Hoarding: Support groups are key to helping.

The hoarder’s journey can be a long one – it takes years for a house to fill up: it doesn’t simply take a weekend clear-out to solve the issue. For several years I have run two hoarding support groups in Newbury and Bracknell, Berkshire. The meetings are held monthly and many people have been attending since the beginning. Those who come tell us that it helps to reduce the shame they feel, and makes them feel less alone with their challenges and less overwhelmed. Support groups are key to helping.

Hoarding is very complex, and its triggers are diverse and usually sit alongside other mental health issues. Trauma, depression, brain injury, PTSD and loss are some of the major contributors. Cognitive behavioural therapy, emotional freedom technique, mindfulness, counselling, brainspotting, eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and compassion-focused therapy are a few of the treatments that can help.

It takes a range of approaches to help people to achieve a mindset where the desire to clear overcomes the need to keep. Motivation and mindset can be key to long-lasting success.