With the last few years’ worth of fear permeating the consciousness of humanity, all sorts of life-draining behaviors have come to the surface. One of the most potentially harmful of these is hoarding. Almost everyone has heard of friends or friends who have this problem, or may even have family members who suffer from hoarding disorder.
Hoarders live in impossibly cluttered spaces, often needing to continuously clear a path so that it becomes possible to walk across a room. Harmful substances accumulate. Mold, bacteria, dust, rodent droppings, and pet urine and feces expose the hoarder and anyone who enters the premises to the dangers of these environmental hazards.
On its face, the whole idea of hoarding just doesn’t make sense. Why would someone take such risks, or even have the lack of basic logic that lets most of us throw unneeded things away? In most cases, hoarders themselves have no idea why they do what they do. Yet, they can’t seem to stop doing it.
What is hoarding, exactly, and what causes it?
This piece on the Psychology today website lists the symptoms and traditional course of treatment for hoarders. The symptoms include:
- Difficulty parting with possessions, even if they have no use
- Distress over the thought of letting go of possessions
- Allowing the compulsion to hold on to possessions to make spaces crowded, cluttered, and potentially dangerous
- Distress and impaired functioning, including the inability to maintain a safe living space
Hoarding disorder is a form of OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), and like this disorder, is often rooted in anxiety and severe emotional trauma. The psychology community has not pinpointed an exact source of hoarding disorder, but it is noted that trauma, as well as having another family member who hoards, are risk factors.
The recommended treatment is CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and/or antidepressant medication. With this course of treatment, it can take clients suffering from hoarding disorder a very long time to let go of the compulsion to hold on to their possessions and create a safe space. Fortunately, there is another way for hoarders to get the help they need.
Unlock unconscious compulsions with Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy™
While the exact cause of hoarding might differ from one individual to the next, the unconscious nature of the behavior makes hypnotherapy a useful treatment option. In hypnotherapy, the client is able to gain access to the subconscious and unconscious areas of the mind, re-discovering forgotten memories that can help them put pieces together.
Perhaps the hoarding began with the death of a loved one, and worsened under the desire to keep things the way they always had been up until the time of the loved one’s passing. Clothing, personal effects, even food that had been there, never gets discarded because repressed grief renders the hoarder unable to accept what has happened and move forward. After that, it might seem reasonable to hold on to more objects, or to be unable to part with now-useless possessions
With hypnotherapy, the client would be encouraged to express the grief and sadness, along with other emotions that might arise. This is accomplished through age regression, whereby the client, in a relaxed state of being, can go back and “be” in the moment when the traumatic event occurred. Once the emotions are expressed, they are discharged from the body.
Then, the client is asked to explore what that situation did to create erroneous beliefs such as “I’m worthless without these possessions,” or “I am empty and need to be filled up.” After that, the client is invited to reflect on how the belief influenced behavior. “I kept everything because I didn’t want to let go” would be an example of this.
After some healing work, perhaps comforting that grieving child or younger adult part of the person, real changes can be made. The client might also learn how to recognize when fear or anxiety arises and how to take measures to bring down the intensity. Or, they may go back again to the revisit the places where their confidence, truth, faith, or happiness was “lost,” and bring these essential parts of the soul back to their being.
Once the healing portion is complete, the client revises old beliefs and creates new truths and new behaviors. Examples of this revised point of view might be “I have worth and am full of love” and “I can let go of things and still be safe.”
Ideally, the hypnotherapy session would be integrated into a treatment program that assists the client in putting these new conclusions and decisions into practice. The hypnotherapy accelerates the process of transformation by illustrating to the client the underlying reasons for their compulsive behavior. It can also be employed to help the client manage these compulsions, summon the courage to clear their space, and move on to a much more highly functional and happy life.
Learn Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy™ in less than a week!
The power of hypnotherapy can give you the tools needed to bring even the most desperate clients hope and the ability to envision a brighter future. You can learn how to do Hypnotherapy at The Wellness Institute, comprehensively, inexpensively, and completely online!
Our Six Day Hypnotherapy Training and Certification Program prepares you to conduct Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy™ sessions with your clients. In less than a week, you’ll llearn the basics of hypnosis, how it differs from hypnotherapy, and how hypnotherapy can be used to treat codependency, addictions, sexual abuse, somatic issues, eating disorders, and more.
You’ll get the chance to try your hand twice at being the therapist and the observer. You’ll also experience two sessions as a client! These sessions, conducted by you and your peers, are closely supervised by experienced, Wellness-trained Heart-Centered Hypnotherapists. Participants almost invariable describe the Six Day Hypnotherapy Training and Certification Program as “life-changing.’
After the Six-Day program, you can intensify your learning experience with The Advanced Internship Program, PTI Leadership, and The Mentorship Program. The Wellness Institute’s range of programs allows you to grow as a therapist into a ground-breaking area of therapy that will change your and your clients’ lives forever.