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  • Writer's pictureMark Kruse

The Role of Therapy in Hoarding Recovery: Understanding the Benefits

A crucial step of hoarding recovery is therapy - Home Clean Home

Hoarding disorder is a complex psychological condition that requires comprehensive treatment for successful recovery. While decluttering and organizing are important steps, therapy plays a vital role in addressing the underlying emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of hoarding. In this blog post, we will delve into the role of therapy in hoarding recovery and explore the benefits it offers.

  1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT):

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a widely recognized and effective treatment approach for hoarding disorder. CBT helps individuals identify and challenge distorted beliefs and thoughts related to hoarding, develop more adaptive thinking patterns, and learn practical skills to change hoarding behaviors.

  1. Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP):

ERP is a specialized form of therapy commonly used in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders, including hoarding. It involves gradually exposing individuals to anxiety-provoking situations related to discarding possessions while preventing their usual compulsive response of keeping them. ERP helps individuals build tolerance to distress and develop healthier coping strategies.

  1. Motivational Interviewing:

Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative therapy approach that focuses on exploring and resolving ambivalence towards change. It can be beneficial for individuals with hoarding disorder who may have mixed feelings about letting go of possessions. By enhancing motivation and strengthening commitment to change, motivational interviewing facilitates progress in the recovery journey.

  1. Supportive Therapy:

Supportive therapy provides individuals with a safe and non-judgmental space to express their thoughts, emotions, and concerns related to hoarding. This therapeutic approach offers empathy, validation, and encouragement, fostering a strong therapeutic alliance. Supportive therapy can be particularly valuable for individuals who are resistant to change or struggling with the emotional aspects of hoarding.

  1. Group Therapy:

Group therapy offers a supportive environment where individuals with hoarding disorder can connect with others facing similar challenges. Sharing experiences, discussing coping strategies, and receiving feedback from peers can provide a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation. Group therapy also promotes accountability and motivation in the recovery process.

  1. Family Therapy:

Involving family members in therapy can significantly contribute to hoarding recovery. Family therapy helps improve communication, understanding, and support within the family unit. It provides a platform to address enabling behaviors, set boundaries, and establish a collaborative approach towards creating a clutter-free living environment.


Therapy is a crucial component of hoarding recovery, addressing the complex emotional and psychological aspects of the disorder. Through approaches like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Exposure and Response Prevention, Motivational Interviewing, Supportive Therapy, Group Therapy, and Family Therapy, individuals with hoarding disorder can gain valuable insights, develop new coping strategies, and make lasting changes. If you or someone you know is struggling with hoarding, consider seeking the guidance of a qualified therapist specializing in hoarding disorder. Together with therapy and support, individuals can embark on a transformative journey towards a clutter-free and emotionally fulfilling life.

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