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Collaboration in Decluttering: The Organizer and the Therapist MP3 (MARC11)

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Item Number: MARC-11-006-M

Dr. Elspeth Bell is a staff clinician at the Behavior Therapy Center of Greater Washington where she directs the growing Hoarding Program. She specializes in cognitive behavioral therapies and focuses on the treatment of compulsive hoarding, OCD and other anxiety disorders. Dr. Bell provides individual therapy for hoarders, as well as facilitating support groups. In addition, Dr. Bell participates on Hoarding Task Forces in the DC area and conducts trainings for numerous agencies.

"Collaboration in Decluttering: The Organizer and the Therapist"

This presentation will focus on the collaborative relationship between an organizer and a clinician when working with the person immersed in compulsive hoarding behaviors. It will address the associated thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that accompany the clutter as well as the clutter itself. This presentation will familiarize participants with the symptoms of compulsive hoarding but the emphasis will be on strategies for engaging the individual. Organizers will be encouraged to look beyond the external presentation to the underlying issues related to hoarding. It is important for the organizer and the clinician to connect with each other to enhance effectiveness regarding issues related to self-esteem, possible trauma, and other life-shaping experiences. They may also identify (and wish to address) patterns in other aspects of the individual's life, notably social relationships and health/nutrition.

Organizers working with hoarding clients will be encouraged to identify their personal boundaries, both with respect to the physical clutter and to the client. Also discussed will be the range of treatment interventions and resources available to professionals working with this population emphasizing the importance that organizers tend to their own needs for support when working to support hoarding clients.

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