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My Most Popular Therapy Cartoon of All Time

woman sees therapist about shopping addiction

Last week’s  cartoon about a very bad man is here, but let’s talk about us, okay?

My father was a shoe salesman (to stores). so I was a well-shod girl. I might not have the shoe shopping gene that, say, Cathy Guisewite’s character, Cathy, has, or look at a man’s shoes before anything else, like one friend does, but I find them interesting, and sometimes cool.

New shoes? And how’s that working out for you? /Dr. Phil

Sure, like many other things, shopping can be unhealthy and addictive when taken to excess (good article on Dropping from Shopping here, which discusses when shopping might be out of control, or compulsive).

But I must admit that when I’m under stress (tax time, new book proposal, emails that I’ve put off responding to, car insurance to pay),  considering what I could afford to buy as my next treat is extremely satisfying!

Balancetrack has put together an interesting list of why we buy things. Advertising plays on our emotional need for:

  • The desire to look our best and be appealing to others: Used to sell products to enhance our physical appearance, such as clothing, jewelry, and cosmetics.
  • Enhancement of our self-esteem: Used by sellers to promote knowledge based products, such as self-help courses or educational degrees.
  • Fear of physical harm and financial loss: Most often used by insurance companies, home security firms, and manufacturers of other security products. (This could also include returning shoes to the store, right?)

Lifehacker has done even more research on spending  money. One study concluded that people were more willing to buy potato chips if the plastic bag was in front of them, rather than just seeing a picture of the chips. That…wouldn’t surprise anyone, would it? But it gets better: they called this study the Survival Instinct for Snacks. 🙂

Back to shoes: We all need them, and you should include beauty in every buying decision you make, if you want to be satisfied, whether it’s peep-toe wedges, or kicky workboots.

My first book (chocolate) and my second book (dating) are still available! And Like my Facebook page to get notified of new cartoons.

All rights reserved, and content including cartoon is ©Donna Barstow 2017. Contact me if you want to use my cartoon in your next project. Thanks!





My Most Popular Therapy Cartoon of All Time

Donna Barstow

Cartoonist for LA Times, Parade, WSJ, Glamour, PsychCentral, Barron's, Weight Watchers, and textbooks & Chicken Soup books. Author and editor of 2 cartoon books and a Barnes & Noble calendar.

I both write and draw all my cartoons. You are warmly invited to share the link to this cartoon. The full-size cartoons are all copyrighted, so please email me at pen.drawing AT g mail (squish it) for rates for use in textbooks, prints, presentations, publications, or websites. Email me AT pen.drawing @ gmail. com. (Squish the address.)

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APA Reference
, . (2017). My Most Popular Therapy Cartoon of All Time. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 May 2017
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