Making space in life, in the mind and in the home - An empirically grounded intervention for Hoarding Disorder

James Gregory

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Although recent meta-analytic research suggests that cognitive behavioural interventions produce positive symptomatic change for hoarding disorder (HD) (Tolin, Frost, Steketee, & Muroff, 2015), the benefit is modest compared to treatments for other mental health conditions, with sub-clinical outcomes the exception rather the rule. Furthermore, treatment drop-out is disproportionately high (e.g. Mataix-Cols, Marks, Greist, Kobak, & Baer, 2002). New approaches to understanding and treating hoarding disorder are therefore required. Drawing on case study material and hoarding related empirical findings from the fields of clinical and general psychology, a case for a novel approach to helping people with hoarding difficulties will be made. For example, we know that people with HD experience impoverished lives, have experienced disproportionately high levels of stressful life events and traumas - many of which are likely to be unprocessed - and form close emotional attachments to objects that are hard to let go of such that their homes become cluttered. Drawing on the presented evidence and case study material, we will suggest that focussing on helping people with HD to 1) increase the sense of value and meaning in their day to day lives (Make Space in life), 2) de-clutter their minds by, for example processing avoided experiences and tasks (Making Space in the mind) before then 3) focussing on organising and letting go of possessions to reclaim their living space (Making Space in the home) will produce an effective treatment that is relatively simple to deliver by health professionals trained in cognitive-behavioural approaches and, in contrast to the drop-data for current approaches, be accepted by the many rather than the few.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2017
EventBABCP Annual Conference 2017: Manchester - University of Manchester, Manchester
Duration: 25 Jul 201728 Jul 2017


ConferenceBABCP Annual Conference 2017


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