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                        AND ORGANIZATIONS

~~ TRAINING WITH DR WILL CUPCHIK. Dr Cupchik provides individual clinicians and those who are employees of outpatient, 28 day Program, etc... organizations, the opportunity to learn how to recognize, understand, assess and treat usually honest persons who have been shoplifting or committing other kinds of theft, via one-day workshops, two-day Intensive training programs and, as well, 20-session, weekly ongoing training either in-person or via Skype.

Dr Cupchik is the former Psychologist-in-Charge, Forensic Outpatient Psychological Services, at the Clarke  Institute of Psychiatry, in Toronto. He has been  a member of the American Psychological Association, Canadian Psychological Association and Ontario Psychological Association for more than three and one-half decades and is currently an honorary life member of all three organizations. As well, Dr Cupchik holds a Certificate of Professional Qualification [CPQ] and an Interjurisdictional Practice Certificate [IPC] from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

In June of 2014 Dr Cupchik presented a workshop to colleagues at the Canadian Psychological Association convention that was held in Vancouver. He is the author of two books on this subject Why Usually Honest People Steal  published in 2013 and Why Honest People Shoplift Or Commit Other Acts Of Theft [Rev. 2002]. 

[He is also the author of the 2015 book titled, THE ROPE TRICK: CLOSE YOUR EYES AND OPEN YOUR MIND TO BETTER KNOW YOUR RELATIONSHIPS, that offers an original mental imagery exercise that was thoroughly investigated for Dr. Cupchik's Ph.D. dissertation in Counseling Psychology at the University of Toronto.]

    His original article, titled Shoplifting: An Occasional Crime OF The Moral Majority, was published in the major peer-reviewed professional journal, the Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, more than three decades ago, in 1983. This article is available for reading in its entirety on the AAPL website.

==================================================================                       Training With Dr. Will Cupchik
 The Cupchik Center For The Assessment and Treatment of Atypical Theft Offenders offers three levels of training programs via the economical and efficient use of Skype:

-- A One-Day Foundational Training Program is personally offered by Dr. Will Cupchik exclusively via Skype.

-- A Two-Day Advanced Training Program, also conveniently offered by Dr. Cupchik via Skype.


-- A Twenty Session (one-session-per-week) Training & Consultation Program, provided by Dr. Cupchik and that allows qualified clinician-participants to receive individual and/or group training and consultation as desired, including in regard to specific cases being dealt with by the participant(s).

Dr. Cupchik may also be available to provide any of the above Programs on-site and in-person.

     Contact Dr. Cupchik directly at 416-928-2262 or via email at wcupchik@aol.com for additional information regarding any of these Programs.




Time requirements:   One day; 6 clinical hours  (50 minutes 

Participants’ academic and professional background:      At minimum, a Masters degree in a related mental health field [clinical social work, psychology, psychiatry, etc...]


Session # 1:

-- Defining Atypical Theft Offender (ATO) and Typical Theft Offender (TTO)

-- presentation of the 26-item Cupchik Theft Offender Spectrum and how to use this pen-and-paper instrument to distinguish between ATOs, TTOs and mixed-type theft offenders


Session # 2:

Discussions of the three kinds of intervention program developed by Dr Cupchik for suitable clients:

-- the in-office, four day, 19 sessions Intensive Intervention Program

-- the 20 session, Internet-enabled  Intensive Intervention Program, employing one or two consecutive sessions each week

-- the 20-plus session Program, offered in-office, one single session per week
detailed discussion of the pros and cons of each format


 Session # 3: Mini-Lessons of therapeutic tools especially suitable for working with theft offenders:

-- Transactional Analysis
-- Karpman Drama Triangle
-- The Cupchik Theft Offender Questionnaire
-- Discussion of how best to employ these and other therapeutic devices to reduce recidivism


Session # 4: The often erroneous and misuse of the notion of ‘kleptomania’ when applied to usually honest persons who shoplift
why the term Atypical Theft Offender, introduced into the professional literature by Dr Cupchik and his colleagues over three decades ago, is far more appropriate and accurate


Session # 5: The major findings of my 1983, 1997 and 2013 studies of some 100 cases and the uncovered factors that often contribute to atypical theft behavior

-- How these three studies can direct clinicians towards uncovering the likely triggering issues and events in the Atypical Theft Offender’s life and how to use this information to efficiently and effectively lead to suitable treatment


