I’m leaving today for Australia, where I’ll be giving three daylong workshops for Australian psychologists, in the theory and treatment of compulsive buying disorder. Since 2003, when I first launched my website, there has been a good deal of interest in compulsive buying in Australia and I was delighted and grateful to be invited by the Australian Psychological Society Institute to do workshops in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.
When I left Australia last January, having been there with my husband for vacation and to meet relatives whom I’d never met and only learned of a few years before, I decided that I’d like to go back to Australia to work. Two of these recently discovered relatives happen to be psychologists, Ron Taft, age 96, who was a professor and researcher and studied the adjustment, accommodation, and assimilation of immigrants coming to Australia, and his son, Marcus, a researcher and professor of psychology who studies reading comprehension.
Ron got a master’s degree from Columbia in 1940, where he met the American side of our family. He returned to Australia in 1941. Six years later, he matriculated as a Ph.D. student at Berkeley, where two of his teachers were Erik Erickson and Abraham Maslow, and Timonthy Leary was one of his classmates.
Ron and Marcus are the only mental health professionals of any kind in my family and I was very drawn to go back to Australia and try to make up for lost time. I’m also eager to reconnect with two wonderful colleagues, Michelle Laving and Jill Chivers, both of whom I met for the first time last year and who will each be attending one of the workshops. Michelle Laving is bringing the Stopping Overshopping text messaging program to Australia and it will launch there next week.
What I’m most eager to learn is:
What’s fueling the considerable interest in Australia in compulsive buying?
What kind of treatment and treatment adjuncts are currently available?
What help can we offer at Stopping Overshopping, LLC?
No doubt I”ll bring back new ideas and understandings to share with our community of compulsive buyers, the people who love them, and all the professionals who want to help them.