Finding a therapist who can diagnose and effectively treat Hoarding Disorder is a challenge to many patients and families. It can sometimes take years for someone with HD to get an appropriate diagnosis and effective treatment. Why the delay?

  • Hiding symptoms. Some people choose to hide their symptoms, often in fear of embarrassment or stigma. This causes many people with HD to not seek the help of a mental health professional until many years after the onset of symptoms.
  • Not enough public awareness of HD. Until recently, many people did not know there was even a name for their disorder and with no name, they assumed there was no treatment.
  • Lack of proper training in health professionals. 
  • Difficulty finding local therapists who can effectively treat HD.
  • Not being able to afford proper treatment.  

When you search for a therapist in the IOCDF Resource Directory, you may get more than one result for your area. There are many factors to now consider when choosing the right therapist for you. In addition to the practical matters, such as whether they accept your insurance, is their office convenient for you, and so on, you also need to make sure that your new therapist is someone who you will feel comfortable working with. Below are some tips to helping you find the best possible treatment for you!

Tips for Finding the Right Therapist

Remember that some therapists are better at treating OCD than others. It is important to interview therapists to find out if they will be a good fit. Their responses to your questions are a good guide to what you want to know about a new therapist. Your initial consultation may be done over the phone, or in person, but either way, remember:

  • You have a perfect right to ask questions. This is your life and health!
  • If the therapist is guarded, withholds information, or becomes angry at your requests for information, you should probably look elsewhere.
  • If the therapist appreciates how important a decision this is for you and is open friendly and knowledgeable, you may have a gem of a therapist!
  • Your relationship with the therapist is important. Especially since they will potentially be asking you to do things that you find uncomfortable as part of your treatment.

Here are some good questions to ask as you consider whether the therapist is a good fit:

  • “What techniques do you use to treat HD?”
  • “What is your training and background in treating HD?”
  • “How much of your practice currently involves HD?”
  • “Do you feel that you have been effective in your treatment of HD?”
  • “What is your attitude towards medication in the treatment of HD?”
  • “Are you willing to leave your office if needed to do behavior therapy?”

Click the green FIND HELP above to search the Resource Directory for a therapist today.

These tips have been adapted from “How to Choose a Behavior Therapist” by Michael Jenike, MD