More about Compulsive Hoarding Treatment

What is Compulsive Hoarding?

Compulsive Hoarding occurs where a person can’t stop accumulating and has persistent difficulty parting with their stuff. Clutter interferes with the proper use of rooms and causes significant social and personal distress.

For example, if a person can no longer use their living spaces in the usual way they do not invite visitors into their home and they feel ashamed of their hoarding.

Compulsive Hoarding will be recognised for the first time as a discrete disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual DSMV, 2013.

The Treatment Program

The treatment method combines:

  • elements of motivational interviewing
  • several features of cognitive therapy and behavioural practice for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and…
  • skills training.

The treatment focuses on three hoarding behaviours:

  • excessive acquisition
  • difficulty discarding or letting go of possessions, and…
  • disorganization and clutter that impairs functioning.

Does the treatment work?

Several outcome studies of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for hoarding have shown it to be an effective treatment.

In the USA Tolin, Frost, and Steketee (2007) found significant improvement for 10 hoarding clients who completed the therapy. The amount of improvement was related to how much homework clients completed.

More recently, 40 people, who received CBT showed much more improvement in their hoarding symptoms than clients who simply waited and did not get CBT for hoarding (Steketee, Frost, Tolin, Rasmussen & Brown 2010).

Group Treatment Programs

All of Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury’s counselling services offer a professional, supportive and safe environment.

The group treatment program also provides an environment supported by other people with similar experiences.

Participants have an opportunity to learn from others, helping them to stay motivated and committed in their journey towards well being.