TPJ addresses the widespread issue of theft by utilizing an Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
based educational program, CBT For Theft.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
CBT is the world’s leading evidence-based treatment for impulse control, addiction and anxiety disorders that contribute to an individual’s theft problem. With over 1000 randomized controlled trials supporting its efficacy, it is known to be one of the most effective ways to make long term, positive changes in an individual’s life.
CBT is a class of therapeutic interventions based on a common theory about the connection between our thoughts, attitudes and beliefs — cognitions — and our behavior. The core premise of CBT is simple: The way an individual thinks about situations shapes their choices, behavior and actions. If flawed or maladaptive thoughts, attitudes and beliefs lead to inappropriate or destructive behavior, then changing those thoughts, attitudes and beliefs can lead to more appropriate, pro-social behavior. That is the therapeutic promise of CBT.
Why Provide CBT for Individuals Caught Shoplifting?
Studies have shown that the vast majority of shoplifters are adult, middle class individuals who are stealing because of an underlying impulse control or addiction disorder. Identifying this category of shoplifters and offering CBT as a voluntary alternative to prosecution or in sentencing, not only allows individuals to learn from the incident and change behaviors, but it also provides communities with a viable method to reduce retail theft recidivism.
Identifying this category of shoplifters and offering CBT as a voluntary alternative to prosecution or in sentencing, not only allows individuals to learn from the incident and change behaviors, but it also provides communities with a viable method to reduce retail theft recidivism.
For more information about the correlation between retail theft and addiction see Blanco, Carlos et al.,Prevalence and Correlates of Shoplifting in the United States: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), 165 Am. J. Psychiatry 905, 909 (2008). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18381900
 For more information about the use of CBT in Criminal Justice see Feucht, Thomas, and Tammy Holt, “Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work in Criminal Justice? A New Analysis from CrimeSolutions.gov,” NIJ Journal 277 (2016). https://nij.gov/journals/277/Pages/crimesolutions-cbt.aspx
Is Online CBT Effective?
A common question about online CBT is whether or not it works as well as in-person therapy. While the use of internet-based CBT is relatively new, recent studies have demonstrated that Online delivery of CBT, with minimal therapist support, is equally efficacious as clinic-based, face-to-face therapy in the treatment of a number of addiction and impulse control disorders. This approach offers a credible alternative to clinic-based therapy, with benefits of reduced therapist time and greater accessibility for families who have difficulty accessing clinic-based CBT. There are many people around the country who would benefit enormously from evidence-based techniques such as CBT but are unable access in-person services. Online CBT has the potential to reach these people and improve their quality of life.
For more information about the effectiveness of online CBT programs, see Kumar V, Sattar Y, Bseiso A, Khan S, Rutkofsky IH. The Effectiveness of Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders. Cureus. 2017;9(8):e1626. Published 2017 Aug 29. doi:10.7759/cureus.1626. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5659300/
How Does Turning Point Justice's CBT For Theft Program Work?
The TPJ CBT for Theft program is based upon the work of Terrence Shulman, LMSW, ACSW, CPC, JD, founder of the Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft, Spending and Hoarding and author of the book “Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery.”
To complete the CBT program, subjects must log in regularly to a secure website to access, read and download online materials arranged into a series of lessons. They receive exercises which they are expected to complete before the next module is available. They also regularly complete computer administered questionnaires relevant to their presenting problems, which allows TPJ to monitor progress and outcomes.
Upon completion of the CBT course, individuals are provided resources for ongoing support or for one-on-one counseling with licensed therapists trained in CBT techniques.
Did you know….
90% of individuals with a lifetime history of shoplifting have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder or personality disorder
Shoplifting is more common for those with an individual income of over $35,000 or a family income of over $70,000
60% of individuals with a lifetime history of shoplifting have some college education
Facts above are referenced from: Blanco, Carlos et al.,Prevalence and Correlates of Shoplifting in the United States: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), 165 Am. J. Psychiatry 905, 909 (2008)