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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy - The Best Treatment for Compulsive Hoarding

April 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 171

Compulsive hoarding is a problem faced by two million Americans and manifested as the accumulation of a lot of clutter. The clutter can become so extreme that parts of their homes can no longer be used as intended. This condition is often found in people who also have schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Because of this connection it was discovered that the best treatment for it is cognitive-behavior therapy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a hands on therapy and in this condition may deal with:

1. Exploring the need to hoard

2. Learning organization and deciding which to get rid of.

3. Decluttering with the help of the therapist or a professional organizer.

4. Learning relaxation.

5. Group therapy.

A Freeing Therapy

The therapist visiting the home and working directly with the patient is a common scenario with this disease. Great care is put into teaching them decision making and how to think clearly about the stuff. A person with this condition does not think clearly about what is really important to them and what is not. The therapist will help them draw the proper distinctions. Patients may actually feel fear when faced with the need to get rid of some of their possessions and the therapist must teach them ways to face the stress and fear that comes up surrounding this. The therapist will also help the patient understand how they process information in these situations and teach them how to think in healthier ways that will free them.

The Quick Strike, Quick Success Approach

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps the person understand how to feel less anxious rather than why they feel that way. The therapy also goes right into the home and deals directly will all of the stuff rather than trying to understand things and hoping they will change. The therapy is intended to be quick with distinct goals so that success builds upon success and comes quickly. This therapy has few side effects and the outcome generally lasts after treatment ends. Other therapies try to find out why the snake got into the house whereas cognitive-behavioral therapy cuts the head of the snake and is done with it.

Compulsive hoarding does not instantly appear in a person's life, rather it is a progressive development. The hoarder often does not see that they have a problem but it becomes readily apparent to family members. These members may push for a treatment pushing the hoarder into a corner. When care is not taken the problem may be handled for the short term but then the hoarder will regress back to the same state or worse.

Available evidence suggests that cognitive-behavior therapy in the hands of a caring therapist is a more effective treatment than drugs in dealing with the compulsive hoarding.

Sarah Johanson is a compulsive hoarding expert. For more great information on the hoarding, visit http://www.hoardingcompulsion.org

Source: EzineArticles
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