Our Approach


Theory and Philosophy ...

"THEFT TALK's"™ theory and philosophy are unique, quite specific and specialized. In brief, the message is that people are individually responsible for their behavior. When people make the choice to steal, they have control over their actions and choices. Often times they make these choices based on misconceptions and/or inadequate information. When the thinking is based on inaccurate information, "thinking errors" occur. When people make choices in this manner they, are likely to make poor choices. "THEFT TALK"™ emphasizes the need for people to learn how to make informed and insightful decisions -- to make good choices.

"THEFT TALK"™ deals with the way the theft offender thinks. We look at what people who steal are thinking (looking for thinking errors), what they are not thinking (looking for thinking omissions) , and give some suggestions on what they might start thinking about. The offender's thinking just prior to the actual incident has proven to be of great importance.



"To change the way people think about stealing."


The primary premise of "THEFT TALK"™ is that most people are not willing to cause injury to others if they are aware of, and fully understand, the injury.

Specific Approach...

Since "THEFT TALK"™ focuses on thinking, it is natural that our primary approach deals with the issue from the offender's point of view. We strive to understand the logic they use when making their decisions and to increase their awareness of their thinking errors.


The intent of the work done is to change the way people perceive stealing.

Philosophical Orientation ...

Describing the philosophy of "THEFT TALK"™ would be difficult short of writing a book. "THEFT TALK"™ is a unique blend of several of the predominant philosophies of the time. We have a behavioral approach, however, use internal rewards and consequences as opposed to external. We are not Freudian however Freud's intent was to develop insight, our intent is the same. Glasser's work regarding responsibility blends quite well with one phase of our work but is only a beginning. The work of Aaron T. Beck, (founder of Cognitive Restructuring) is primary and central to our work. Also, Kohlberg's work on moral development is occasionally modeled after. Many of Samenow and Yochelson's beliefs are similar to "THEFT TALK's"™, including the focus on thinking, choices, and re-evaluating the causal model.

The philosophical model which is most inconsistent with "THEFT TALK"™ is the "Systems Approach". The Systems Approach certainly has its place, (especially in family counseling), however, it has no place in "THEFT TALK"™.

The majority of our work centers around the offenders thinking process. We reject the majority of the "causal" models which attempt to explain criminality as "caused" by social, environmental or psychological trauma. We, instead, adhere more closely to the differential association theory. Regardless of upbringing, social setting and environment we emphasize "choices". The past becomes much less important with this model. We emphasize personal responsibility for each choice we make, taking control of our lives and our future.

What we do ....

The following briefly describes "Theft Talk's" theoretical/philosophical base, our ideology, approach and beliefs.



Most of "THEFT TALK's"™ work involves cognitive therapy:

Cognitive Restructuring We assess and address the clients attitudes, values and beliefs.

Victim Awareness We help our clients feel the pain of their victim and picture the human being(s) they affected.

Dissonance Therapy Change occurs when our clients scrutinize the inconsistencies in their thinking.

Thinking Errors Clients learn of the errors and omissions in their belief systems.

Skill Building A key to our success is for each client to learn new decision making skills and to assume personal responsibility.

Education Each component of our programs begins with an educational piece.

"Process" Counseling We allow our clients to think through issues and come to their own conclusions.


Choice Theory: The underlying assumption is that people are in control of their actions.

Empathy Development: Realizing empathy is crucial to the socialization process.

Learning Theory: People learn through a series of rewards and consequences.

Cognitive Behavior Modification: If a person experiences enough discomfort over their decisions they will naturally make different choices.

Moral Development: Most people are unwilling to cause injury to other people, if, they understand the injury.


The assumptions of the Classical and Control Theories of criminal behavior is that the only hope for change in criminal activity comes when we are successful at controlling the environment where crime might occur, (everything outside of the offenders control). This is typically done through the use of security apparatus and more police patrols. To some extent, we agree with this approach. Classical interventions can be very effective when adequate security is available. 

If we don't mind living in a Police State, with officers on every corner, Control Theory can be very effective too. We believe thieves function a lot like water or electricity, they take the course of least resistance. Subsequently, "The Club" or a car alarm will often deter a theft offender; a burglary alarm and/or bars on windows may be enough incentive to deter - to send a prowler to someone else's home; and security tags, cameras and guards at the department store may, deter - send a prospective shoplifter to another store.

Though the Classical and Control approaches can be very effective, they only protect one car, home or store at a time. These devices work fairly well at protecting oneself on an individual one-at-a-time basis - if/when implemented, but they will not reduce crime until everyone owns "The Club", an alarm or has their own security guard. The Classical and Control Theories focus on an "external control system".

Our focus is quite different.  We focus exclusively on the development of an "internal control system." In contrast to the interventions noted above, being effective with just one theft offender can literally prevent hundreds of people and/or stores from being victims.  We do this by confronting the offenders thinking errors, cognitive restructuring, cognitive behavior modification and the use of Reality and Dissonance Therapy.


