Shopping Addiction Individual Shopping Addiction Program

The Stopping Overshopping Shopping Addiction Treatment Individual Program

Dr. Benson and her associates are available for individual counseling or therapy in:

  • Manhattan
  • The New York metropolitan area
  • Individual coaching by phone and Skype, for overshoppers who live anywhere outside of the New York metropolitan area.

We’ll ask you to fill out three intake forms (listed below), which will immediately increase your awareness about your overshopping behavior and supply us with important information about yourself.

  • A Personal History and Demographic Data Questionnaire
  • Two valid and reliable compulsive buying rating scales
  • A Purchasing Recall form

The goal of our treatment program is to:

  • Break the cycle that leads to compulsive buying
  • To teach skills, tools, and strategies to help you eliminate your compulsive buying behavior and develop the capacity to lead a richer life in the process.

The comprehensive program in Dr. Benson’s book, To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop is the basic structure of the individual work, although the program is tailored to each person’s specific needs. The coaching we’ll do approaches the problem from feeling, thinking, and behavioral levels and employs a variety of effective techniques to meet the goal of helping you to resist and eliminate self-defeating overshopping behavior and replace it with interests, relationships, and competencies that enhance your life rather than erode it.

Each individual will receive a copy of To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop and the companion Shopping Journals. With these instruments, you will formulate specific, achievable, and measurable weekly goals. There is no set number of sessions, although it usually takes at least 12 50-minute sessions to get through the entire program.

Over the course of the 12 weeks, you will:

  • Explore why you overshop, how it all began, what triggers it, and what the consequences are.
  • Discuss your ambivalence about changing, the centrality of saving, and the high cost of credit card debt.
  • Track your spending and evaluate the relative necessity of each expenditure.
  • Learn how to resist the pull of the six major shopping magnets
  • Develop the capacity to shop mindfully by utilizing the wisdom of your body, your heart, your mind, and your spirit.
  • Learn how to anticipate lapses, avoid relapses, and plan for upcoming high risk situations.
  • Look at shopping with a wide-angle lens by shopping for ideas and experiences and, in the process, acquiring true wealth.

If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s buying behavior and wish to contact Dr. Benson about individual shopping addiction treatment or coaching, please contact her by clicking here. For a list of therapists trained by Dr. Benson, click here.


  1. I was wondering if you could be kind enough to share the cost of the sessions. I am an overshopper, I surf and shop the internet due to boredom and trying to find a way to self placate myself when I get frustrated, angry, feel self loathing, hate myself, or feel controlled or put down. I have been doing it for years but I am noticing it is escalating. It is time to address this issue.

    It has become a compulsion, and I feel it is time to release this behavior.

    Can you please tell me the cost, and how to begin.
    thanks Marie

  2. Melanie Middleton says:

    What would be the best course when you are really in debt due to overshopping and a brief period of unemployment. Does one of your courses/programs deal with that? I am a diabetic on insulin and I skip meals to make the food last longer – not a great habit.

    • Melanie,

      If you are really in debt, you need to think carefully about whether to put yourself in more debt in order to do one of our programs. If you’re really ready to tackle this, you’ve got to commit to doing the reading and writing that is a part of our individual and group programs.

      If you’re not ready to commit to that, you might try our text messaging program, which is very affordable and/or the Stop the Shopping Insanity audio program, also very affordable, to bolster your motivation.

      Warm regards,
      April Benson

  3. Shirley Clapp says:

    I need help and I don’t know where to go in my state, Maryland. I have taking the questionnaires and I definitely have a problem with spending and I know this already. I am a very bad impulse buyer and then within a couple of hours I will return the item/items purchased. My husband gets very frustrated with me and we are in debt are to our ears it seems like. Please help!!! I’m not sure we route to go with the help and truly don’t have alot of money to spend.

    • Dear Shirley,

      I don’t know anyone in Maryland who specializes in this problem. However, there are coaches whom I’ve trained that could work with you via Skype or telephone. Here is her contact information

      Marcela Torres-Noguera, LCSW

      Individual therapy and coaching in English and Spanish, In-person, by phone and Skype
      For more information about Marcela Torres, go to the About page of my website.

      For some immediate help we recently launched a very affordable interactive text messaging program for compulsive buyers. The first of its kind, it’s a way to use technology positively, to help those who buying compulsive online or in bricks and mortar stores. For more information, visit We also have an audio program, Stop the Shopping Insanity, which consists of three 1-hour conversations I had with three different women, who each wrote a book about her recovery journey. For more details, visit

      Alternatively or additionally, you might think about Debtors Anonymous, which has in-person, online, and telephone meetings.

      Wishing you much success,
      April Benson

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