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The Hoarding Handbook: A Guide for Human Service Professionals [Paperback]

by Christiana Bratiotis, Cristina Sorrentino Schmalisch, Gail Steketee
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 22, 2011 0195385519 978-0195385519 1
Hoarding is a serious, time-consuming, and expensive problem for virtually every community across the United States. First responders often encounter hoarding unexpectedly and are confused about how to resolve the wide range of problems, from public health and fire safety violations, to housing violations, to concern for the welfare of children, elders and animals. Sometimes solutions must be coordinated across several human service disciplines. The first of its kind, this handy guide is a nuts and bolts resource filled with case studies, tips and strategies, and easy-to-use suggestions for professionals responding to hoarding situations.

Organized around the common ways hoarding captures the attention of social service providers, this user-friendly guide provides tools to assess the problem, to coordinate and delegate tasks among helping professionals, and to work directly with reluctant hoarders and those affected by the hoarding. Chapters give hands-on guidance and decision trees for who should be involved and what strategies are needed for each case. This book is compassionate and comprehensive, an invaluable reference for social workers and human service providers in a broad range of fields.

Frequently Bought Together

The Hoarding Handbook: A Guide for Human Service Professionals + Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things + Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding, and Compulsive Acquiring
Price for all three: $57.88

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Editorial Reviews


"This is a great handbook in the true sense of the word. For organizers, it will significantly contribute to their professional development and result in a higher quality of service to their hoarding clients." --Judith Kolberg, Founder, National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization

"As experts in the field of hoarding, the authors' extensive experience working with a broad range of agencies are reflected in the detailed and constructive case illustrations, provision of assessment tools and other resources, and specific techniques for real-world application. A wealth of information is presented with great clarity and accessibility; this handbook promises to be a highly valuable and utilized resource." --Jordana Muroff, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice, Boston University School of Social Work

"This is a 'must read' for human service professionals working with clients who hoard. The authors provide the reader with a clear and concise understanding of hoarding and its impact on individuals, families, and communities, then walk the reader step-by-step through specific ways that various service professionals can help." --David F. Tolin, PhD, ABPP, coauthor, Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding

"This thoughtful and comprehensive book is certain to appear on the desk of every professional, from elder service worker to fire official, and become the go-to resource for service personnel looking for ways to deal with this devastating problem." --Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy and Assistant Clinical Professor, University of California, Berkeley

About the Author

Christiana Bratiotis, Ph.D., is a post-doctoral fellow at the Boston University School of Social Work. Cristina Sorrentino Schmalisch, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist in private practice at the Lydian Center for Innovative Medicine and a staff therapist at Hope Psychological Services. Gail Steketee, Ph.D., is Dean and Professor at the Boston University School of Social Work.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (June 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195385519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195385519
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful, supportive guide July 12, 2011
This guide is very interesting and helpful. As a therapeutic clinician, a community social worker and founding member of a town wide Hoarding Task Force, I have struggled to assist many individuals with hoarding over the past 10 years. Much has been written about clinical interventions for hoarding, but this guide explores the multiple challenges and interfaces with other agencies. With chapters discussing service delivery systems, assessment of severity and risks to self & others, housing, public health, protective services, the legal system and professional organizers, this guide validates many of the struggles that workers face regularly while also offering practical, helpful suggestions.
I really like the easy readable structure of the book with bullet pointed tips and strategies as well as case examples at the end of every chapter. These authors use their own substantial clinical and community experience & research as well as collaborating with numerous specialists in several hoarding related areas which also greatly enhances this guide. I would highly recommend this book to any professional who is involved in any aspect of working directly with individuals struggling with hoarding.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly useful July 1, 2011
Hoarding is an issue with a lot of media attention these days, but not everything written about it is reliable or research-based. This book is. Written by the country's cutting edge hoarding research team, this "handbook" is incredibly useful for family members, professionals, and all community parties impacted by hoarding from firefighters to elder protective agencies to social workers. I highly recommend it. Dr. Susan Chandler, University of Nevada, Reno, School of Social Work
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Hoarding Handbook is a timely, relevant, rich resource for human service professionals working with persons who have a hoarding problem. The book offers a comprehensive perspective about hoarding - including the features of hoarding, its challenges and complexities, and the hoarding task force model to support coordinated intervention. Beyond a basic knowledge of hoarding, the book introduces assessment tools to help gauge the severity of a hoarding problem. The topics of mental health service systems, housing impact, public safety implications, the role of protective services, animal hoarding, legal system stakeholders, medical providers, and professional organizers are thoroughly discussed. The Hoarding Handbook is a resource that can be relied upon for helpful, focused perspective. As a clinician, I highly recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading July 12, 2011
The authors of this book provide an insightful and helpful guide for not only mental health professionals but other service providers in the community. While hoarding may be a "hot topic" on TV these days, this book provides useful information based on published research and years of experience in the field. Hoarding is more prevalent than most people realize and is an issue that can involve multiple areas of the community including housing authorities, medical staff and emergency personnel and public health departments. While this book provides a thoughtful background about hoarding itself, it also provides useful steps and approaches that community professionals can take when assisting someone with this issue. This book is an invaluable resource.

Sarah Dowal, LCSW
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is exactly the book I have been praying would be written! Thorough, timely and well-written! I appreciate how the authors have written a manual for service professionals that is relevant and educational, yet written in such a way that anyone, regardless of their field, can understand. They provide techniques and tools to assist hoarders through recovery, rather than inflicting punitive measures that are non-conducive to treatment. By including assessments and measurement scales, they create a standard by which all areas of intervention can find common ground in beginning to help those who suffer from this complex mental illness. Further, by explaining the unique perception of different service professionals who are called in to hoarded homes, we can develop better communication and collaboration in our recovery efforts. This book should be a mandated read for all service professionals who come in contact with hoarders or hoarded properties. Outstanding!
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