Referral to Psychotherapist

First of all, you should be proud of yourself, (not because you have shoplifted or considered shoplifting) but because you have shown courage in acknowledging that you may have a problem and because you are willing to seek outside help to deal with it (which is 50% of the battle). Second, there are some things you need to be aware of before you proceed on this path.

Since the decision to enter individual psychotherapy may mean making one important choice over other options, NASP will give you a referral to a local therapist in your area only after NASP is assured that you have a good understanding of your problem and that you have considered the pros and cons of individual psychotherapy.

Therefore, before giving you a referral, NASP requires that you first do the following two things. This will give you important knowledge and help you make the right decision for yourself.

  1. Click and read “When To Consider Individual Psychothereapy Over Other Options When Seeking To Resolve A Problem With Shoplifting."

  2. Click and complete one or more of the following NASP programs which may also recommend individual psychotherapy:

Once you have completed your two requirements, you can request a referral by calling the NASP Helpline at 1-800-848-9595 or by sending a confidential email to us.

NASP will quickly verify your completion of the two requirements and give you a referral, at no charge.

If, for any reason, you are not completely pleased with the therapist selected, please let us know and we will refer another person to you who is qualified to address the issues commonly contributing to a shoplifting problem.

When Should You Consider Individual Psychotherapy Over Other Options When Seeking To Resolve A Problem With Shoplifting?

Things To Consider:

1. Traumatic Life Event

Consider psychotherapy if you have experienced a traumatic life event which you believe may be responsible for the onset or acceleration of your shoplifting. (For example: a divorce situation, loss of a loved one, loss of health, loss of income, etc.)

2. Diagnosis Of A Psychological Disorder

Consider psychotherapy when a physician has prescribed psychotropic medication for you or a qualified therapist has previously diagnosed you with any of the following psychological disorders:

(extreme sadness)

Anxiety Disorder
(overwhelming fear)

Conduct Disorder
(opposition to authority)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
(persistent preoccupation with an unreasonable idea or feeling & the irresistible impulse to act on it)

Impulse Control Disorder

Bi-Polar Disorder
(extreme exhilaration and sadness)

Intermittent Explosive Disorder
(explosive anger, rage)

Personality Disorder
(overtly eccentric, erratic, exceptionally shy, dependent,controlling)

Addictive Personality
(surrender to a habit)

Attachment Disorder
(detached from others)

Adjustment Disorder
(traumatic life event)

3. Recommendation From NASP

Consider psychotherapy if you have completed a NASP Self-Assessment, Education Program or Telephone Coaching Session and received a recommendation that you consider individual counseling or psychotherapy.

4. Strong Desire

Consider psychotherapy if you strongly believe that individual psychotherapy would be right for you, after reviewing the pros and cons of this type of treatment.

Some Pros And Cons Of Psychotherapy


  1. Psychotherapy vs. short-term programs can generally dig deeper into unresolved issues which may be contributing to your shoplifting behavior.
  2. Psychotherapy may be able to identify and treat other issues about yourself which could improve the quality of your life.
  3. Psychotherapeutic treatment, prior to a future arrest, would show the court that you are taking positive steps to alter your behavior and could result in your therapist becoming your advocate in a court proceeding.
  4. Psychotherapeutic treatment could identify or prescribe medication(s) which might be appropriate, although this would not be the treatment of choice, except in special cases with a specific diagnosis of pathology which is widely responsive to such treatment.


  1. The psychotherapist you chose on your own may not have the education, knowledge or experience to effectively treat a shoplifting problem, which could cost you time and money.
  2. The long-term nature of psychotherapy vs. shorter-term treatment with other crisis intervention alternatives, could put you more “at risk” of getting caught during the treatment period.
  3. The cost of psychotherapy, even when partially reimbursed by insurance, is generally more expensive than shorter-term treatment programs.
  4. The commitment to psychotherapy, which is commonly associated with weekly scheduling and traveling for office visits, can be difficult for some.

Given some of the pros and cons, NASP recommends that people who have not been previously diagnosed with a specific psychological condition or are not clear about how to proceed to resolve their shoplifting issue, begin their recovery with a Self-Assessment, Home-Study Education Program and/or short-term Telephone Coaching before deciding on individual psychotherapy.

If you have a question to ask or comments to share, please click here to contact us.