You want a relationship with your loved ones that is positive, caring, and loving. One without the guilt and the shame. To be a family that honors each other’s experiences and copes with the hard times without hurting each other or relying on dysfunctional behavior patterns.
When you first noticed your loved one struggling to handle her trauma and anxiety, you promised yourself you’d help her through. You believe in strong family values and feel called to help when the people you love are in need. But you never thought it would turn into this. That you wouldn’t be able to walk in the front door of the house because there were too many cardboard boxes in the way. Or having to wear a mask when you finally battled your way in, because the smell was just that bad.
Instead, you imagined coming over for tea and being a shoulder to cry on.
You always knew families go through hard times. You pictured yourself answering the phone at 3AM and being a calm presence in the midst of a panic attack. You could see yourself being an uplifting voice and empowering your loved one to seek help when they couldn’t help themselves. And, you prepared yourself to go the extra mile to make sure your family found a way to be healthy again.
That’s not to say you thought the road to healing would be easy. You recognize the generations of trauma and dysfunction that affect your family and there’s been times you’ve had to claw you way out from under your own overwhelming worries.
But what you didn’t expect were the odd, eccentric, and even disgusting behaviors your family member would develop as a way to handle her pain. You never knew how annoyed you’d be recycling 50 copies of the same newspaper from six years ago, held on to only for the advertisement on page three. You had no idea how furious it would make you to see heirloom antiques covered in pizza boxes and Chinese food containers. And, you certainly didn’t expect the level of dread you’d feel when you couldn’t find the cat for two days.
So here you are
The embarrassed one, the angry one, the annoyed one, the disgusted one.
It struck you the other day…
You were walking to the trunk of your car carrying a rather heavy box of old dresses. They were faded, smelled like moth balls, and many of them were full of holes. You couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to keep junk like this. You went to pitch them when your loved one broke down in front of you begging you to take them to your garage instead of throwing them away. She was sweating and shaking, in a sheer panic at the though of letting go of her “vintage” clothes. You were so taken aback by her reaction that you agreed to keep them at your house.
But, in a moment of clarity, you realized what you were doing – enabling a very bad, very unhealthy habit.
Ashamed at yourself for supporting such dysfunctional behavior you threw the box away and left. And the shame crept in.
“I can’t believe I’ve been supporting such an unhealthy way of living.”
“I thought I was helping, but maybe I am actually hurting the situation.”
“I wish I knew where this why my family was so screwed up.”
“I must not be a very good family member if I can’t help in the tough times.”
“I just don’t see a way to get out of this cycle and have a happy family again.”
But when your guilt faded away, when your tears stopped flowing and you could finally think clearly, you admitted to yourself:
“I don’t think we can do this on our own anymore. We need a professional to help.”
You sincerely believe that family sticks together through it all, but when you really look at your situation
You’ve been drowning in the responsibility of caring for someone who needs more help that you can give. None of the ways you thought you could support your family member are working and it’s becoming more and more difficult to have a relationship that’s not full of resentment. You’ve been angry and frustrated a lot more than you ever thought you would be and you struggle to connect with your loved one in a way that is natural and loving.
It’s painful to see someone you love so much having such debilitating anxiety and such unhealthy ways of handling it. There is a lot riding on your shoulders to keep the family together and take care of everyone you love.
But the truth is, hoarding is a complex addiction that requires a lot more than just love and support to overcome. Loving someone with addictive behaviors is a hard path to walk and you’re not the only one to feel at a loss of how to help. It’s a daily struggle to want a better life for someone you love, but not know how motivate them to change. You’re not the only one wishing things were different and wondering if a stable family life is something you will ever have. The key is finding the right professional who understands the unhealthy behaviors that develop out of generations of anxiety and trauma.
You’re ready to get the support you need to help your loved one solve that pain underneath the hoarding.
With Support for Family Members of Hoarders with Carol Rose Adkisson
You will learn to set stronger boundaries with relatives that hoard
You will feel comfortable having a separate life from your family member knowing they are in treatment for their hoarding tendencies
You will develop healthier connections to loved ones and not feel caught up in their addictive behaviors
You will come to understand the root causes of your loved one’s behaviors and see how and why they are affected
You will get rid of any guilt you feel for having an individual life and taking care of yourself
The Hoarding Support with Carol Rose Adkisson Process
We’ll meet together weekly for 3 – 1 hour sessions for a package fee of $500.00. Typically, support for family members of hoarders continues for 3 weeks until everyone is educated about the causes of the hoarding behavior, how it manifests and impacts the family system, and ways to prevent the addictive behavior from derailing the family unit.
