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Digging Out

Digging Out
Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding, and Compulsive Acquiring




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ISBN: 9781572245945
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$20.95In Stock
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About the Book

Many people who hoard understand the extent of their problem and are open to help. This book is not for them. Digging Out is for the concerned and frustrated friends and family members of people who do not fully accept the magnitude of their hoarding problem and refuse help from others. If you have a friend or loved one with a hoarding problem and are seeking a way to guide him or her to a healthier, safer way of life, this book is for you.

In Digging Out, you will find a complete guide to helping your loved one with a hoarding problem live safely and comfortably in his or her home or apartment. Included are realistic harm reduction strategies that you can use to help your loved one manage health and safety hazards, avoid eviction, and motivate him or her to make long-term lifestyle changes. You'll learn how to handle a roommate or spouse with a hoarding problem, identify and work through special considerations that may arise when the person who hoards is frail and elderly, and receive guidance for healing strained relationships between people who hoard and their friends and family. Take heart. With this book as a guide, you can help your loved one live more comfortably and safely, salvage your damaged relationship, and restore your peace of mind.


Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, ABPP, is a board-certified psychologist in behavioral and cognitive psychology. He is codirector of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy; and assistant clinical professor of psychology at the University... Read more

Books by Michael A. Tompkins

Tamara L. Hartl (Author)
Tamara L. Hartl, PhD, is an independent clinical practitioner in Saratoga, CA, and a psychologist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She has coauthored several seminal publications on hoarding behavior, including the first cognitive-behavioral... Read more

Books by Tamara L. Hartl

Randy Frost (Foreword by)
Foreword writer Randy O. Frost, PhD, teaches abnormal psychology at Smith College in Northampton, MA. He is coauthor of Buried in Treasures.

Books by Randy Frost

Gail Steketee (Foreword by)
Gail Steketee, PhD, is a professor and co-chair in the department of clinical practice at the School of Social Work at Boston University. She is coauthor of Buried in Treasures.

Books by Gail Steketee


“If your loved one has a problem with compulsive saving, this book can help you both save what really counts—yourselves! With equal parts compassion, wisdom, and practicality, Michael Tompkins and Tamara Hartl offer step-by-step instructions for helping family members and friends with hoarding challenges. The authors’ passion for their work comes through on every page, and their extensive experience is evident in every nugget of advice they offer.”
—Jeff Bell, author of When in Doubt, Make Belief: An OCD-Inspired Approach to Living with Uncertainty

“An essential guide for loved ones of those who compulsively hoard. Digging Out takes a compassionate approach to both the hoarder and the family member’s perspective and offers practical tools that really work to reduce harm associated with clutter and improve family relationships.”
—Belinda Lyons, executive director of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco

Digging Out is a remarkable book. Michael Tompkins and Tamara Hartl walk the reader step-by-step through the difficult process of letting go of unrealistic expectations, healing old wounds, and helping loved ones get much-needed help for compulsive hoarding. This book is likely to become a must-read for family members of people with significant hoarding problems.”
—David F. Tolin, Ph.D., ABPP, director of the anxiety disorders center at The Institute of Living and adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine

“This excellent book is a boon to people that hoard, their families, and mental health professionals. It provides a clear method, harm reduction, that has been proven effective in reducing the dangerous consequences of hoarding, yet also promotes positive relationships between the hoarder and his or her loved ones. The authors are to be commended for the benefits offered by Digging Out to the many people who have to cope with this disabling disorder.”
—Paul R. Munford, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and director of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center for OCD and Anxiety in San Rafael, CA

Digging Out is a wonderful book for those who have family members or other loved ones with compulsive hoarding and cluttering problems. It provides a practical, realistic, in-depth, and empathic approach to helping manage this serious and often debilitating problem using harm-reduction techniques. This book manages that most difficult of combinations—providing hope and guidance without minimizing potential obstacles to success.”
—Carol A. Mathews, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

“Undoubtedly, Digging Out is one of the best available texts for assisting the families of those suffering from hoarding and cluttering to declutter and help their loved ones live in a healthy environment. I highly recommend the book for all who work with or may come across people struggling with hoarding and cluttering.”
—Johnson Ojo, REHS, special programs manager, San Francisco Department of Public Health

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