Why Rich Women Shoplift – Reviews from colleagues and professionals.

Reviews on “Why Rich Women Shoplift” from colleagues and professionals.  If you’d like to add your review please email us.

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Dr. Brady:

Thank you for your insightful book. I always thought of kleptomania as originating out of need or out of antisociality. After reading your book, I realize how off-target I was. I remember a client that walked out of a jewelry store without paying notice to the silver napkin rings as she started her car. She had just removed her silver wedding band due to a divorce and was in a dissociative state. The DSM-5 still looks at kleptomania as a problem of impulse-control and has very little to say about the disorder. As very few of the patients you describe would meet the criteria for an impulse-control disorder, you suggest external locus of control and a more sophisticated typology with multiple psychological motivational factors. Your book and approach just makes good sense.

Books such as yours makes me think of what I missed during my 35 years as a clinician. There must have been many clients that could have been better served if I had your knowledge base to work from.  This book is highly recommended for all audiences, including those readers still struggle with theft-addiction.

Cardwell C. Nuckols,Ph.D., Internationally recognized expert in behavioral medicine and addictions treatment,  author of  28 books and a consultant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.

“Dr. Brady utilizes his psychologist and criminologist background to offer readers a uniquely compelling and timely examination of this socio-legal phenomenon–wealthy women who shoplift.  While it is meticulously researched and cited, Dr. Brady writes in an engaging and open manner with real life cases suitable for all readers.  This book will soon become the standard-bearer on this issue.”

Robert Costello, JD, Ed.D.

Chair, Criminal Justice Department, SUNY Nassau Community College

Adjunct Associate Professor, Sociology Department, Hofstra University

In previous blogs I have examined activities like shopping as an addiction. One similar such behaviour is shoplifting. I have to admit that from a personal perspective I came from a family where at least two of my siblings were regular shoplifters and were both regularly caught by shop staff members and reported to the police. As a teenager, my brother was a habitual shoplifter. His behaviour was economically motivated at the start (i.e., we came from a very poor and impoverished family and he stole things because he couldn’t afford to buy things that his friends had) but was later carried out to help feed his addiction to slot machines (i.e., he would steal shop items, sell them, and use the money to gamble). This latter behaviour is common among adolescent gamblers and I have written about this in both of my published books on adolescent slot machine addiction as well as in a number of my published papers.

Last week, one of my regular blog readers, forensic psychologist Dr. John C. Brady, sent me a copy of his latest book Why Rich Women Shoplift – When They Have It All. It’s an engrossing and fascinating read (I sat an read it all in one sitting) and there are many references throughout to seeing some forms of shoplifting as an addiction.

Dr. Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK

While I may be biased, since I contributed the Foreword for this book, I can genuinely say that John Brady’s “Why Rich Women Shoplift–When They Have It All” is a welcomed addition to a subject field (“addictive-compulsive” shoplifting) about which there are too few literary offerings given that roughly 10% of (30 million) Americans shoplift with some regularity.Brady’s book is perfect for the lay person as well as the professional. He has spent several decades as a forensic psychologist and worked on hundreds of cases of shoplifters from all backgrounds. Several of his more fascinating case studies are included here. He also challenges the conventional approach to most of the shoplifting in our midst as plain thievery and also challenges the definition of “kleptomania” as the only officially-recognized diagnosis for someone whose stealing is due to a mental health disorder. He breaks down the different reasons people shoplift into categories that are thought-provoking and ground-breaking.Brady brings passion, wisdom and sensitivity to this topic. He brings the reader on a journey of discovery and, whether the reader has ever shoplifted or known someone who has shoplifted, this book is guaranteed to make you learn something about human nature and about oneself.Highly recommended!

Terrence Daryl Shulman – JD, LMSW, ACSW, CAADC, CPC

Dr. Brady, 

I am in receipt of your book and I wanted to first of all thank you so very, very much. I also want you to know that this is an addiction, a demon I fight each and every day of my life there is not a day that goes by that I do not live with the urge to shoplift; some days are good some days are horrible but none the less I live with it everyday.

In your letter you asked could you use my story and my name in your next book and I give you permission to use it. I have been through therapy but it only gave me the mechanics to cope and talk myself out of committing the act when I get the urge but by no means did it take the addiction away.

Once again I want to say thanks for the book and most of all continue getting the word out about this addiction. There are many more out there just like me.

Alondra Clem

This book provides wisdom in many arenas. It offers guidance from the perspective of the legal system, the clinical system and the person who holds the unique drive to steal. As a clinician I not only gained insight through reading the book, but also by asking my client to read the book. The benefit in client read is that feelings and those pesky hidden motives are put into words as the client-reader realizes not only is he or she not alone, but that someone understands and hold compassion for their exact position. Through understanding we find hope. Dr. Sanderson.


Fascinating! Insightful! Well researched and very helpful in understanding what is going on, not only because of compulsive-addictive behaviors, but in the culture at large.

-Dennis Smith

Dr. Brady has written a well-researched and easy to read book that helps shed light on the mystery of process addictions. Informative, enlightening and entertaining all-in-one.
Dr. Elaine Brady (no relation!)
Net Worth Recovery
San Jose, CA

-E. Brady

Dr. Brady’s book delves deeply into the environment of rich women who shoplift. It came to my attention by a mutual acquaintance while I was researching the fight-or-flight response and its relationship to serious mental illnesses. I found John’s book and its characters to be very intriguing, highly informative and important information on behaviors outside the norm for the general public to know about because any one of us could become a character in John’s next book. It is important for people to know both a cause the treatment for conscious and uncontrollable behaviors before the epidemic of shoplifting increases even more. There is commonalities between Dr. Brady’s work in his book on the misuse of drugs and my research on predicting and preventing mental illness whose treatment also includes the misuse of drugs. The aspects of the psychological drugs covered in John’s book illustrate many important issues that are addressed in his new book, Why Rich Women Shoplift—When They Have It All! I have learned a lot from John’s book and his experiences and I know that every reader of this book will do the same.

-Len Loski

Without a doubt, this book addresses the underlying reasons why people do things they never really wanted to do, in this case shoplifting. But I think the principles apply elsewhere, for many other unwanted deviations from ‘norm’. The idea of loss of control, with external factors taking over, that place the individual in a more vulnerable defense mode, due to default to a more primitive (child like) way of reacting to stress is very enlightening. Anyway this is a very good book and I recommend it to anyone interested in the way human nature works.

-Bill P.

I have read Dr. Brady’s book and it opened my eyes that some people do not shoplift because of greed or want. Some of the Ladies in his book just need help and are truly sick people.
I have discussed the book at length with Dr. Brady and came to the conclusion that the signs and symptoms of these Ladies mimicked those of a person that had just experienced a seizure and were postictal, truly not of their wright mind. I always looked at shoplifters as just common criminals, not as treatable patients. The book was a learning experience as well as entertaining.
I highly recommend everyone to read this book.

-James Dermott

 The book is a fairly easy and captivating read for the layperson and also a well referenced and detailed text for scholars. Dr. Brady organizes his comments and observations candidly and lucidly making for many serious as well as light hearted moments in it’s reading. The book certainly stimulates intelligent debate on issues like determinism versus free will as well as treatment versus punishment. Thank you, Dr. Brady!