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I Shop Therefore I Am
     

I Shop Therefore I Am

by April Lane Benson (Editor)
 
Compulsive buying is a serious, often secretive affliction, with profound emotional, social, occupational, and financial consequences. As many as a quarter of us have problems with buying, and studies suggest that between one and six percent of the population are full-fledged compulsive buyers. I Shop,Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self

Overview

Compulsive buying is a serious, often secretive affliction, with profound emotional, social, occupational, and financial consequences. As many as a quarter of us have problems with buying, and studies suggest that between one and six percent of the population are full-fledged compulsive buyers. I Shop,Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self brings together, for the first time, the most important thinking about this disorder. As more and more therapists encounter compulsive buying (whether as a presenting problem or revealed in the course of ongoing therapy), the need for an in-depth clinical understanding of the disorder has grown. Dr. Benson has responded admirably to that need with a practical, comprehensive, and wonderfully readable work. While the book focuses a wide-angled lens on the many aspects of compulsive buying, it emphasizes understanding the disorder as a desperate search for self in people whose identity is not securely established. It defines the syndrome of compulsive consumption, examines the range and variations within it, discusses assessment and associated disorders, and delineates successful treatment modalities. Offering insights from a broad spectrum of therapies–psychopharmacology, psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral treatment, couples and group therapy, self-help, and financial counseling–this book is an indispensable toolbox for the increasing number of therapists who see patients with shopping, buying, or debting problems. A Jason Aronson Book

Editorial Reviews

Joseph A. Califano
Dr. Benson and her colleagues have given us the first serious, scholarly, comprehensive (and fascinating) study of compulsive buying, its root causes, accompanying disorders, and treatment approaches.
Frank M. Lachmann and Beatrice Beebe
Shopping, often ridiculed, pathologized as an obsession and a perversion, and associated with frivolous women, has now been given serious, balanced, and substantive treatment. Using current contributions from infant research, motivational systems theory, self psychology, and relational psychoanalytic perspectives, Dr. Benson and her contributors add to the literature on shopping by indicating its self-sustaining and self-enhancing aspects. Richly illustrating all aspects of the shopping experience, this book addresses the multitude of psychological issues that shopping can encompass and attempt to negotiate.
Eric Hollander
April Benson's I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying & the Search for Self is a comprehensive and timely examination of an understudied but emerging public health problem. Our understanding of compulsive shopping, along with the other impulse control disorders, is rapidly changing, and this book will surely facilitate a reexamination and reconceptualization. Including material on shopping as a drug; gender and self image issues; psychiatric assessment; psychopharmacology; and psychodynamic, couples, and self-help approaches, this book is a tour de force.
Jerrold Mundis
This is a substantive, impressive, and important book that should be read by every clinician in practice. It is the first work ever to attempt—and largely succeed at—a serious, comprehensive examination of the nature of compulsive or addictive shopping, spending, and buying, problems now astonishingly widespread, usually denied, and nearly always concealed. It is a work that is both flawed and inspired, at once infuriating, stimulating, annoying, and exhilarating. It is somewhat wrong at times; at other times, dead right. Fortunately, it is more often the latter. In the end, this work is a significant and valuable contribution to healing in the new century.
Ron Taffel
Intellectually and clinically substantial, I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying & the Search for Self is so timely it ought to be on bookshelves everywhere, from the consulting room to the training institute. Given the remarkable explosion of e-commerce, Benson's focus on this subject seems almost prescient. It is impossible to imagine any therapist who doesn't come across the problem of compulsive buying, and equally impossible to imagine most clinicians having any idea about how to handle it. Dr. Benson has courage to take on this much disparaged, yet central aspect of everyday life.
Booknews
Private practitioner Benson brings together 20 psychoanalytic contributions that explore compulsive shopping as way that some people attempt to make up for an inadequate sense of self. After a brief overview of the topic, chapters discuss gendered constructions of shopping, possessions as parts of the extended self, the compulsive collector, the compulsive giver, and treatment strategies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765702425
Publisher:
Aronson, Jason Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
528
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.44(h) x 1.61(d)

What People are Saying About This

Ron Taffel
Intellectually and clinically substantial, I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying & the Search for Self is so timely it ought to be on bookshelves everywhere, from the consulting room to the training institute. Given the remarkable explosion of e-commerce, Benson's focus on this subject seems almost prescient. It is impossible to imagine any therapist who doesn't come across the problem of compulsive buying, and equally impossible to imagine most clinicians having any idea about how to handle it. Dr. Benson has courage to take on this much disparaged, yet central aspect of everyday life.
Joseph A. Califano
Benson and her colleagues have given us the first serious, scholarly, comprehensive (and fascinating) study of compulsive buying, its root causes, accompanying disorders, and treatment approaches.
Jerrold Mundis
This is a substantive, impressive, and important book that should be read by every clinician in practice. It is the first work ever to attempt—and largely succeed at—a serious, comprehensive examination of the nature of compulsive or addictive shopping, spending, and buying, problems now astonishingly widespread, usually denied, and nearly always concealed. It is a work that is both flawed and inspired, at once infuriating, stimulating, annoying, and exhilarating. It is somewhat wrong at times; at other times, dead right. Fortunately, it is more often the latter. In the end, this work is a significant and valuable contribution to healing in the new century.
Eric Hollander
April Benson's I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying & the Search for Self is a comprehensive and timely examination of an understudied but emerging public health problem. Our understanding of compulsive shopping, along with the other impulse control disorders, is rapidly changing, and this book will surely facilitate a reexamination and reconceptualization. Including material on shopping as a drug; gender and self image issues; psychiatric assessment; psychopharmacology; and psychodynamic, couples, and self-help approaches, this book is a tour de force.
Frank M. Lachmann and Beatrice Beebe
Shopping, often ridiculed, pathologized as an obsession and a perversion, and associated with frivolous women, has now been given serious, balanced, and substantive treatment. Using current contributions from infant research, motivational systems theory, self psychology, and relational psychoanalytic perspectives, Dr. Benson and her contributors add to the literature on shopping by indicating its self-sustaining and self-enhancing aspects. Richly illustrating all aspects of the shopping experience, this book addresses the multitude of psychological issues that shopping can encompass and attempt to negotiate.

Meet the Author

April Benson, Ph.D., is a co-founder of the Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia and a member of the Board of Directors, Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, both in New York City. She has worked on the problem of compulsive shopping for more than a decade—doing research, treating patients, and training therapists—and has developed a comprehensive treatment program to help eliminate it. She has written about the treatment of compulsive buying and about social factors, social costs, and public policy related to compulsive buying and been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and The Los Angeles Times. Dr. Benson has discussed compulsive shopping on numerous radio and television shows, including Good Morning, America and The Today Show. She maintains a private practice in Manhattan. Please click here to visit April Benson's website.

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