Stopping Overshopping, LLC, exists to alleviate the suffering, particularly to individuals, caused by compulsive buying. We work towards:
- providing overshoppers and their loved ones with effective help and supporting them in their recovery work; and
- training therapists and related professionals to help overshoppers and the people who love them;
- raising public awareness about overshopping and the dangers of overconsumption;
- promoting consumer advocacy initiatives.
April Lane Benson, Ph.D., 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 35 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 post-graduate 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 is currently engaged in empirical research into the efficacy of the Stopping Overshopping model of treatment.
Dr. Benson has appeared widely in the media, including What Would Jesus Buy?, a documentary about overconsumption in America during the holidays. She has worked with shopaholics on “My Strange Addiction,” “The Bank of Mom and Dad,” “The Secret Lives of Women,” and on MTV’s “True Life: I’m a Shopaholic.” Her most recent TV news appearances were on the HBO series, “Revealing: Extravagance, “CBS Evening News,” Mary Talks Money,” “CNN,” “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” “ABC News Now,” and “BBC World Business Report.” Radio appearances include “Marc Sussman’s Money Messages” on Air America, “The Peter Walsh Show” on Oprah and Friends Radio, “The Jean Chatzky Show” on Oprah and Friends Radio, “the Brian Lehrer Show”, “the Business Shrink,” “Your Turn,” “Money Scope,” and “Love and Money” on XM Satellite radio. Quoted in The New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Toronto Star, she has also been referenced in Money Magazine, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Simple Living, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Redbook, Marie Claire, and a variety of internet publications.
For an online press kit, click here.
For Dr. Benson’s resume, click here.
Dr. Benson teaches therapists at a number of postgraduate institutes and college counseling centers and conducts 4-session didactic courses for therapist and 12-session trainings in the comprehensive treatment model that she and her colleagues have developed. For details, click here. Dr. Benson also teaches a course online, I Shop, Therefore I Am: Understanding and Treating Compulsive Buying. For details go to www.PsyBC.com.
Maintaining a private practice in New York City, Dr. Benson sees individual compulsive buyers and works with small groups in the New York metropolitan area. She and her associate Carla McNeil also provide telephone coaching, using the same program, with overshoppers outside of the New York metropolitan area.
Did Dr. Benson ever have a shopping problem? YES! To read more about this. Click here.
We welcome back Marcela Torres-Noguera, LMSW, a bilingual licensed social worker, who helped in the original development of the Stopping Overshopping Program. Marcela has also worked with individual overshoppers and co-led in-person groups. She has extensive experience providing individual and family counseling/therapy to families involved in the New York City Child Welfare system. Marcela will assist April Benson in the fall 2015 telecoaching group.
Laura MacLeod, LMSW. With a background in social work and 2 decades of experience as a union worker, Laura MacLeod created From From The Inside Out Project® with all levels of employment in mind to assist in maintaining a harmonious workplace. She is an adjunct professor in graduate studies at the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work and leads training sessions for social work professionals at The Coalition for Behavioral Health and Institute for Community Living in New York City. Laura speaks on conflict resolution, problem solving, and listening skills at conferences across the country and will be co-leading the fall 2015 Stopping Overshoppiong In-Person Group with Gretchen Lord.
Gretchen Lord, LCSW-R. In private practice in New York City for the past 20 years, Gretchen specializes in individual, couples and family therapy. After receiving her MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work, she began honing her family therapy and group work skills at a comprehensive family support and counseling center in South Brooklyn. Now the Program Director, Gretchen has created a variety of group therapy curriculums and co-authored an article published in the ‘Social Work with Groups Journal’ that details her innovative approach to healing trauma and building community through group therapy. Gretchen is co-leading the fall 2015 Stopping Overshoppiong In-Person Group with Laura MacLeod.
Carla McNeil, LCSW. received her Bachelor of Science degree with concentrations in Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate. After working in the insurance and finance business, she pursued and earned a masters degree in Social Work from East Carolina University. She also holds the designation of master hypnotist and EMDR therapist. Ms. McNeil has been in private practice since 2002 and has worked with various issues related to addictive disorders. While providing individual and group counseling related to compulsive shopping, including setting up spending plans and reviewing financial decisions that impact the future, she also completed training with Dr. Benson. Carla leads 12-session telecoaching groups.
Christina Salerno joined Stopping Overshopping in April, 2013, and holds the position of Program Manager. She is currently a senior at Barnard College of Columbia University, where she is majoring in Psychology and Economics, and assists in teaching a psychology lab. Christina handles communication, marketing, and project coordination at Stopping Overshopping.
Becky DeGrossa, MA. is the marketing consultant for Stopping Overshopping, LLC’s web marketing. She is the founder of CounselingWise, an online marketing company specializing in marketing for therapists. Prior to starting CounselingWise, Becky was a technology consultant at IBM for 20 years, then pursued her masters in counseling psychology. CounselingWise is a unique and much sought after blend of these two specialty areas.
Varshini Srinivasan joined Stopping Overshopping, LLC as a research assistant in March, 2015. She is currently a Senior at Barnard College of Columbia University, where she is majoring in Psychology. At Columbia, Varshini likes to be involved in social justice and community service organizations. Varshini handles research, writing and communications at StoppingOvershopping, LLC.
David Eisenach, M.A. was a research assistant for Stopping Overshopping, LLC from 2010 through 2012. A graduate of McGill University, David is in a Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at LIU-Brooklyn and has co-authored two papers with Dr. Benson, including a research paper about the pilot outcome study on the Stopping Overshopping treatment method, which will was published in June, 2014 in the Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery.
Katherine (Cassie) Van Stolk-Cooke, B.A. was an intern for Stopping Overshopping, LLC from May 2011 – June 2012. A recent graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University, Cassie is a co-author of a research paper about the pilot outcome study on the Stopping Overshopping treatment method, which was published in June, 2014 in the Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery. After two years as Research Coordinator at the Columbia University Addiction Services & Psychotherapy Interventions Research (CASPIR), Cassie is now enrolled in the Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Vermont.