Intensive De-cluttering Techniques for Non-clinical Service Providers: Using Cognitive Behavior Therapy Techniques when Working Individually with Clients

Next Training


Various groups in the United States have used the book, Buried in Treasures, successfully working with groups. This three-day course teaches participants the techniques taught in Buried in Treasures and applies them to work done one-on-one, service provider to client. The course first lays a foundation for understanding hoarding behaviors. Tools and techniques are then presented that can be included in other work done with the client such as work on depression, or as a primary focus if the main goal is to work on hoarding behaviors. Learning will be reinforced through exercises and case studies. There will also be an opportunity for participants to discuss cases that are currently active.

Comments from previous attendees have been:

“This has been a great education experience. The time (spent) was necessary to fully immerse oneself in the process of understanding how to approach the hoarding behavioral cycle”

“Our presenter was awesome and really helped us understand the nature of over-acquiring and how to support the rehabilitation process in a harm reduction way”

“I feel well-informed and will utilize these techniques”


Next training: TBD

Individual Rate – $900/person
3-5 Group Registrants – $810/person
6-10 Group Registrants – $765/person
11+ Group Registrants – $720/person

Learning Objectives

  • To learn the diagnosis
  • To learn how to use the rating scales
  • To define the challenges facing a person with a hoarding disorder
  • To learn the biology behind the disorder
  • To learn techniques for managing a client’s acquiring
  • To learn techniques for managing a client’s hoarding behavior
  • To understand and create a game plan to help a client be successful

Target Audience and Instructional Level

This course is designed for any non-clinical service provider that works directly with clients who are dealing with hoarding behaviors. While the content is primarily relevant for social workers and case managers, the content is useful to anyone working directly with clients, for example a building manager can benefit from learning these skills.


Day 1

Time Topic
  • Introductions
  • Introduction to Buried in Treasures
10:00am-10:15am Break
  • Building the Relationship
12:00pm-01:00pm Lunch
  • The Hoarding Disorder Diagnosis
  • How did this happen?
  • The Rating Scales – self evaluations identifying where the client is most at risk
02:30pm-02:45pm Break
  • Unhelpful Belief
05:00pm Adjourn Day 1

Day 2

Time Topic
  • Overly Creative Thinking
  • Categories
10:00am-10:15am Break
  • Attachment
  • Avoidance
  • Reducing Acquiring
12:00pm-01:00pm Lunch
  • How do they stay motivated?
02:15pm-02:30pm Break
  • Techniques for staying focused
  • The Game Plan – putting the techniques taught into a structured approach for de-cluttering
05:00pm Adjourn Day 2

Day 3 

Time Topic
  • Building the Relationship Part II
10:00am-10:15am Break
  • Case Study I
12:00pm-01:00pm Lunch
  • Review
02:15pm-02:30pm Break
  • Case Study II
  • Assessment and graduation
05:00pm Adjourn Day 3


Mental Health Association of San Francisco
870 Market Street, Suite 785
San Francisco, CA 94102

About the Trainer

Dave Bain

JohnWith a background in technology, education and psychology, David brings a wide range of skills to MHASF. David has lived in San Francisco since 1984, and has experienced the challenges and changes in the city and the LGBT community over time. His introduction to the mental health community in San Francisco began with an internship at the former Tenderloin Mental Health Clinic as a PhD student in clinical psychology. His training and work in HIV education with the Federal government has prepared him to work with a diverse client base, as he advances the treatment of hoarding and cluttering and removes the stigma associated with finding and keeping. David holds a MS in Education from Southeast Missouri State University.

Other Training Topics

Please see our other trainings facilitated by the Training Institute.

© Copyright 2018 - Mental Health Association of San Francisco | Sitemap | Terms of Use

An affiliate of national Mental Health America