I watched the show and was glad to see it was educational vs exploitative and did help to enlighten the general public about the causes and treatment options available. I hope it will foster great compassion and better treatment of hoarders in the legal system.
I think they missed out on a great opportunity, however, to make hoarders and their families as well as professionals who work with hoarders aware of the recent and few self-help books on the subject such as:
They could also have easily promoted organizations like www.NSGCD.org and websites such as:
- OCD Foundation's Hoarding Website
- Children of Hoarders group
- Squalor Survivors
- Hoarding Fact Sheet - Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
- New York City Hoarding Website
- Shopaholics Anonymous
- Stopping Overshopping
See more resources for hoarders
I do feel hypnotherapy is a promising approach to dealing with the underlying subconscious & emotional elements of the condition. But I was concerned that they made it seem somewhat like a "magic cure". Some hoarding behavior has a genetic component and therefore may not be treatable with hypnotherapy.
Holographic or Resonance Repatterning is an unfortunately complicated sounding name for an alternative treatment modality that actually may have great promise in helping clutterers and hoarders who are resistant to change due to underlying or subconscious belief systems. I recently attended a group session that remarkably helped a group of addicts overcome some very self-limiting beliefs. Because I believe many types of hoarding are actually addictive behaviors (in that they are attempts to self-soothe, manage stress, affect mood, and avoid "withdrawal" pain), I'm meeting with Ellen Shapiro a Certified Repatterning Practioner here in Montclair, NJ to discuss creating a resource / service / workshop for clutterers that integrates learning organizing skills with exploration of beliefs & using repatterning techniques to help people release their clutter more easily. If you are interested in learning more, repatterning sessions can also be done by phone.
The greatest value of the show in my opinion is that it will hopefully help reduce the shame hoarders feel so that they are more willing to seek help for their problem.
FINDING THE RIGHT PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER / PROFESSIONAL TO WORK WITH HOARDERS
Working with hoarders is such a specialty in the organizing industry that I almost think the professional organizers who do that ought to have a different title. Not sure what it would be, but really the skill set difference is ENORMOUS. I was concerned that the show did not mention the NSGCD Referral Site for around 1000 organizing professionals specializing in chronic disorganization. NSGCD members are a subset of the over 6000 professional organizers out there. Among the NSGCD members there are even fewer that specialize in extreme Levels 3-5 hoarding. Personally, I don't feel that I'm yet qualified to work with that group. I work with Levels 1 and 2 on the Clutter Hoarding Scale.
I have started a Compulsive Hoarding Service Provider & Professional Organizer Referral Directory on this blog for practioners who specialize in helping level 3 - 5 extreme hoarders. If you are a professional who works with hoarders or have worked with a professional(s) who helped you, please submit their names and contact info here.