April Benson’s Stopping Overshopping Program has changed my life. By helping me become aware of the roots of my money behavior and by fostering compassion for myself, it has freed me from the burdens of guilt and shame. By leading me on a journey into myself, it has brought me authenticity with others.
To be sure, the Program is challenging. The workbook exercises—stages of the journey into the self—are deep and intimate, and sometimes emotionally difficult. Staying with them took discipline and will power. How rewarding it is, though, to see clearly and non-judgmentally into the hows and whys of my own unhealthy behavior! This awareness now radiates into every corner of my life, clarifying my career goals and transforming my personal relationships. Along with it, also because of the Program, has come an acknowledgment and embrace of my particular qualities and skills, the gifts with which I can constructively engage the world.
I feel as if I’ve come out from under an enormous, gloomy cloud. I’m excited about moving on with my life, more real and alive with everyone and everything than I’ve been in a very long time.
— C. B., New York, New York
Bless your presence in my life once again. Yesterday, I almost slipped and put a cashmere sweater on layaway. I took a pause, went home and looked at what I currently had and then sat myself down in front of your website. I listened again to all of your radio and television engagements. Not only did your advice encourage me to ask the six questions and evaluate how much I really “needed” this garment… just hearing your voice was healing. I also wanted to let you know that life is very good and I say a gratitude prayer each morning and share it with my husband each evening. Last year at this time my marriage was at its most fragile point and I am grateful for how my life is unfolding. Life feels so much richer and more meaningful; I am rarely feeling empty or lonely these days.I have no personal debts and money in the bank. I haven’t used a store credit card since 2005.
— S.B., New York
“I want in so many ways to let you know how important you and your program have been to me. You provided a warm place to land with real help and no recriminations—ever! I needed something that dealt with money and also got to me at my core. I learned so much. I read your book like it was champagne. I just couldn’t read it fast enough. I read it twice. I marked it up. It was like reading an autobiographical novel. I learned so much from the exercises of the program and the warm uplifting talks we had. I learned to use tools that I never knew were out there, like meditation and the Sunup to Sundown Spending Summary.
What you have is a godsend for people like me and I can only believe there are still thousands out there you need to be there for. There was just nothing else out there like it. I feel that it’s at the core of my soul that I changed. I am a very different person today, thanks to you.”
— L.S., Sandusky, OH
“Working with you on compulsive shopping was most helpful. Through the exercises, I was able to see for the first time that I was seeking the approval of others through buying.
From the coursework and my shopping journal, I became aware that impulsivity was a lot of the problem. Taking “shopping breaks” − having things put on hold − was a very effective technique to counter my impulsivity; it gave me time to evaluate things calmly.
Through the group and your personal help, I became aware of my interior self and began to question exactly what I was trying to accomplish through shopping. The answers ranged from sadness to boredom to a lack of self-esteem that I sought to find by shopping. Now shopping is a pleasurable, carefully thought out plan, fulfilling and not disappointing.”
— T. S., Houston, TX
“April Benson’s course is highly valuable. It broadened my horizons. It opened my eyes to why I overshop and gave me the tools to stop doing it. The course was wonderful–concise and meaty. April Benson is a dynamic speaker, and her materials and exercises and groupwork combine joy and seriousness.”
— M. F., New Jersey
“I want to thank you for your understanding and compassion in dealing with my compulsive shopping/spending problem; I’ve searched for a long time to find someone or something that would help me overcome it. I found both those things in you and the group that you run. You and the group members helped me gain insights into my behavior and provided me with valuable tools for overcoming the compulsion to shop. The skills I developed in your group are helping me to grow and learn and gain more control over my compulsive shopping.”
— G. G., New York
“Dr. Benson is a warm and caring person who offers practical solutions to seemingly complicated shopping problems. She reaches out to each person as an individual and not as a textbook case.”
— Sober Shopper
“I want to thank you for creating the assessment package that makes up Your Shopping Self-Portrait. I’d never seen myself as a problem shopper. After all, I had no clothes in the closet with tags on them, no items stacked for return, no credit card debt, no feelings of guilt—none, in short, of the familiar indicators. But after completing your self-assessment suite and creating my shopping profile, I recognized an arena in my life where shopping was taking the place of other needs.
Whenever I took vacations, went away on business, or traveled to visit friends, I’d buy and buy. Regional music, clothes, books, and a great deal more—all meant to remind me of the pleasure I experienced in those places. Now I asked myself what I was really buying. The answer was an eye-opener: there was stress at home I believed I needed to get away from.
This awareness led to two commitments. First, to deal with, rather than escape from, the stress at home. And second, to enjoy my getaway experiences more deeply in the moment rather than shopping to somehow bring them home with me. Again, thank you! You’ve taught me that shopping can be an unhealthy way of dealing with issues that have nothing nothing to do with money or “stuff” and everything to do with who I am and how I live my life.”
— L.L., Benecia, California
For additional testimonials from group members, click here…