Just-Published Study…
The Stopping Overshopping Program Is Extremely Effective

If you can’t stop yourself from yet one more costly trip to the mall, if you can’t resist the urge to splurge, no matter wherever and whenever it strikes, realistic hope is finally here.

wgar20.v009.i02.coverOur just-published study indicates that The Stopping Overshopping Program can significantly decrease the severity and the frequency of compulsive buying behavior. Following the 12-week
treatment, clients spent significantly less time and money buying compulsively, and had significantly fewer compulsive buying episodes. Group members’ scores on four established compulsive buying measures went from solidly in the compulsive buying range before treatment to solidly in the normal buying range post-treatment; these results held or improved even further at six-month follow-up.

The research, published in the Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery (Routledge), is the first to investigate the efficacy of the Stopping Overshopping Group Treatment Program, a treatment model that powerfully integrates a variety of evidence-based treatment approaches that have shown to be effective, either with compulsive buying disorder or with substance abuse, alcoholism or eating disorders.

Elements of the Stopping Overshopping model that likely contributed to the positive findings are that it establishes a homogenous group setting that teaches skills, tools, and strategies, practiced throughout the twelve weeks, that are designed to help reduce compulsive buying behavior. Group members feel less alone and more understood. Their feedback to and from each other helps break through denial and diminishes feelings of shame and guilt. Witnessing others in various stages of recovery is proof positive that it can be done. Between group and post-treatment email contact among the group maintains support and deepens members’ commitment to change. At the end of three months, clients come to understand the following statement on a very deep level, “You can never get enough of what you don’t really need.”

As the present research indicates, the severity and frequency of compulsive buying symptoms and behavior can be addressed clinically to excellent effect. This powerful, cost-effective model now needs to be tested on a larger scale, with a more diverse sample and a longer-term follow up, and brought into addiction treatment centers.  Many of the skills, tools, and strategies acquired in this treatment can be transferred and generalized to other addictions as well.

Now Available with Free Access

Stopping Overshopping: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial of Group Therapy for Compulsive Buying Disorder, April Lane Benson, David Eisenach, Lisa Abrams, and Katherine van Stolk-Cooke

View this article online at www.tandfonline.com/WGAR in the Journal News box.

The Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery (Routledge), is the first to investigate the efficacy of the Stopping Overshopping Group Treatment Program, a treatment model that powerfully integrates a variety of evidence-based treatment approaches that have shown to be effective, either with compulsive buying disorder or with substance abuse, alcoholism or eating disorders.

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