GROUP AND INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT OF COMPULSIVE HOARDING: A PILOT STUDY
Treatment of compulsive hoarding has rarely been described in the literature, apart from standard treatments for obsessive compulsive disorder of which hoarding is thought to be a subset. This paper presents preliminary findings from seven patients treated with cognitive and behavioral interventions derived from Frost and Hartl's (1996) theoretical model of hoarding. Six clients attended 15 group treatment sessions over 20 weeks plus individual home treatment sessions and one client received 20 weekly-sessions of individual treatment only. After 20 weeks, treatment resulted in noticeable improvement in several hoarding symptoms for five of the seven patients, especially reduction in excessive acquisition of possessions, although problems with clutter persisted. Three of four clients who continued in treatment for approximately 1 year showed substantial further improvement, although none felt entirely recovered. Findings are discussed in light of the model of hoarding and possible modifications to treatment to enhance motivation and benefits.
Key Words: Clutter; cognitive behavior therapy; obsessive compulsive disorder; OCD.
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