While hoarding is not a new problem, it has finally achieved the status of becoming its own diagnosable condition. Hoarding can impact people’s lives significantly, from the personal distress that the hoarding can cause to family discord and even health concerns of those in the home due to mold and infestation.
Hoarding can be dangerous if there is a shift of items that traps someone or if there is a fire in the home. In fact, a study out of Melbourne, Australia found that hoarding homes account for less than 1% of all house fires, but 24% of house fire fatalities (WPI).
Interventions for individuals who hoard should be multifaceted to ensure successful treatment. Clinicians should assess for acquiring, saving, and discarding/disorganization behaviors. It is also important to assess for executive functioning, decision-making ability, as well as possible ADHD symptoms. Further, the items themselves must be evaluated for sentimental (emotion), instrumental (useful), and intrinsic (beauty) value.
In this course we will review the basics of hoarding, the influences of acquiring and saving and disorganization, and the value that is placed on items. Further, areas of focus, such as attention, decision-making, and executive functioning will be reviewed. Case examples will be discussed from the presenter’s personal cases, as well as his cases from the show, Hoarding: Buried Alive.
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a). Learn how Hoarding is defined in the DSM-5 and is no longer considered a subset of OCD, but its own diagnosis.
b). Learn how to apply the basics of CBT for Hoarding to cases that are referred to you, including assessing areas such as executive functioning, attention, and decision-making.
c). Learn how to approach working with individuals who hoard to clean out their living space in a way that is humane and honoring of their possessions.
The target audience for this event includes psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed counselors, MFT’s, and other clinical mental health professionals.
Instructional Level: Intermediate
Instructor(s): Patrick B. McGrath, Ph.D.
Material Author(s): Patrick B. McGrath, Ph.D.
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