I specialize in working with individuals challenged by chronic disorganization and am a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization (CPO-CD®). Hoarding behavior is one form of chronic disorganization.
Chronic Disorganization (CD) has the following four characteristics:
1. Past history of disorganization
2. Undermining of current quality of life due to disorganization
3. Failed self-help efforts to change
4. Expectation of future disorganization
Chronic Disorganization is not a medical diagnosis but a term recognized and used by professional organizers.
Hoarding Disorder is a medical diagnosis given by a mental health professional using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, version 5, May 2013(DSM-5) criteria.
Persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions due to strong urges to save items and/or distress associated with discarding
Accumulation of a large number of possessions that fill up and clutter active living areas of the home or workplace which compromises their intended use
Excessive Acquisition Specifier: Compulsive buying or excessive acquisition of free things
Clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning, including maintaining a safe environment
Insight Specifier: Absent, Poor or Good to Fair
May believe that hoarding-related behaviors and beliefs are not a problem, are slightly problematic or are very problematic
Recommended Books on Hoarding
From Hoarding to Hope by Geralin Thomas
Excellent for individual, family members, service providers
Provides a better understanding of what the individual might be experiencing
Provides an excellent overview of treatments, techniques, and insight
Digging Out by Dr. Michael Tompkins
Great for service providers (care team members), good for family members & individual
Focuses on Harm Reduction and a plan that all team members (including the individual) agree on what is to be done and what is “good enough”
Does not necessarily change behavior, but limits behaviors that create an unsafe environment
Good insight by the client is not necessary
Buried in Treasures by Dr. David Tolin
Great “workbook” for client and client/organizer teams or client/psychologist/organizer teams
Focuses on actions, beliefs and desensitization through client work
Intention is to improve insight and change behaviors
Additional Resources on Hoarding
Community College of Beaver County, PA – Buried in Treasures Workshop
Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) – I am certified through the ICD
Publications and resources for both public and professionals on chronic disorganization and hoarding are available at challengingdisorganization.org/content/publications-overview.
International OCD Foundation – Hoarding resource (hoarding.iocdf.org)
Please know that I will keep all client information and materials, both business and personal, confidential. Anything disclosed in our sessions is done so in complete confidence.