12-Session Experiential Training for Therapists

Treating Compulsive Buying Disorder

This 12-session course prepares you to work with compulsive buyers, either as a primary therapist, or as a member of a treatment team. In the course, we carefully follow two or three clients—one of them, hopefully, a member of our group—as they make their way through the program set forth in To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop. You learn not only to successfully address the symptoms of overbuying, but also how to foster a genuine shift in perspective.

In addition to our primary text and clinical case material, other relevant clinical and theoretical readings will further expand your thinking and your likelihood of success in working with overshopping clients.

Therapists who complete the training will have the option to be listed on the website as therapists who have trained with Dr. Benson.

Course Information and Requirements

Format and Location

12 sessions, Fridays, 9:30 a.m.-11a.m., beginning March 11, 2011

For therapists in the New York area, the sessions will take place at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy at 1841 Broadway (60th St.), 4th Floor. For therapists outside of the New York area, you will participate by conference call or Skype.

The sessions will be recorded. If you miss a session or want to listen to one again, you’ll be able to download it.

Course Dates:

Fridays, 9:30 a.m.-11a.m.

March 11, 18
April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
May 6, 13, 20, 27
June 3

There will be no session on March 25th


In the first session, we’ll talk about intake procedures and preparing a client for the work. In the next ten sessions, we’ll go through the ten chapters of To Buy or Not to Buy, one at a time. The final session will be a debriefing. We’ll talk about where to go from here, how to build a practice with compulsive buyers, and about the legal issues related to doing this work over the phone and/or online.

Throughout the course, we’ll integrate relevant readings and issues, including how to work collaboratively with a primary therapist, how to integrate this new material into your ongoing clinical work, and what to do when there is another addiction or associated disorder present.

Presentation of Clinical Material

I will be presenting actual case material from overshoppers I’ve worked with or am currently working with. Hopefully, one member of our group is a compulsive buyer who will complete the work of the program and allow us to work with him or her.

In addition, each of you has the opportunity to engage with clinical material in one of three ways:

  • Doing the program yourself and sharing some of that material,
  • Doing the program with an actual overshopping client and sharing that material; or
  • Doing a combination of the first two.


The cost of the training program is $1250. This covers the sessions and all course materials: a copy of To Buy or Not to Buy, the companion Stopping Journals, and readings.  If you already have the book and journals, then the cost is $1210. A 10% discount is offered for paying for the course in full by March 5th. Click below to register for the course.

“I have known April Benson since 2005 and have been impressed with her pioneering work in the field of compulsive shopping and spending. I read her book “I Shop Therefore I Am” and completed her teletraining in early 2007. It was very valuable and gave me more understanding and confidence to work with clients who suffer from compulsive shopping and spending.”

“I am seeing my practice grow and am seeing results with my clients. Dr. Benson has been gracious in helping to promote me and answer any questions I may have along the way. I can’t recommend her program highly enough.”

Terrence Daryl Shulman, JD, LMSW, ACSW, CAC, CPC
Founder/Director, The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft & Spending, Author of “Bought Out & $pent! Recovery from Compulsive $hopping & $pending” (2008)

“I recently completed April Benson’s training program on Stopping Overshopping. Dr. Benson has substantively examined addictive shopping, spending, and buying and now has extended training to clinicians on this subject. I can highly recommend this learning opportunity.”

Linda M. Smith, PhD, LMFT
Tallahassee, FL

“Dr. Benson is an outstanding contributor to a vast new field, helping a population of suffering people among us.

She has helped me both professionally and personally, and I highly recommend her course to therapists who wish to expand their practices.”

Penelope J. Hooks, M.D.
Houston, TX

“I’m glad I decided to take your course on Overshopping. You did a fabulous job with these sessions. The readings were quite substantive and accessible. Your overviews and discussions of the articles were thoughtful and well-organized. You asked important questions and had helpful responses and suggestions for resources and responded fully to questions raised by class members. When you didn’t have the research or resource at your fingertips, you found the material and made it available to all of us shortly after the session. You also supported the knowledge level and expertise of various members of the group and enabled good conversation among the participants. You carefully integrated research on overshopping with issues about other addictive behaviors as well as with ADD and hoarding behaviors. Your insights and generosity of spirit are valued! I highly recommend your course to professionals interested in working with people with overshopping issues.”

Dorian Mintzer, Ph.D.
Boston, Mass.

“Just wanted to add to all the comments about your course. It was so thoughtfully crafted and I learned a tremendous amount of information that I need to digest and then incorporate not only into my work, but my own life. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be a part of this great series of classes!”

Helen Kim
Certified Financial Recovery Counselor
New York, New York

By Carrie Rattle

Carrie Rattle is a Principal at BehavioralCents.com, a website for women focused on mind and money behaviors. She has worked in the financial services industry for 20+ years and hopes to inspire women to better prepare themselves for financial independence. Read More