Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) states that treatment can help people with hoarding disorder decrease their saving, acquisition, and clutter, and live safer, more enjoyable lives. There are two main types of treatment that help people with hoarding disorder: cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication.

During CBT, individuals gradually learn to discard unnecessary possessions with less distress, diminishing their exaggerated perceived need or desire to save for these possessions. They also learn to improve skills such as organisation, decision-making, and relaxation. For many people, certain anti-depressant medications may be helpful and may produce more rapid improvement.




Dr. Carl Rogers, one of the first practioners to explore clinically researched methodology in counselling practice, found that a lack of personal insight can be “a powerful determinant” in the success or failure of counselling. Lack of insight has consistently been proven in regard to compulsive hoarding. In one study only fifteen percent of elderly compulsive hoarders were able to identify the practice as problematic.

Dr Naomi Fineberg, a specialist in OCD stated “When you are looking at obsessional patients, hoarders seem to stand apart, and they don’t respond well – if at all – to standard anti-obsessional treatments…many hoarders tended to believe they were acting rationally, and did not need help.”

In the US Neziroglu et. al have adapted their intervention strategy from substance abuse models. They state explicitly that there is not a one size fits all structure and that the interventions can vary from client to client.

In non-hoarding research, Baines, a person with OCD and a Clinical Psychologist, found that the most significant change seemed to result from ‘a collaborative counselling relationship’ with clients describing an intense need to feel heard and understood.

We are able to write letters, make calls and work to bring professionals and people who
deal with hoarding behaviours to find a way forward.  Please get in touch by letter, phone or email.


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