Members of the Austin Hoarding Support Group hosted a talk on Hoarding Disorder and a discussion for sufferers, family and friends, students and therapists, at the Austin Community College campus at 12th & Rio Grande, on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, from 7:00-9:00pm.
This special event was co-sponsored by the Austin Hoarding Support Group and OCD TEXAS, in conjunction with OCD Awareness Week (Oct 10-16, 2011). Irene Tobis, PhD, hoarding treatment specialist and also President of OCD TEXAS, spoke on features of the disorder and current directions for recovery. Members of the Austin Hoarding Support Group shared accounts of their hoarding and their experiences of how the support group had helped them make progress.
Several participants spoke of significant progress, however, and of delight at the improvement in the quality of their lives.
The group also described and answered questions about an upcoming peer-facilitated study/support group that they will be starting in January 2012.
A facilitator's guide, developed by Lee Shuer and Randy Frost, based on the highly-regarded book, "Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding" by David F. Tolin, has been followed by two groups to date, with excellent and encouraging results. The group starting in January follow an updated version of that guide for the group for a total of 20 sessions, twice monthly, meeting on Tuesday evenings.
Group members welcomed others to join them in the support group, which currently has six regular attendees. They said that overcoming social anxiety and isolation is very helpful in their mission to "help each other make progress in reducing our hoarding behaviors and increasing healthy behaviors and in so doing improve the quality of our lives".