Hoarding Support through a Trauma Informed Lens

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Date(s) - 11/13/2018
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Toronto Hostels Training Centre (THTC)


Total Cost for this Workshop:

THTC Members Pay: $80.00  |  Non-Members Pay: $90.00

With an estimated 2-5% of the population struggling with hoarding, it is increasingly being recognized as a complex mental health issue. Hoarding effects individuals, families and communities, and can lead to serious health and safety concerns. There is a higher risk of falls and being unable to escape or be rescued in an emergency. Pest control issues, fire, building and public health code violations, eviction and child and family service involvement are other potential challenges. This full-day workshop will provide housing, shelter, drop-in and mental health workers with an overview of the main types of hoarding, early warning signs that a hoarding situation may be developing, and how to differentiate hoarding from clutter and disorganization caused by other factors such as ADHD or depression. This workshop will look at trauma-informed, solution-focused and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) strategies that can be used to address various aspects of hoarding. Viewing hoarding as both a response to trauma, and something that can lead to trauma, can help workers approach clients who hoard from a place of compassion empathy, support and openness to understanding the function of hoarding in a person’s life.

Through classroom discussions and interactive group work, participants will develop a list of practical strategies to help those they work with reduce organizational challenges, indecisiveness, power struggles and anxiety throughout the decluttering process.  CBT techniques including exposures to reduce anxiety will also be presented. Community resources available to assess the severity of health and safety concerns, and using crisis situations and a person’s hopes, dreams and goals as a part of moving into action related to decluttering will also be discussed.


Learning Objectives:

  • Hoarding and factors that contribute to the development of hoarding issues.
  • The benefits of combining trauma-informed, solution-focused and cognitive-behavioural strategies to address issues arising from hoarding.
  • Practical strategies to reduce anxiety, indecision and power struggles when helping with decluttering, organization and reducing safety concerns.
  • Community resources related to hoarding.
Target Group: All

Additional Training Method: Agency Training



This program is fully booked - THTC does not maintain a waitlist.