You Can Never Get Enough of What You Don't Really Need: Theory and Treatment of Compulsive Buying

Presented by April Lane Benson, PhD on 06-24-2011 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 10:30 a.m. Pacific (1:30 p.m. Eastern)

This ninety-minute web conference provides attendees with an introduction to “affluenza,” or compulsive buying. Dr. Benson will explore the culture of consumption that gives rise to compulsive buying and the high price of materialism. Next we look at the professional unease that’s not uncommon in working with those who buy compulsively and then focus on etiology, assessment, diagnosis, comorbidity, and the functions of compulsive buying. We survey the forms of treatment and treatment adjuncts currently in use. Finally, Dr. Benson will introduce a few easily learned techniques that are extremely effective with those who overshop and describe how they fit into a comprehensive treatment program that combines psychodynamic principles, cognitive behavior therapy, and motivational interviewing techniques.

This introductory web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Identify the signs, common presentations, and comorbidities of compulsive buying;
  2. Discuss prevalence, etiology, diagnostic issues, sociocultural context, and functions of compulsive buying;
  3. Describe the various forms of self-help, treatment, and treatment adjuncts to help those who overshop;
  4. Apply several highly effective techniques that can be used with those who overshop.

If you have any questions about this Web Conference or would like more information, please contact us here.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

1.5 CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements., provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. ASWB Approval Period: March 30, 2016 through March 30, 2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive two clinical continuing education clock hours. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

Registration Information

Premium and Pro Membership with GoodTherapy includes access to this web conference at no additional cost, as well as other member benefits such as a profile listing in GoodTherapy's Therapist Directory. Not yet a member? Sign up for a Premium or Pro Membership, here.

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Mental health professionals who are not members can access the homestudy recording for $15.50. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

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Meet the Presenter

April Lane Benson, PhD

April Lane Benson, PhD

April Lane Benson, PhD, is a nationally known psychologist who specializes in the treatment of compulsive buying. She is the co-founder of the Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia and a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, both of which are located in New York. She has been in private practice in New York City for over 30 years.

I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self (Aronson, 2000), which Dr. Benson edited, is a multidisciplinary approach to the problem of compulsive buying. It includes contributions from the fields of sociology, consumer behavior, marketing, community education, psychology, and psychiatry. Her recent book, To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop (Trumpeter, 2008), offers a comprehensive program for stopping overshopping. Dr. Benson has also written articles and chapters for professional books and magazines.

Dr. Benson and her associates offer individual treatment and group coaching, both in person and on the telephone, and train therapists who want to learn to work with overshoppers. Stopping Overshopping, LLC maintains an active and informative website. Each month, people from almost 70 different countries visit the site.

Dr. Benson has appeared widely in the media and has been quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Toronto Star. She has also been referenced in Time, Money, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Ladies’ Home Journal, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Redbook, Marie Claire, and a variety of internet publications. She speaks to both professional and non-professional audiences.

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • Logo has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

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