About Hoarding Intervention

What is Hoarding Disorder intervention?

Treatment for hoarding disorder helps people reduce clutter and acquiring, as well as helps them live safer, healthier lives. The best type of treatment for hoarding disorder is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or programs based on CBT, such as Buried in Treasures self-help groups. CBT examines how we think and behave. It also teaches us how to change beliefs or behaviors that make the hoarding worse.

CBT helps people do the following:

  • Learn about what maintains hoarding problems
  • Challenge thoughts about needing to save items and about needing to collect new items
  • Practice going out and not buying or picking up a new item
  • Practicing sorting and discarding stuff
  • Learn skills to get better at decision making, problem solving, and organization

Some of the supports used in this therapy may include the following:

  • A team approach, potentially involving family members, close friends, peers with hoarding disorder, social workers and similar supports (e.g., animal control specialists, property managers), and a professional organizer, and designated coach
  • Individual, family, and group counseling
  • Therapy in the home, community (e.g., storage unit, stores), and in a therapist’s office
  • Medication evaluation by a psychiatrist

It’s important to know that treatment for hoarding is not forced.  Each person works on finding ways to discard clutter, stop collecting, and let go of his or her attachment to objects.  The team’s role is in helping each person learn new ways to live his or her life without hoarding behaviors while adding meaning to life and taking into consideration each person’s personal values.