You want freedom from the pain and worry that make you feel profoundly different from everyone else. To live a life without being burdened by constant worry. One where you don’t have to collect objects to cope with your anxiety or feel more in control.
Before your hoarding behaviors became out of control, you never saw the harm in holding on to a few extra items. Your collections brought you comfort when you were feeling so anxious you could barely function. The objects you possessed didn’t judge you or make you feel less than because living in the world is hard for you. Instead, you felt empowered by the idea of curating the environment around you and surrounding yourself with important things that brought you joy and helped you forget the horrible things you’ve been through.
You promised yourself, this was just something you did to make life a little easier, a little more fun. You never saw yourself getting carried away collecting objects or becoming so attached that there was no feasible way for you to get rid of any single thing you came in contact with.
You always pictured weeding through your collections regularly. Curating the artifacts you possessed like a beautiful museum. A shrine to the beauty you saw around you. You planned to set aside days to purge the objects that no longer comforted you. And you prepared to rotate through your favorites regularly. Your collections were just supposed to be entertaining things that distracted you from your pain and worry.
That’s not to say you didn’t recognize you were starting to hold on to too many items. In fact, you noticed it was getting more and more difficult to pick important or valuable things to collect and you could tell your house was getting a bit too crowded.
But you never expected to become addicted to your collections. You never knew you would get a rush from keeping things or that it would take more and more items to make your anxiety go away. You had no idea you’d become so attached to useless make it your possessions. And, you surely didn’t expect the very actions that made you feel strong to leave you feeling so powerless.
So now you find yourself with no friends, strained family relationships, living in filth, suffering from more anxiety than ever before, and unable to take the steps to make life better.
You just realized how bad it’s gotten…
A knock on the door woke you earlier than normal. You looked around the room quickly for something clean to put on, but had to settle for a robe that hadn’t been washed in a month, probably because you had to move three stacks of magazines just to find it. You walked to the front door and had to dodge six crates of DVDs in the hallway and scoot a huge, heavy box of clearance Christmas ornaments from in front of the door just to open it.
When you were finally able to see who it was, a man in a suit confirmed your name, handed you an envelope, and said you’d been sued by the city for the amount of trash in your back yard. Your mouth hung low. You were furious that someone could not respect your own property and had the nerve to call your collections trash.
But in a moment of clarity you looked around recognized the way you’ve been living.
Horrified at what you saw, you burst into tears. And the shame washed over you.
You thoughts started to race:
“Something is truly wrong with me. I’m never going to be a normal human being.”
“I’m so dysfunctional. Nothing is ever going to go right in my life.”
“There is no way to get better, I’m going to be paralyzed by my trauma for the rest of my life.”
“Even when I’m controlling my anxiety, I’m still destroying my life.”
But when the self-loathing faded away, when you stopped panicking, and your circular thoughts slowed, you admitted to yourself:
“There has to be a way to break free from this life I’ve created.”
You honestly thought you were doing something to help you cope with trauma and anxiety, but when you really pay attention you’ve been masking your pain with possessions. None of the collecting you’ve been doing has actually propelled your life forward in any way. In fact, your addictive behaviors have jeopardized any relationships that were positive in your life before you began hoarding. You’ve been anxious a lot more than you’d like to admit despite collecting objects and you struggle to remember why you’ve held on to so many of the things that once brought you joy.
It’s extremely painful to realize the behaviors you thought were helping you cope with your trauma were just masks hiding what you were really struggling with.
But the truth is, generations of anxiety and trauma are almost impossible to heal on your own. Hoarding is a common dysfunctional coping strategy and many others just like you turn to collecting objects as a way to make themselves feel better. The problem though, is just like any other addiction, hanging on to items becomes more and more necessary for you to feel normal which starts to destroy your relationships. You’re not the only one who attempts to curate their environment in hopes of feeling more in control of the world around them. Other people hoard. And other people allowing hoarding to impact their lives too.
The key is figuring out how to address the underlying emotions that caused you to start collecting in the first place.
You’re ready for freedom from these behaviors and to start on a proper path of healing.
With Hoarding Counseling with Carol Rose Adkisson in Fontana, California
You will learn to acknowledge the traumas that have brought you to this point in life and how to stop giving them so much power.
You will feel comfortable having loved ones to your home knowing they are not stifled by your collections
You will develop better ways to handle your anxiety so you no longer need to stockpile objects and possessions
You will come to know the underlying triggers of your hoarding behavior and how to stop them
You will get rid of any hopelessness you experience for feeling profoundly different than others
The Hoarding Counseling with Carol Rose Adkisson Process
We’ll meet together weekly for 45-50 minute sessions. Typically, hoarding counseling sessions continue for several months as it is an in-depth process to explore the trauma and anxieties that contribute to collecting behaviors.
To help individuals become more aware of their anxieties and addictive behaviors, I use an approach to therapy known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This approach to therapy focuses on challenging your negative thought processes. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps you transform into the person you would like to become. We might also work together to develop a mindfulness practice to improve your coping skills.
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 and your traumatic experiences and how they have impacted your behaviors. We also discuss the goals you have for your relationships with loved ones and how to overcome debilitating anxiety.
WEEK TWO And Beyond: Hoarding Support
During the remaining sessions of hoarding counseling we will spend time discussing the illusion of control that collecting possessions has given you. You will learn the ways that hoarding has made you feel powerful over your anxieties and explore ways to feel in control of your life that are healthier and less toxic to you and your loved ones. We will also work together to develop new coping skills so that you can rely on tactics other than collecting objects and creating piles to calm your nerves. We will also explore mindfulness as a way to mitigate your reactions and keep you interacting positively with your friends and family.
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 develop 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.
Who Benefits Most from Hoarding Counseling with Carol Rose Adkisson
Hoarding Counseling is best for those who feel they are masking their personal anxieties by collecting possessions. Gaining insight around these underlying anxieties helps individuals cope with worry without relying on unhealthy actions so that they can relate better with those who are important in their lives. You will benefit from hoarding counseling with me if:
- You are worried about the way your current coping strategies are alienating your friends and family
- You need help discovering new ways to overcome your fears and worries that will give you real results
- You are tired of masking your feelings with more and more objects
- You are able to let go of illusion that anxiety and addictive behaviors are helpful
- You are ready to break free from the behaviors that continually jeopardize your close relationships
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 to hoarding possessions
- Those who are not ready to explore their many layers of trauma
- Those who are afraid to explore the truth of their circumstances
- Those who are unable to admit their role in their addictive behaviors
What Does Hoarding Counseling 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 rate of $150 per hour. Or, if you prefer, we can create a package that will offer you four sessions for $500.00.
Your Next Steps
It is possible to have a clutter and object-free home and still feel like you have control over your anxieties. You will be able to invite your friends and family to your home knowing that, even though you still have unresolved trauma, you are handling your anxiety in new and healthy ways.
Just because collecting possessions has gotten you through hard times in the past, does not mean it is the only way you will ever be able to face the world around you.
You’ll be able to live your life without feelings of fear, worry, sadness, anger, and hopeless. You’ll be able to stop bottling up your emotions and take big steps forward in creating the life you are looking for. Ultimately, you’ll have to peace of knowing you are not defective and your hope will return as you realize you can work toward fixing your situation.
To schedule an appointment for hoarding counseling with Carol Rose Adkisson in Fontana, California at call 909-693-3177.