brick-and-mortar venues
- Practice resisting social pressure
- Develop media literacy
And before the works ends, you:
- Recruit and engage your heart, mind, body, and soul
- Engage in a dialogue with your shopping demons
- Look at the relationship between your values, goals, and expendituresCreate a realistic, nurturing spending plan
- Negotiate lapses and prevent relapse
- Plan for upcoming high risk situations
- Cultivate the acquisition of true wealth
You’ll complete the written work in two shopping journals, one larger journal for the narrative exercises and a small purse or pocket-sized journal that includes all the tools you need to make good decisions when the urge to splurge strikes.
If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s buying behavior, please contact Dr. Benson.