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Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding, and Compulsive Acquiring
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Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding, and Compulsive Acquiring

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Many people who hoard understand the extent of their problem and are open to help. This book is not for them. Digging Out is for the concerned and frustrated friends and family members of people who do not fully accept the magnitude of their hoarding problem and refuse help from others. If you have a friend or loved one with a hoarding problem and are seeking a way to guid ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by New Harbinger Publications (first published April 1st 2007)
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Jan 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Really, really useful for families of hoarders. My father is a hoarder and I found the information in this book to be very helpful in dealing with him. It's not like the TV shows that show just going in and throwing everything away; it deals with building trust and the long term. Those of us who have to deal with hoarders know that it can't be "fixed" in a day.

I passed it on to my sister since she is the one who lives closest to him and deals with the hoard on a daily basis. Hopefully she will f
Jan 05, 2011 added it
Fantastic manual for family members and friends of hoarders. I really think that the "Harm Reduction" method is really the best approach to take with a loved one who has a long-standing problem with saving and acquiring.
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
very focussed on severe hoarding and harm reduction. good tips on beginning and continuing the conversation, but stopped reading at the harm reduction plan
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Helpful in understanding why someone accumulates, gives ideas of how to help, and re-help, gives hope even after failed attempted.
Mar 20, 2014 rated it liked it
If you have a loved one who is a hoarder, and you are wanting to help them with this problem, you should read this book early on while you still have the energy and drive to do so. When the problem has been evident for years and years already though, you may no longer have the patience to go through the entire process with your loved one because it isn't quick. As such, I can't comment on the value of, or the success of the plan as outlined. But if you fall into the latter category (even if you ...more
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction-read
Clear and helpful. This is one of the best books for helping someone deal with their hoarding tendencies, whether you are family, friend or service provider. It mainly talks about harm reduction and working with all the people involved. The main thing it does though is 'help the helper' understand the right approaches. It may help people develop better ways of dealing with their relationship dynamics and will certainly be an eye-opener to anyone who thinks they just need to clear the stuff to so ...more
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very good reference for people dealing with a loved one with serious safety and health issues due to true hoarding. It addresses the ever-constant presence of strained relations and properly applies a high level of importance to that relationship.

I haven't had a client with this level of trouble, nor am I trained as a therapist. However, if I am ever asked for casual advice along these lines, I would feel comfortable recommending the family member to read this.
Gypsy Thomas
Nov 05, 2013 rated it liked it
By the time you get to the practical suggestions for helping someone with a hoarding problem, the author has you feeling so discouraged and that the effort involved is going to be too great and require so many years to accomplish anything, that you feel like giving up without even trying. I would skip reading the first couple of chapters and go straight to the plan of action! One might be more apt to try it that way first.
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. As a Professional Organiser, I found it a valuable tool not only for helping me deal with my clients, but helping those families that have a hoarder with very low insight and resists all help, despite the dangers they face. I'll be recommending it to anyone with a hoarder in the family.
Mar 06, 2011 rated it liked it
it's a fine book, i just lost interest a few chapters in b/c the hoarder is an aunt/uncle and i think the problem is theirs for now. when it falls to the cousins, i'll have some background and hopefully can be helpful.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book really helped me understand what my grandfather (hoarder), my mother (compulsive acquiring, clutter) and myself (compulsive acquiring) have and are currently dealing with in our lives. I recommend it to anyone who is touched by hoarding.
Captain Caper
Jan 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Read this to gain insight into .... and possibly help a friend who hoards.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: organizing
Good reference, simply laid out.
Liz Voce
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great book to help loved ones cope and deal with hoarding in the family.
Apr 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Written by a UCONN alumna. Provides helpful communication techniques and offers strategies for harm reduction. Gave me a new perspective to consider the situation.
Mary Winter
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Oct 06, 2014
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Feb 08, 2016
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Jan 22, 2016
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Jan 27, 2015
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Oct 08, 2012
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Jan 25, 2013
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Nov 19, 2014
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Jun 25, 2014
G Allan Kingston
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May 15, 2018
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Jan 22, 2018
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May 25, 2015
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Michael A. Tompkins, Ph.D. is co-founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Diplomate and Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and chapters on cognitive-behavior therapy and related topics, as well as six books. He is a certified ...more