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.
About the Authors:
Michael A. Tompkins, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and a founding partner of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy. He is also an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on cognitive behaviour therapy and related topics, including Therapy Homework and the book and video series Essential Components of Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Depression. Tompkins has presented nationally on the topic of compulsive hoarding and is a member of the San Francisco task force on hoarding. He works in private practice in Oakland, CA, where he specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in adults, adolescents, and children.
Tamara L. Hartl, Ph.D., is a clinical instructor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, and a staff psychologist in the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She also has an independent clinical practice in Saratoga, CA. Hartl has coauthored several seminal publications on hoarding behavior, including a cognitive-behavioral model of compulsive hoarding that she co-created in 1996 and later published in Behavior Research and Therapy. Hartl specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders and sexual dysfunction as well as compulsive hoarding.