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Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding & Compulsive Acquiringby Michael A. Tompkins
Synopses & Reviews
If you have a friend or family member who acquires an excessive amount of stuff (newspapers, old scraps of cloth, unworn clothes), has difficulty discarding things, lives in a cluttered space, and whose life is impaired by all of this stuff, it's likely that he or she is a hoarder. People who hoard often live in unsafe and unsanitary conditions because they are unable to throw anything away. Although hoarding negatively affects their quality of life, social relationships, and safety, people who hoard are often unwilling to end their behavior.
Digging Out is the first book to help friends and family members keep their loved ones safe from the dangers of compulsive acquiring. Using a technique called harm reduction, which aims to reduce safety risk rather than force a hoarder to discard possessions, readers will be able to set small, achievable goals for their loved ones. The realistic exercises in the book focus on helping a loved one live safely and comfortably at home. Readers will work together with hoarders to set valid and meaningful goals and incentive to work toward them.
Because it can be difficult to maintain a positive relationship with a person who compulsively hoards, readers will learn to take the focus off of that behavior and concentrate instead on the qualities they enjoy about the person. The book also includes advice for roommates and romantic partners who live with hoarders, and engaging case stories from hoarders and their loved ones.
In Digging Out, two psychologists who specialize in compulsive hoarding show readers with a friend or family member who hoards how to use harm reduction, a proven-effective model, to help their loved one live safely and comfortably in his or her own home and improve their relationship with the hoarder.
Many people who hoard understand the extent of their problem and are open to help. This book is not for them. Digging Out is for the concerned and frustrated friends and family members of people who do not fully accept the magnitude of their hoarding problem and refuse help from others. If you have a friend or loved one with a hoarding problem and are seeking a way to guide him or her to a healthier, safer way of life, this book is for you.
In Digging Out, you will find a complete guide to helping your loved one with a hoarding problem live safely and comfortably in his or her home or apartment. Included are realistic harm reduction strategies that you can use to help your loved one manage health and safety hazards, avoid eviction, and motivate him or her to make long-term lifestyle changes. You'll learn how to handle a roommate or spouse with a hoarding problem, identify and work through special considerations that may arise when the person who hoards is frail and elderly, and receive guidance for healing strained relationships between people who hoard and their friends and family. Take heart. With this book as a guide, you can help your loved one live more comfortably and safely, salvage your damaged relationship, and restore your peace of mind.
About the Author
Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and a founding partner of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He has authored and coauthored numerous articles and books on cognitive behavior therapy and related topics, including My Anxious Mind and the book and video series Essential Components of Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Depression. He has presented nationally on the topic of compulsive hoarding and is a member of the San Francisco Task Force on Hoarding. He specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in adults, adolescents, and children and is in private practice in Oakland, CA.
Foreword writer Randy O. Frost, PhD, teaches abnormal psychology at Smith College in Northampton, MA. He is coauthor of Buried in Treasures.
Foreword writer Gail Steketee, PhD, is a professor and co-chair in the department of clinical practice at the School of Social Work at Boston University. She is coauthor of Buried in Treasures.
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