Family members should schedule a time to meet with the therapist to learn more about hoarding, what treatment options are available, and to plan out the intervention. It needs to be determined upfront who will be involved, what they will say, and how to prepare for various responses from the hoarding family member. Family members must be prepared to stand firm and united, in a loving and supporting fashion, without fear of anger or consequences. It is ideal to plan and execute a practice session.
The initial goal of the intervention is to get the hoarder to commit and attend one visit with a therapist who has experience working with hoarders.
At the predetermined date and time, all the family members should approach the hoarder simultaneously to discuss the effects that the hoarding has had on their lives, and share that help and support is available. Every family member should express their feelings and concerns in a loving and nonjudgmental way. One comment should be the same from every family member, that agreeing to and attending treatment is not optional, it’s required.
When faced with a large group of family and friends, there is no opportunity for the hoarder to hide from, and no way to minimize the extent of their issue. Once the hoarder begins treatment, it is crucial that family and friends begin dealing with their emotional issues towards the hoarder.
There is no doubt that there is a lot of anxiety and frustrations, but family members must be certain to not fall back into that mindset and allow their emotions to attack and demoralize the hoarder, else all the progress made might be lost. It will be a long, slow road to recovery, so don’t expect immediate results.