How Counseling Can Help A Hoarder Break His Or Her Habits

If you have a friend who hoards, you may have a lot of concerns about the safety of his or her home. Hoarding is a problem for many people, but it is not something most people can easily stop, and this is because it is typically a symptom of a deeper issue. If you can convince your friend to seek help from a counselor, he or she might finally be able to find out what is causing this problem, and this could be the first step to helping get this person's house cleaned up.

Why do people hoard?

People who hoard typically have a problem parting with things they own; and because of this, they keep everything. A lot of hoarders cannot part with things because the items have sentimental value. For others, the items were a good deal and saving money buying things gives them a rush. Other people hoard as a form of security or a way of dealing with a loss they have experienced in life. In any case, a person who hoards will have an extremely difficult time getting rid of things, because the person places such a high value on the items for some reason.

How can counseling services help?

A person who hoards will almost always need some type of counseling to help them break the habit, and this is usually because a hoarder cannot acknowledge that the hoarding is really an issue. The only way a hoarder will ever change is by taking the right steps, and the first step is finding the ability to see that this is a huge issue. A counselor will try to accomplish this step first by simply talking to the person about the hoarding, the negative consequences of it, and the problems it has created.

Once a person can acknowledge and see that this is a problem, the person might be able to change. It will require retraining the person's brain to live in a way that is different, and a counselor will try to do this by helping the hoarder view his or her possessions in a way that is very different.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common technique used for hoarders. This technique can help a hoarder replace the thoughts he or she currently has with thoughts that are more rational, sensible, and positive.

If you would like to help your friend with this problem, you may want to visit a counseling center like Lazaroff & Lazaroff - Beatrice S. Lazaroff, Ph.D./Jerry M. Lazaroff, Ph.D. to find out how you can help. A counselor may be able to teach you techniques to use to talk to your friend about getting help.