Hoarding support groups are a vital part of the recovery process for hoarders. While therapy is often the first step in treatment, support groups can complement therapy and help people stay on track with their recovery. In this article, we will discuss the role of support groups in treatment, and how to get started with a support group if you are struggling with hoarding.
Understanding Hoarding Support Groups
Hoarding support groups are a type of peer support group. They provide a space for people who struggle with hoarding to share their experiences and offer support to one another. These groups are usually facilitated by a therapist or other mental health professional, and they may meet in person or online.
Role of Hoarding Support Groups In Recovery
Hoarding support groups can play a vital role in recovery. They can provide emotional support, practical advice, and accountability. For people who are struggling with hoarding, support groups can offer a sense of community and belonging. Additionally, support groups can help people learn about resources and services that can help them in their recovery.
Types of Hoarding Support Groups
There are many different types of hoarding support groups.
- Some groups focus on specific topics, such as decluttering or organizing.
- Other groups may be open to people of all levels of recovery, from those who are just beginning to struggle with hoarding to those who have been in recovery for many years.
Arguing That Support Groups Cannot Substitute Therapy
While support groups can be incredibly helpful, they are not a substitute for professional help. If you are struggling to manage your hoarding disorder, it is important to seek out professional therapy. It is because hoarding support groups have some limitations. For instance:
- First, they do not provide the individualized treatment that therapy can. Since support groups are not led by mental health professionals.
- Third, members of support groups are not held accountable in the same way that people in therapy are.
- Second, support groups may not be appropriate for people who are in the early stages of recovery, as they may not be ready to share their experiences with others.
- Finally, therapy is an effective treatment option for hoarding disorder. As it can provide hoarders with the tools they need to manage their disorder, and it can help them learn how to live a healthy and clutter-free life.
Moreover, it depends on the individual and their unique situation. Some people may find that a support group is all they need to manage their hoarding disorder, while others may benefit from supplementing a support group with therapy. There is no wrong answer, as long as you are getting the help and support you need to recover. However, for most people, therapy is the best option for treatment.
Complementing Support Groups To Your Treatment Plan
Support groups can complement therapy in several ways. As they offer a sense of community and belonging that may be helpful in recovery. For instance, they:
- Can help you develop a better understanding of your disorder and how to manage it.
- Can offer you support and encouragement as you work to overcome your disorder.
- Provide a safe space to share your experiences and connect with others who understand what you are going through.
- Help people learn about resources and services that can help them in their recovery.
- Play a role in relapse prevention by providing emotional support, practical advice, and accountability.
How Support Groups And Therapy Can Complement Each other
Depending on the type of therapy being pursued, several ways support groups can be used to complement treatment.
For example, if you are attending Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for hoarding, your support group can be used as a place to practice the skills you are learning in therapy.
Moreover, your therapist can also guide how to best use your support group to complement your treatment plan. Thus, making it a more effective tool in your recovery.
Tips To Make The Best of Support Group
Here are some tips to make the most of your support group experience:
- Be patient: with yourself and others. Recovery is a journey, not a sprint.
- Be an active listener: let others share their stories and experiences without interruption. This is their time to vent and be heard.
- Be open-minded: to new perspectives and ways of thinking. This is a chance to learn and grow from others.
- Be supportive: offer encouragement and hope to others, just as they are doing for you.
- Be honest: about your own experiences, feelings, and struggles. This is a safe space to be vulnerable.
- Be respectful: of other people’s stories, experiences, and opinions. Just because you may not agree with someone doesn’t mean you should dismiss them.
NOTE: While support groups can be helpful, they may not be enough to help you manage your hoarding disorder. If you are struggling to control your hoarding, it is important to seek out professional help.
Finding A Hoarding Support Group
If you’re interested in finding a hoarding support group, there are many resources available to help you get started.
- The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) maintains a list of hoarding support groups around the world.
- Hoarding UK also has a list of support groups in the United Kingdom.
What To Look Out For
When looking for a hoarding support group, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- First, you want to make sure that the group is led by a qualified professional.
- Second, you want to find a group that is supportive and non-judgmental.
- And finally, you want to make sure that the group is a good fit for you.
If you have any questions about a particular group, be sure to ask the leader before you attend.
Red Flags To Avoid
Just because a support group is called a “support” group, does not mean that it will be supportive of your recovery. There are some red flags to look out for. For instance, a group that:
- Is not focused on recovery.
- Is led by untrained individuals.
- Groups that do not respect your privacy should be avoided.
- Does not promote healthy coping and problem-solving skills.
NOTE: By following these tips, you can find a hoarding support group that is right for you. If you have any questions about a particular group, be sure to ask the leader before you attend.
Listing Names of Verified Hoarding Support Groups
These are just a few of the verified hoarding support groups available to help you in your recovery. Do your research to find the one that is the best fit for you.
- Hoard No More
- Hoarding Connection
- Clutterers Anonymous
- Dig Deeper Therapy Group
- Hoarding Disorder Association
- Banish Clutter Forever Society (BCFS)
Hoarding support groups can play an important role in complementing therapy and treatment. While they may not be able to substitute therapy, they can help in the recovery process. There are different types of hoarder support groups available, so it is important to find one that is right for you.
However, if you are struggling with hoarding, be sure to seek professional help. Only a qualified therapist can provide you with the tools and resources you need to overcome your disorder. But with the help of a therapist and a hoarding support group, you can begin your journey to recovery.