Hoarding Disorder is characterized by the acquisition of, and failure to discard a large number of objects that appear useless or of limited value.  It results in unusable living spaces and significant distress or impairment.  There are specialized treatments for Hoarding Disorder and clutter-related behaviors that draw on the principles of Cognitive Behavior Therapy.  Research has shown that individual and group therapy services are most effective when they target the nature of hoarding and its impact on many aspects of life (including physical and emotional health, interpersonal relationships, and self-esteem).

Treatment focuses on skills to address hoarding problems, strategies to work on setbacks, and possible barriers to the decluttering process.  In vivo sessions (“home visits”) emphasize the practice of decluttering skills with assistance, while challenging associated thoughts and feelings in the moment and developing situation-specific strategies. The 10-Week Introductory Group develops an understanding of the fundamentals of hoarding and the decluttering process.  The Mini-Groups address specific issues that relate to the process of decluttering and the maintenance of a clutter-free space.

Links to Dr. Bell’s hoarding-related media appearances:

My Fix-It-Up Life (February 20, 2014)

NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show (July 13, 2011)

AARP’s Inside E-Street (March 28, 2011)

Washington Post (April 29, 2010)