Therapist or Organizer for a hoarding parent?
May 8, 2014 5:35 PM Subscribe
My father died a week ago and due to the present circumstances, I was able to get my mother to agree to see someone about her hoarding. She is willing to confront it and realizes it is an issue, but part of getting her to agree to this was me volunteering to find someone to help.
I have found multiple resources and would appreciate any advice on who I should be contacting first about this. (Special Snowflake, yada yada, you know the rest)
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have been looking at the various resources and they seem to fall into three distinct categories:
a.) Therapists specializing in OCD and hoarding. It seems that the key things to ask about for this is using CBT and EPR therapies. I know she saw one approximately 20 years ago when things almost fell apart in the marriage, but somehow that never went anywhere and the hoarding continued.
b.) Professional Organizers. They seem to be more likely to deal with terrible disorganization, which she also has, but may not be the best to help someone dispose of potentially two or three dumpsters worth of stuff.
c.) Clutter Removal Business. They actually take stuff away, which is great, but it seems that they only take the stuff you point out to them, and that things must be sorted first, if they are not sorted, there is a risk of losing something important. (The cynical side of me thinks that she would not notice, but I am doing my best to treat this with respect, given that this is an issue I have been fighting with on and off myself for years.)
Time is also a factor here, she needs to make the house and surrounding property showable to potential tenants or purchasers in only a couple of months. I feel like I should have tried to address this sooner, but trying to sort through my dad's stuff and watching her freak out as I asked her to tell me yes or no on a cheap paperback book finally drove it home. She keeps saying that she will finish the house in time, but given that my father's room has been "almost complete" for four days now, I am very worried.
Ideally, I'd love it if there was a therapist who would help remove stuff at the end of the session, but I realize that this is like asking for the location of the nearest unicorn. Also, given that my dad was the principle earner for the house, any advice on doing this inexpensively would be appreciated.
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