Session # 6: Deepening the understanding why usually honest people steal:

the relationship between personal loss and theft, with examples
as a reaction to stress, with examples
a response to illness, especially cancer, in either the self or a significant other
the relationship between the losses and overeating, gambling, compulsive shopping and shoplifting
shoplifting as an aggressive act
shoplifting as a symbolic act
the usually mistaken -and misleading- notion that ATOs steal ‘for the thrill of it’
stealing from the Rebellious Child and ‘Victim’ positions
unresolved issues of early verbal, physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse as potentially dynamic factors in triggering atypical theft behavior, and why they must be dealt with to reduce the likelihood of recidivism

Bonus Supplemental topics, as time allows:

dealing with mixed type theft offenders
the role of organismic disgust in assisting to reduce recidivism
the ideal ego states toward the therapist/counselor to adopt in assisting theft offenders
the real suicidal potential of some Atypical Theft Offenders and how to help minimize it



The first day of the two day program is essentially the one-day program as described above, and with additional depth. The second day adds the following
6 sessions to bring the total number of sessions.

Time requirements    Two days; 12 clinical hours (50 minutes each clinical hour)
Participants’ backgrounds: 
At minimum, a Masters degree in a related mental health field [clinical social work, psychology, psychiatry, etc...], plus
at least 1500 clinical hours of direct client contact, plus
at least 50 sessions of personal psychotherapy experience as a client.

[The reasons for stipulating the above greater degree of academic training, clinical practice and personal psychotherapy experience, are that making use of the materials provided in the second day of the Advanced Program requires considerably greater expertise, professional and personal development in order to more effectively carry out the in-depth, enhanced counselling approaches that are presented in the second day of the Advanced Training Program.] 

                 SECOND DAY OF THE ADVANCED TRAINING PROGRAM [includes sessions 7-12]

Session # 7:
Mini-Lesson: Reintrojection Therapy: what this sequential process [developed by Dr. Cupchik and recognized by Dr. Christine Courtous as a powerful 'finishing' technique [ in her exceptional book titled, HEALING THE INCEST WOUND], involves, and how and when to employ it, especially with Atypical Theft Offenders who experienced early abuse and/or trauma


Session # 8:

the important role and format of a sufficiently robust Informed Consent Form as a means of enhancing protections for both client and therapist


Session # 9:

Photography therapy; what it is, its judicious use, and how to best employ it to reveal clinically relevant matters that very likely also pertain to the underlying reasons for the atypical theft behavior
How this approach may be employed to help heal the client in the here-and-now; with examples


Session # 10:

Other kinds of atypical theft behavior that are carried out by Atypical Theft Offenders and how to deal with these matters:

employee theft
stealing from fellow employees and/or relatives and/or friends
thefts from family members committed by adopted children; the possible motivations


Session # 11: The Rope Trick, an original mental imagery device developed by Dr. Cupchik to use in examining the status and dynamics of the client’s most important interpersonal relationships, and how to employ this tool to help the client prevent further acting out in the future


Session # 12: The vital roles that Significant Others can play in reducing the likelihood of recidivism

letter to the Significant Other
interviewing the Significant Other alone and/or with the client present 
conducting sessions with both the client and partner present, partly in service of assisting the Significant Other to become an early warning system for the client, in order to reduce the likelihood of recidivism


Supplemental topics, as time allows:

group treatment for Atypical Theft Offenders; how to optimize success

Important illudstrative examples to consider, including the man who stole $500,000 and the psychodynamic issues he shared with a woman who merely stole some sweaters; the police officer who is a member of the Special Investigation Unit and was on the verge of committing suicide

A more thorough discussion of working with Significant Others

Employing marital sessions if the aim is to seriously reduce recidivism

Court directed letters and reports: major considerations to take into account based upon more than 43 years experience of working with theft offender cases

The very highly questionable use of SSRIs with Atypical Theft Offenders, with various illustrative examples.

The use of a Brief Screening Questionnaire to separate out Atypical Theft Offenders from Typical Theft Offenders in order to maximize the likelihood of success in group format treatment

The vital three-part contract that a client can make with himself, in the clinician’s presence, in order to reduce the likelihood of recidivism




     The ongoing weekly training program is offered by Dr. Cupchik on a one clinical hour per week basis for 20 weeks, via Skype. This extended program is offered only to those suitable individuals who have already completed a two-day advanced training program with Dr. Cupchik.

     In this ongoing weekly training program format Dr. Cupchik offers additional ways and means of optimizing assessment and treatment of Atypical Theft Offenders. The topics chosen will coordinate with the facility’s needs and preferences in order to optimize their value to the personnel taking the program.

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