There are several ways to begin the process of rehabilitation for hoarding and squalor behaviours. Many of them can be done independently.
Support Groups or Programs
Support groups and programs can assist with the management of excessive collecting and difficult living conditions by providing tips and practical strategies to progressively help people work towards collecting experiences, rather than collecting things.
Buried in Treasures Support Program
The Buried in Treasures Support Program is a 16-session group program that offers individuals practical strategies in a non-judgmental environment to make the appropriate positive changes to their home environment.
The program follows information outlined in the handbook: Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving and Hoarding (Oxford University Press, 2013), which costs $20 and is available for participants of the program.
For more information on the Buried In Treasures program please consult with the following organisations:
Inner East residents of the municipalities Boroondara, Monash, Whitehorse, Manningham:
292 Canterbury Road, Surrey Hills VIC 3127
Phone: (03) 9830 0566
Phone: 13 SALVOS (13 72 58)
Level 4, The George, 34 Wakefield Street, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Phone: (03) 9214 5528
Outer East residents of the municipalities Knox, Maroondah, Yarra Ranges:
Phone: (03) 9294 5729
Phone: 13 SALVOS (13 72 58)
Phone: 1300 650 172
Peer Support Group
During the original ‘Buried in Treasures’ program the idea of a Peer Support Group was discussed. This would enable the participants to continue to have support following the completion of the program.
The groups are generally small, and encouragement, motivation and trust are the key factors in maintaining good relationships. The groups are confidential and non-judgemental and understand one another’s feelings of stress and overwhelming anxiety.
While a key component of the group is the Facilitator – who sets an agenda with weekly goals – every person in the group contributes. Individuals can share strategies that worked well for them in the hope that they may be beneficial to the others.
The facilitator helps the group to remain positive and keep on track and reminds them that their acquiring took many years – therefore, the decluttering process will also take time. It is not an overnight solution.
The group meet every fortnight at Glen Park
The resources below give further insight into collecting tendencies and may help instigate the desire to further embrace change:
- Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving and Hoarding (Tolin, Frost and Steketee, 2007)
- Hoarding and Squalor – A practical Resource for Service Providers (Department of Health and Human Services, 2013)
- Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding and Compulsive Acquiring (Tompkins and Hartl, 2009)Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding
(Neziroglu, Bubrick and Yaryura-Tobias, 2004)
- Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring: Therapist Guide (Steketee, 2006)
- Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board: Hoarding and Lethal Fire Risk/Risk Reduction Advice