Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Presentation to focus on hoarding - Gail Steketee, PhD

Arlington Community Education and the town’s Health and Human Services Department will host a presentation by psychologist Gail Steketee, PhD, titled “Buried Under Too Much Stuff: Understanding and Treating Hoarding.” The event will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Arlington High School’s Lowe Auditorium, 869 Mass. Ave. Admission is $10.

Everyone accumulates possessions, but what happens when too many possessions take over homes, offices, and lives? Recent media attention has focused on hoarded homes and quick fixes to clear them out. This discussion will focus instead on the emotions and behavior behind hoarding. Hoarding stems from difficulty making decisions, as well as mistaken beliefs about the value and meaning of objects. Steketee will examine the symptoms and features of hoarding, provide a model for understanding the problem and outline effective interventions.

Steketee is dean of Boston University’s School of Social Work, an expert on obsessive-compulsive disorder and one of the country’s leading researchers on the topic of hoarding. She is co-author of “The Hoarding Handbook” for human service professionals and “Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding,” which was featured this year in Newsweek, the New York Times, Salon, Time, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and NPR’s “Fresh Air.”

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