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To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop Paperback – December 30, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This warm, wonderful book provides a road map for making the journey from overshopping to full recovery and life balance. I particularly enjoyed the use of mindfulness techniques. Every overshopper needs this book!”—Olivia Mellan, Overcoming Overspending

“An extremely helpful book. Dr. Benson provides a practical, step-by-step method for recognizing, controlling, and finally stopping a shopping problem. I recommend it without hesitation.”—Lorrin Koran, MD, Stanford University Medical Center

“If you are a compulsive or chronic shopper—as millions are—this book may well save your sanity, your relationships, your marriage, or even your life.”—Jerold Mundis, author of How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously

“This book instructs wisely about the problem of compulsive buying and how it might be reasonably overcome.”—New England Psychologist

About the Author

April Lane Benson, PhD, is a nationally known psychologist who specializes in the treatment of compulsive buying disorder. She has appeared on several national television programs including the Today Show, Good Morning America, and the CBS Evening News.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Trumpeter (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159030599X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590305997
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Take one (former) shopaholic. Give her a Ph.D. in psychology and ten years experience treating over-shopping. Publish her book about how to get free of the vast consumer conspiracy surrounding us, and you have Dr. April Lane Benson and her vital new book: To Buy or Not to Buy.
This is not a comfortable book for me to read. I find my behavior unmasked and as undeniable as my shoulder-length gray hair. Have I used shopping to feel better about myself? Yes. Have I used shopping to avoid confronting a situation I want to avoid? Yes. Have I used shopping as a weapon to express anger? Yes.
Sometimes yes to all of the above, and other questions in chapter one. Like a trip to the dentist, confronting my negative behavior and the psychology behind it can be painful, but also healing. I love this book, because there is healing in getting the rot out. Dr. Benson offers a way to find authentic happiness to replace the false esteem of keeping up with (or exceeding) the 'Joneses'. She points out the relentless consumerism driving our economy, with tentacles invading our conciousness through stores, malls, television, catalogs, Internet and even cell phone shopping. She uncovers the true cost of credit card purchases, and documents the ways invisible forces demand that we buy "more more more and now now now".
Knowledge is power. Self-knowledge is the power to change. To Buy or Not to Buy is a tool that can enable us to get free of our compulsive shopping. If you are confident that you don't have any shopping addictions, I challenge you to go to browse inside her book - consider the many ways we can fool ourselves into buying things to fill an emotional hole rather than a material need.
I recognized some of my buying patterns in her analysis, and also patterns of friends and relatives.
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Format: Paperback
I have been coaching one of my clients, who is an "over-shopper" through this book for the past few months. We had cleared a lot of the clutter from her home in 2009, but we both knew that it would return if she did not gain control over her shopping. In January 2010 I introduced her to the book and the companion journals with the hope that she would work her way through it. Instead, she requested that I coach her through it and it has been a fantastic experience for both of us.

In the book, Benson encourages the shopper to enlist the support of a "Shopping Support Buddy", the requirements for which are outlined in great detail, but who is essentially an advocate for the individual working their way through the program. I am serving as my client's advocate and her accountability partner in her journey through the book.

Here are what I feel to be the highlights of the program:

In the first part of the book the reader explores what they are shopping for and why and documents their explorations in a companion journal. The journaling and exercises in these early chapters have proven very powerful for my client and she has a experienced a significant number of "ah-ha" moments.

In Chapter Two, Dr. Benson provides a wonderful acknowledgement to the reader for getting this far and then encourages the reader to explore whether or not this journey is really worth the effort. So many self help books assume you're "all in" right from the beginning. Dr. Benson wants to keep checking in with you. This is demonstrated again in the section "To Stop or Not to Stop", which explores ambivalence around stopping shopping.
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Format: Paperback
I am enthusiastically endorsing this new book from Dr. April Benson, one of the pioneers in the research, study, and treatment of compulsive shopping and spending. There may be other books out there on this topic but Dr. Benson culls together stories, exercises, theory, and statistics in a way that is easy to read and use and which powerfully impacts our emotions to break through denial but also empower us with hope and commitment to change. In a time where compulsive shopping and spending has reached its pinnacle (or nadir), this book comes not a moment too soon! I can also say, as a colleague of Dr. Benson, that her commitment to helping others is unparalleled. Her voice is a clarion call through the din of insanity which offers a clear path toward wholeness and a healthy relationship to things, money, shopping and spending. Read this book now--for yourself or someone you love!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been phenomenally helpful in allowing me to understand the "demons" that I have obviously been living with for so many years. I am now 66 years old and finally coming to terms with the underlying reasons for the behaviors that I have struggled with over and over again throughout my life. Thank you Dr. Benson!
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I am really enjoying this book, but want to be honest- this is not a book you can sit down and read cover to cover in a day and expect to fix an over-shopping problem. This book suggests that you take it slow and answer all the questions in each section, which requires time and commitment. I am finding it worth it though. I feel the work I've done in the book so far has been very helpful.
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