We believe offenders need to accept responsibility for their actions.

We believe offenders should be held accountable.

We believe the "causal" or "medical" model applied to crime is inneffective. 

We believe stealing is a "self - ish" crime.

We believe crime does not occur because of a poor self image.

We believe offenders need to develop an "others image".

We believe crime begins with the thinking process.

We believe Cops and Robbers Thinking® explains why punishment doesn't work.

We believe Mental Rehearsing® sustains criminal thinking and the subsequent behavior.

We believe criminals are not victims, (these are separate issues).

We believe stealing is an understandable and a learned behavior.

We believe in skilled counseling or interventions.

We believe more severe punishment is not the answer.

We believe the true antisocial personality should be locked up.

We believe most people who commit crime are not "criminals" or antisocial.

We believe education is a very effective preventative and counseling tool.

We believe human life has great value and that this is important to our work.

We believe theft offenders think differently about stealing than you and I do.

We believe we can change the way people think about stealing.

We believe we are very good at what we do.

We believe people need to maximize their internal control system.




Outcome Alternatives® Theft / Shoplifting classes

Outcome Alternatives® provides Theft / Shoplifting classes as a 4 hour Theft / Shoplifting class or an 8 hour Theft / Shoplifting class. The Theft / Shoplifting curriculum is based on, "The Psychology of Stealing" by our founder, Steven Michael Houseworth, MA. Our Theft / Shoplifting classes do not focus on laws and punishments - you already know stealing is illegal. A key component of an effective Theft / Shoplifting class is to educate the student about the dangers of mental rehearsing theft behaviors. No Theft / Shoplifting class would be complete if it did not provide new, meaningful and useful information. Our Theft / Shoplifting classes work under the assumption that the way a person thinks guides the way a person behaves. "Theft Talk"™ classes use a cognitive restructuring approach which basically follows the tenant of Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993): "Change your thoughts and you will change your world." Our Theft / Shoplifting classes ask the client to explore their attitudes, values and beliefs. Each of our Theft / Shoplifting classes end asking the client to figure out what they believe, who they are and to identify their value system. To this end, our Theft / Shoplifting classes have a victim focus and work toward understanding and developing empathy.

The original "Theft Talk"™ classes began in 1983. As practitioners in the criminal justice field it it only made sense to focus on a specialty of theft since most crimes are theft related - theft, shoplifting, burglary, unauthorized use of a vehicle, burglary, robbery, etc.. Our first Theft / Shoplifting class was called "Theft Talk"™ and we quickly learned that conducting Theft / Shoplifting classes is a formidable task. Initially we spent most of our time on techniques and, through trial and error, our Theft / Shoplifting class evolved into the Theft / Shoplifting class it is today. Our education, the volumes or research and practice has proven that a Theft / Shoplifting class has little likelihood of being effective unless a key component is included - the attitudes, values and beliefs of the person with the Theft / Shoplifting problem. Theft / Shoplifting clients need to change their thinking if they want to to change their behavior.

What are you going to try to do to me in your Theft / Shoplifting class?

Strangely enough this Theft / Shoplifting question is quite important! It is of high importance to Outcome Alternatives® that we don't try to do anything to you. Our Theft / Shoplifting classes do not try to fix you. Our Theft / Shoplifting classes do not judge you. Our Theft / Shoplifting classes do not try to force anything on you and have no intent of imposing change on you. Critical to the success of our theft class is the need to: a) be respectful of the client, b) not be judgmental of the client, c) not try to impose "the truth" on the client and d) not try to impose change on the client. Our Theft / Shoplifting class is education oriented and works under the assumption that if you learn you will change your thoughts. If you change your thoughts you will change your behavior, your life and your world. Yes, with great confidence we are strong believers in education, we attribute education to have converted the human animal to the human being. Any change that comes as a result of taking our Theft / Shoplifting classes is change that the client makes. We can take credit for providing meaningful information; the client needs to take credit for changing his/her Theft / Shoplifting behavior. Life gets much better, much happier and becomes more fulfilling once Theft / Shoplifting problems are in the past.

Okay, it is education based, so what can I expect to learn in this Theft / Shoplifting classes?

Our Theft / Shoplifting classes are based on the book by Steven Michael Houseworth, MA, "The Psychology of Stealing." The Theft / Shoplifting class curriculum finds a balance between providing new information and providing Theft / Shoplifting "stuff" you can try, work on, use to deal with a Theft / Shoplifting problem. The education component explains theft in a way you have likely never heard before and then moves right on to asking you to rethink Theft / Shoplifting beliefs you may have that are not true.

What is the best way to take a Theft / Shoplifting class?

Theft / Shoplifting classes come in many forms. The old traditional counselor in a chair method of dealing with people with Theft / Shoplifting problems may be right for you. Counselors, psychologists and some social workers offer their services and, if you have insurance or can afford their fees, you would do well to explore that route. Personally, I recommend a counselor or psychologist for theft issues.

