Stopping Overshopping LLC

'Compulsive Buying Treatment

Year Founded: 2006

Model of Therapy: Compulsive Buying Treatment

Available training types: Telephone and Web-Based Programs

Compulsive buying treatment is still very much in a formative stage. Society, advertising, and the media all conspire against the cultivation of true wealth, which cannot be quantified on a financial balance sheet but must instead be felt and sensed: self-esteem, family, friendships, a sense of community, health, education, creative pursuits, and communion with nature. It is inner poverty, both emotional and spiritual, that is at the core of most compulsive spending. The acquisition of true wealth is crucial to recovery.

“Affluenza” or compulsive buying is a result of the emotional and spiritual poverty discussed above. We live in a culture of consumption that gives rise to affluenza; compulsive buying can be the high price of materialism. Therapists are often uneasy with the topic and unsure of what steps to follow when working with overshoppers. Dr. Benson focuses on etiology, assessment, diagnosis, comorbidity, and the functions of overshopping to give therapists a good foundation with the problem and a solid introduction to the various treatment options and adjunctive resources. From her years of experience, Dr. Benson introduces easily learned techniques that are extremely effective with overshoppers and describes how they fit into a comprehensive treatment program that combines psychodynamic principles and aspects of cognitive behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and motivational interviewing.

Training and supervision are offered in several formats, as described briefly below:

Four-session online audio course for mental health professionals with readings, audiotapes, and one live, 50-minute group consultation call with Dr. Benson.

Online training course for mental health professionals, I Shop, Therefore I Am: Understanding and Treating Compulsive Buying, through Continuing education credits are available.

In-person, telephone, or Skype supervision with therapists who want help with current clients or want to begin working with compulsive buyers. Dr. Benson is also available to teach therapists about the treatment of compulsive buying and will tailor course material to suit the individual needs of the interested organization or group.

Ninety-minute web conference through You Can Never Get Enough of What You Don’t Really Need: Theory and Treatment of Compulsive Buying. To access the webconference, click here, and click on Join Us (top right), and enter the promotion code TRIAL602011BENSON on the first page of registration in the promotional code field.

About the Founder(s)

  • '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 disorder. Dr. Benson has been in private practice in New York City for over 30 years. A cum laude graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, she’s earned a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Ferkauf Graduate School, Yeshiva University. Dr. Benson holds postgraduate certificates in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis from the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, in the treatment of eating disorders from the Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia, and in Spirituality and Psychotherapy from the Blanton-Peale Institute for Pastoral Counseling. Co-founder of the Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia in New York, Dr. Benson also serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy.

    Author of To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop and editor of I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self, Dr. Benson has also published chapters in several professional books and journals and recently completed an outcome study into the efficacy of the Stopping Overshopping model of treatment which has been submitted for publications.

    Dr. Benson has appeared widely in the media. An abbreviated list of her television, radio, and print media appearances include the “CBS Evening News,” “CNN,” “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” “ABC News Now,” and “BBC World Business Report,” “Marc Sussman’s Money Messages” on Air America, “The Peter Walsh Show” on Oprah and Friends Radio, and “the Brian Lehrer Show,” “the Business Shrink,” and “Love and Money” on XM Satellite radio, and The New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and Kiplinger Personal Finance. Dr. Benson maintains a private practice in New York City, seeing individual compulsive buyers and small groups in the New York metropolitan area, She also supervises and trains therapists.

  • Founder / Lead Developer: April Lane Benson, PhD
  • Executive Director: April Lane Benson, PhD
  • Address: 300 Central Park West, 1K, New York, New York 10024
  • Phone: 917-885-6887
  • Website:

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