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“So many people believe that people end up in this hoarding situation because they come from a family line that suffered under the Depression. Billions of people went through the Depression and they didn’t hoard maladaptively… But some hoard adaptively. [T]he difference between adaptive hoarding and maladaptive hoarding is not necessarily the amount you buy, but that you use it.”

Elaine Birchall

In this episode, our guest Elaine Birchall, MSW describes her work with this under-researched and under-served population. Challenging myths, she defines the disorder, reviews prevalence data, describes risk and safety concerns and the prognosis for those afflicted. Referencing human rights, Ms. Birchall discusses key assessment criteria and the treatment process.

Elaine Birchall, MSW, is the director of Birchall Consulting and the founder of the Canadian National Hoarding Coalition. For the past 18 years, Elaine has dedicated her practice to helping those who hoard achieve control over their possessions and hoarding tendencies as well as counseling family members. Elaine also provides training to professionals across North America on the best practices for treating a hoarding disorder. Elaine is the author of Conquer the Clutter: Strategies to Identify, Manage, and Overcome Hoarding.

Interviewer: Beth Tripi, PhD Candidate

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