Hoarding disorder is the excessive collection of, and failure to discard, a large number of possessions. It is a significant mental health condition that can have a serious impact on individuals, family members, and the community.
The severity of hoarding often increases as someone ages. Changes in life conditions, including living alone and receiving less frequent social interaction can place seniors at a greater risk for hoarding. Mental health issues such as preexisting personality disorders, depression or dementia, can also contribute to this risk.
CREST stands for Cognitive Rehabilitation and Exposure/Sorting Therapy. Our innovative and patient-centered approach includes both of these components:
Cognitive Rehabilitation is aimed at changing ways of thinking and organizing information through learning new skills and strategies. Our mental health professionals will meet with patients one on one to help enhance cognitive abilities, including flexible thinking, memory, and problem solving skills.
Exposure/Sorting Therapy is designed to help people gain control of the fear and distress associated with discarding items. We help patients make decisions about discarding and acquiring items, improving their own ability to make choices about possessions.
Each patient receives 26 sessions of individualized treatment.
Patients undergo a thorough assessment that includes interviews and questionnaires. Progress is monitored throughout treatment and after completing the program.
Care managers assist individuals in identifying their goals and coordinating support services. A care manager will have weekly meetings or check-ins as needed with each participant to help improve well-being, independent functioning, and quality of life.
Graduates of the program help current patients practice new skills, develop effective coping techniques, and foster advocacy skills.
Support Group for Family Members
These meetings offer information on hoarding and its treatment, tips on how to talk to someone about their hoarding behaviors, health and safety issues related to hoarding, how to set boundaries, and the importance of self-care. We can refer family memvers to counseling or mental health services if needed.
After-Care and Recovery
We provide ongoing care management, after-care groups, additional individual psychotherapy sessions (as needed), and access to peer support.
Available resources may include financial assistance, housing, food, legal help, or physical health services. We also collaborate with our community partners to help reduce the risk of homelessness for our patients.
CREST is funded through the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services. The program is free of charge for older adults living in San Diego County who meet criteria based on income and other qualifications. We encourage you to learn more about our program and eligibility requirements by contacting us.