School of Social Work researchers publish hoarding treatment guide

Hoarding_HandbookSchool of Social Work (SSW) Dean Gail Steketee, post-doctoral fellow Christiana Bratiotis, and psychotherapist Cristina Sorrentino Schmalisch have published The Hoarding Handbook: A Guide for Human Service Professionals (Oxford University Press), as a resource for those responding to hoarding situations. The guide includes case studies, tips and strategies and suggestions for appropriate interventions.

Organized around the ways hoarding captures the attention of service providers, the handbook provides tools to help professionals assess the problem, coordinate and delegate tasks, and work directly with reluctant hoarders and others affected by the hoarding.

“There is some misunderstanding regarding hoarding, and often professionals don’t know enough about what the other professionals do when intervening with hoarding,” Bratiotis said. “Our goal was to write a book that is used by the many diverse disciplines that assist people with the problem.”

Steketee and Bratiotis are the principle investigator and director, respectively, of SSW’s Hoarding Research Team, which also includes Assistant Professor Jordana Muroff and BU graduate and undergraduate students.

The team’s research activities include studying the nature of the problem of hoarding; individual, group and webcam cognitive behavioral treatment interventions; and community task force responses to the problem. In addition, the team provides resource and referrals, professional training and family consultation.