To help individuals become more aware of their family member’s anxieties and addictive behaviors, I use an approach to therapy similar to the recovery model. This is Transformation as a choice. This approach to therapy focuses on teaching the family about codependency and there part in the problem. This approach to therapy helps the family to let go of what is not their responsibility and learn resources that can help through this process. We might also work together to develop a mindfulness practice to improve your coping skills. Here’s what to expect:
Treatment is possible via computer, and/or in my office. I encourage as many family members as possible to participate in this treatment.
WEEK ONE: Intake
During this initial session, we define the therapeutic relationship and discuss the details of the therapy contract. I gather information about you, your family relationships, and your loved one’s traumatic experiences We also discuss the goals you have for your relationships with loved ones and how to prevent hoarding behaviors from spilling over and impacting all family members.
WEEKS TWO And THREE: Hoarding Support for Family Members
During the remaining sessions of hoarding support we will bring as many family members together as possible to learn how to rise above your loved one’s circular thinking. You will learn the ways that hoarding has contributed to toxic family dynamics and discover how to reestablish healthy boundaries among all family members. We will also work together to cultivate new patterns of interacting within the family so you can build the strength and energy to pursue your own life.
More About Me
Hi, I’m Carol, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I am invested in helping clients overcome the root causes of their anxieties so that they can developing healthy coping skills that do not involve addictive behaviors. It is my job to help my clients understand the patterns in their lives that have made them who they are and challenge the negative thoughts that keep them stuck in anxious cycles. I’m also an integrated health and recovery coach which means my passion is helping clients climb out from under their possessions to find their authentic voice and live magnificent lives. Depending on your location I will work with the understanding that I am an Integrated Health and Recovery Consultant that also is licensed in the state of California as a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist.
Who Benefits Most from Hoarding Support with Carol Rose Adkisson
Hoarding Support is best for those who are ready to change their own interactions and behaviors, so they can have better relationships with the hoarders in their lives. Gaining insight around unhealthy boundaries helps individuals create appropriate distance between themselves and their loved ones with addictive behaviors. You will benefit from hoarding support with me if:
- You feel overburdened caring for a family member who is addicted to collecting objects
- You need help discovering ways to care for yourself while caring for a hoarding loved one
- You are tired of getting caught up in your family member’s chaotic lifestyle
- You are able to acknowledge the role you play in an unhealthy family dynamic
- You are ready to break free from the behaviors that continually jeopardize your relationship with your loved one
There are certain situations where you might not be ready for hoarding counseling with me. These situations include, but are not limited to:
- Those who are looking for a quick fix for family members that hoard
- Those who are not ready to explore the many layers of trauma within the family unit
- Those who are afraid to explore the truth of their circumstances
- Those who are unable to admit their role in perpetuating their loved one’s addictive behaviors
What Does Hoarding Support with Carol Rose Adkisson Cost?
I do not currently work with insurance companies.
In the meantime, you and I can work together to explore payment options such as Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Service Accounts, and Out of Network insurance benefits.
Counseling with Carol Rose Adkisson is fee-for-service at the package rate of $500 for three one hour sessions.
Your Next Steps
It is possible to have a positive, healthy relationship with your family member despite their ongoing struggles. You will be able to engage with you loved one in a way that makes both of you happy, yet maintains appropriate boundaries.
Just because there is significant trauma within your family unit, does not mean that you have to continue to live with harmful behaviors or be enmeshed and codependent.
You’ll be able to live your life without feelings of fear, worry, sadness, anger, and hopeless. You’ll be able carve out space for individuality without ruining your family relationships or making the hoarding behaviors worse. Ultimately, you’ll have the peace of knowing your loved one will be ok and that you can build a life separate from the trauma.
To schedule an appointment for hoarding counseling with Carol Rose Adkisson in Fontana, California at call 909-693-3177. Please inform my staff the specific treatment that you are seeking. I will call you back and we can set up are first appointment time. Due to the many family members that may be participating we can schedule a weekend appointment if necessary.