Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Review: Buried in Treasures, Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding

Hoarding is not a disorder that exists only among those on the autism spectrum, but certainly there can be a strong aspect of clutter and disorganization that goes along with Asperger’s, autism, ADHD and the accompanying deficits in executive function.  Hoarding at its most severe really requires the help of a specifically trained mental health professional, because it’s about so much more than getting organized and cleaning things up. But for those who won’t, or can’t, access professional help, Buried in Treasures, Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding, by David Tolin, Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee can be the next best thing.

This book, written by a team of experts on Anxiety Disorders, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and hoarding, functions as a step by step guide to solving the problem. Heavily influenced by CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) techniques as well as practical advice, the book leads the reader through exactly what to do to solve the problems. The focus of the program isn’t just on organizing and throwing things out, it really delves into managing the underlying dysfunctional thinking and erroneous beliefs that can make a hoarding problem so difficult to get a handle on. The authors present numerous specific suggestions for testing beliefs and developing new ways of thinking about objects.

In addition to the step by step instructions, Buried in Treasures includes questionnaires, quizzes and worksheets, so the reader can figure out exactly what specific issues are most difficult for him or her to deal with. There are also separate sections with information to assist family members, organizers, and coaches in working with hoarders.

This book is a practical hands-on guide that will be useful throughout any stage of the process of dealing with acquiring, clutter, disorganization, and hoarding.

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