Hoarding is holding on to possessions due to an intense perceived need for the items, even when, to outsiders, it seems like trash or junk. These possessions can create hazards, leading to potentially unsafe living conditions. People dealing with hoarding may not want friends and family to visit and may neglect essential home repairs or maintenance to attempt to hide their behaviors.
Counseling interventions for hoarding include challenging the person’s beliefs about their perceived need to keep items. People who deal with hoarding behaviors and trauma may find a connection between the two in therapy. Hoarding may have emerged as a way to cope with difficult or stressful emotions. Therapists can also help a person work on plans for organizing and staying calm when they feel the need to hoard.