Hoarding therapy groups for seniors begin in February

Registration is now open for Area Agency on Aging hoarding therapy groups for Maricopa County residents 60 and older challenged by compulsive object hoarding who are willing to self-identify and commit to addressing the disorder.

The 14-week confidential and voluntary Too Many Treasures Hoarding Therapy Group begins in February.

The groups will meet at locations in Central Phoenix and Glendale. Space is limited and qualifying participants will need to complete an intake process by phone no later than Feb. 1 by calling 602-241-5577.

According to statistics, 5 percent of the world’s population displays some sort of clinical hoarding that affects between 700,000 and 1 million people in the United States.

Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine indicates that the compulsion to hoard often starts in childhood or the teen years but doesn’t become severe until adulthood. Hoarding often runs in families.

There is no cost for the 90-minute group therapy sessions that are moderated by a licensed clinical counselor.

Too Many Treasures, which was recently recognized with an Aging Achievement Award at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Annual Conference, is the only object hoarding therapy program in Maricopa County.

Meeting locations are confidential. Addresses will be provided to qualifying participants.

“Through the therapy groups, participants suffering from Excessive Acquiring and Clutter Behavior are introduced to new information and techniques to help them change current behaviors and thoughts,” said Heidi Donniaquo, a licensed clinical social worker who manages Too Many Treasures.

“Compulsive object hoarding is a serious problem that can be difficult to control.”

Follow-up support-group meetings for graduates are scheduled bi-weekly to provide ongoing support and encouragement.

For more information, email hoarding@aaphx.org or visit www.aaaphx.org.

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