Another popular way to take a Theft / Shoplifting class is by attending an in person Theft / Shoplifting classroom. This form of Theft / Shoplifting class is often available in bigger cities. Basically, there are two forms of in person Theft / Shoplifting classes; there is the Theft / Shoplifting class and the Theft / Shoplifting group . If you don't mind sharing your Theft / Shoplifting problems, or simply prefer a group or classroom setting, a Theft / Shoplifting class or Theft / Shoplifting group might be suited to you.

Outcome Alternatives® offers two other forms of Theft / Shoplifting classes. Our Theft / Shoplifting classes are offered as an online Theft / Shoplifting class or a Theft / Shoplifting workbook (study at home). As previously noted our Theft / Shoplifting classes are educational in nature. One huge benefit of an online Theft / Shoplifting class is fidelity. Online Theft / Shoplifting classes are delivered consistently the same way for each client and eliminate natural human errors and omissions.

Our workbook Theft / Shoplifting class consists of the same content as the online class but is in a workbook format versus online.

Tell me about the online Theft / Shoplifting class.

It really is pretty simple. The first thing you do is get registered so you can take your online Theft / Shoplifting class - it's free to register, (create an account). Try not to register more than one time, you will likely lose track of usernames and passwords and need to call our help center.

When you register you will be asked to input your email address. This becomes important because after you register for the online Theft / Shoplifting class you will be sent an auto generated email confirming your registration. If you don't get an email right away we suggest you check your spam or junk-mail to see if it is there. You will also be asked for the email address of the person who referred you to our Theft / Shoplifting class (If you have it). It is usually worth taking the time to get that person's email address because that person is sent a confirmation that you got registered for the Theft / Shoplifting class and again when you complete your Theft / Shoplifting class.

Once you are registered you need to pick the Theft / Shoplifting class you want to take: The juvenile or adult version; the impulse control version; the petit theft version (same class but different certificate); the 4 hour class, the 8 hour class.

Pick your class, click on the PayPal/Credit Card icon to pay for your Theft / Shoplifting class and you are ready to go.

Are there added costs or other things to buy?

"Theft Talk"™ classes are 100% online. There are no additional items to buy and there are no added costs.

Will the "Theft Talk"™ class be accepted by the person who referred me to a Theft / Shoplifting class?

Outcome Alternatives® is a nationwide premier provider of online Theft / Shoplifting classes and has been accepted in every state in the country. That said, there is no national standard for Theft / Shoplifting classes and any judge, probation officer or employer can accept a Theft / Shoplifting class or reject it. We do offer a money back guarantee (be sure to read the details) if our online Theft / Shoplifting class is not accepted.

Can I really take my Theft / Shoplifting class anytime - day or night?

That's right! You can take your Theft / Shoplifting class anytime, day or night, 23 hours a day 7 days a week. You also only need to work on your Theft / Shoplifting class for as long as you want to. Stop and start when you want - the system will remember where you last ended your Theft / Shoplifting class.

Are your Theft / Shoplifting class exams difficult to pass?

Our exams do have fairly high standards. If you want to be sure to successfully complete any one chapter in your online Theft / Shoplifting class you will very likely pass the exam if you simply read the material in that chapter. The only people who report our Theft / Shoplifting class exams to be problematic are the people who tried "skimming" without learning. Our exams are typically reported to be easy after the person actually reads the chapter.

What if I need help, have a problem or need support?

Support for our Theft / Shoplifting customers is very important to Outcome Alternatives®. We offer email support seven days a week 15 hours a day. We provide phone support 10 hours a day on weekdays. We are often available by phone on weekends. You can email support@thefttalk.com and you will typically get a response in one hour or less.

How do I get my Theft / Shoplifting class completion certificate?

After you have completed all of your Theft / Shoplifting class a Completion Certificate is immediately activated and made available to you - you can print it or save it as a pdf document. If you want Outcome Alternatives® to mail or email you a certificate, just ask - no added fee. Mailed Theft / Shoplifting class Completion Certificates are embossed and can be sent directly to the person who referred you to our Theft / Shoplifting class.


Don't see your question here?
Go to our FAQ Page or
Email us and we will provide a prompt response.





A Really Good Choice

Our Theft / Shoplifting class is a convenient way to complete a court ordered, PO, diversion or school required program.

You can take the class from any location in the United States, Europe, Canada or Australia with a computer and internet access. There is nothing to download or print, simply register, log in, pay and begin your class.

Our Courses Include:

24 hour access to your class

Immediate Proof of Enrollment

Nothing to download

Start and stop at any time - work at your pace on your timelines

Use home computer or public library

A world class learning experience

User friendly

Support by phone weekdays, by email 7 days a week

Free Certificate of Completion immediately available upon completion

Our Philosophy

Change your thoughts and you change your world .

~Norman Vincent Peale
(1898 - 1993)

Learn about our money back guarantee

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