Clutter Coaching

COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR COACHING FOR HOARDING DISORDER

 

What is hoarding?

The American Psychiatric Association defines hoarding as relating to people “. that excessively save items that others may view as worthless. They have persistent difficulty discarding of or parting with possessions, leading to clutter that disrupts their ability to use their living or workspaces.”

 

Why do people hoard?

Hoarding is a medical condition, not to be confused with laziness or lack of intelligence.
Many times, what starts as a collection, ends up taking all the space and preventing the person from the ability to use strategic areas of the home. The person becomes so accustomed to the clutter that they don’t really notice the conditions they are living in. That is called Clutter blindness and implies a lack of awareness or insight into their living situation.

 

What are the causes of Hoarding Behaviour?

The exact causes of hoarding are still unknown, although there are genetic markers that are passed between generations.  Studies in behavioural learning suggests that living with a parent or sibling with hoarding tendencies increases your likelihood of repeating the same patterns.
Additionally, there are many connecting mental health conditions that can be linked to hoarding which include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • Trauma
  • ADHD

Research on hoarding currently focuses on aspects of attachment patterns, early development, emotional regulation, genetic and cognitive factors.

 

Is Hoarding the same as collecting?

Sometimes collecting can turn into hoarding but they are different things.
In many cases, people persistently and compulsively collect so many items that their living space becomes unhygienic, unsafe, and unlivable. Even when the house is fully packed, an individual will still refuse to clean up their living environment. Not because they want to live in squalid conditions, but because they lack insight into their situation and they experience deep attachments to their possessions. As a result as an attempt to defend themselves and their possessions, a person that hoards will prefer to be called a collector instead. But Hoarding is not the same as collecting, they have several important differences.

What kind of people are affected by Hoarding?

Statistics estimate that Hoarding disorder occurs in 2 to 6 percent of the global population regardless of social status and education level. For reference, that is more than the population affected by OCD worldwide. Some research shows that it is more common in males, but women are more likely to ask for help with it. It is more common among older adults, however, it can begin in childhood.

 

CLUTTERMORPHOSIS :

HOW COGNITIVE BEHAVIOUR COACHING CAN HELP WITH HOARDING

 

Overcoming Hoarding Behaviour takes so much more than cleaning up the space.
If we want to make long-lasting changes, besides the actual decluttering, it requires us to address the emotions and patterns of thought around possessions and the motivation behind the actions.
Cluttermorphosis ™ is a new holistic approach that helps people to move away from clutter and into living a more fulfilling life. It takes into account and integrates all the dimensions of human experience, mind, emotions, and behaviours.

By using tools based on Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Cluttermorphosis’s approach will help you recognize negative or unhelpful thought and behavior patterns and how those can affect your actions. Through coaching, we will work in partnership in a transformative process focus on your personal empowerment, motivation, and strategies to define and reach your goals.

Coaching strategies are focused on:

 

How you benefit:

  • Develop self-confidence
  • Improving decision-making skills
  • Developing coping skills to do with distress
  • Develop relaxation skills
  • Develop control over impulsive behaviours
  • Reducing distress around removing items
  • Reducing the need to save items
  • Improving organisation skills
  • Improving problem-solving skills

MIND, HOME & HEART

 

Cognitive Behaviour Coaching will help you to understand your current thought patterns and beliefs around possessions and how you can challenge them to improve your wellbeing.
Remember; what we think determines how we feel, which in turn will affect how we act.

HEART: ADDRESSING EMOTIONS

Living in a Hoarding situation often comes with a wide variety of emotions attached.  Identifying, challenging, and learning to cope with them can greatly improve our wellbeing.  The more common experiences are:

  • Social isolation
  • Shame and guilt
  • Sadness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Fear of rejection
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed with managing the items
  • Fear, anxiety, and stress over lost items
  • Extreme sense of responsibility for the collection
  • Mood elevation from collecting new items

DEALING WITH THE MIND: THINKING STYLES

Our minds can keep us trapped in unwanted cycles or become our ally if we learn how to manage them.
In order to change our reality, we need to recognize and learn about our thinking styles and how they reinforce our beliefs about the need to hoard our possessions.
You will learn to recognize and challenge these thought patterns for good:

  • Extremes in perception – over or underestimating
  • Black and white thinking
  • Labeling
  • Catastrophizing
  • Overgeneralization
  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Rejecting the positive aspects
  • Moral reasoning

WALKING A NEW PATH:DEVELOPING SKILLS

 

In order to achieve your goals, you will need to master new skills.  A range of tools will be provided so you can learn how to stay focused on tasks, solve problems by organizing items into logical categories, and improve your ability to plan ahead to accomplish goals and to solve basic problems.

 

What are the steps involved in the program?

The program is simple, logical, and personalized. Each step is designed to build strengths and help to bridge difficulties so you can achieve your goals.

 

Assessment.

The first step of the journey is for us to review your current situation together. This includes your health state, goals, challenges, and your current clutter degree, especially how

this interferes with your everyday living and whether they cause safety problems or concerns.

 

Formulating a personal model for coaching in hoarding behaviour.

Once we understand your particular situation a plan can be created. 

This will have into account your goals, health, limitations, and barriers as well as motivators and strengths.

 

Motivational coaching and support

We understand that sometimes our motivation for change can be a bit fragile. Being able to keep our eyes on the prize and counting on non-judgmental, positive support makes things easier.

 

Reducing excessive acquisition. 

In order to reduce clutter, it is necessary to learn to control what comes into the home in the first place.  This will help with the physical accumulation but this also has a huge financial benefit.  You will learn to identify triggers and resist the urge to acquire.

Practicing letting go of possessions.

The second part of the equation. Learning to let go of stuff and make space for the way we want to live our lives now. We will start from the easiest items making our way towards the categories that present more difficulties. You will learn strategies and tools to help you to make decisions and improve your tolerance to negative emotions when discarding.

Skills training.

Excessive clutter often causes feelings of overwhelm and difficulties organizing your time and possessions You will learn tools that would help you to stay focused on tasks, improve your skill of organizing items into logical categories, and increase your ability to plan ahead to accomplish goals and to solve basic problems.

 

Cognitive coaching for hoarding beliefs.

You will be encouraged to notice your thoughts and feelings about possessions in acquiring and discarding situations. We will explore any dysfunctional beliefs about your items, including beliefs about future usefulness, concerns about waste, sentimental attachments, and the need to remember.

Follow up:

Learning to keep our homes in a comfortable manner is an ongoing task. We understand that acquiring and maintaining the habits that will keep the clutter away takes commitment. Follow up catch up sessions are the perfect opportunity to review routines, correct any dysfunction and reinforce positive changes

 

Ready to break free from clutter and start a new chapter in your life?
Use the form below to contact us and let’s get the conversation started.