Trauma Informed Approached to Hoarding Behaviours logo

In most cases of hoarding disorder / behaviour, there is an emotional attachment/response to the items being hoarded and experiencing a traumatic event is often one of the biggest triggers. Hoarding is the response to a prior event so the best way to be able to support a client on their hoarding journey is by understanding the reasoning behind it. Trauma & Hoarding is one of the main subcategories, by increasing knowledge in this area it can help when implanting a more holistic approach to support which is the best way for providing long term results.

PRIMARY forms of Trauma seen in those with Hoarding Disorder / Behaviour

These forms of trauma are usually what caused the Hoarding Disorder to develop, therefore they are classified as primary source trauma

  • Bereavement – Items can offer a safety net to protect individuals against what they have/will go through
  • Fear Based Control – used in an attempt to avoid the painful past, seen in those with Hoarding Disorder / Behaviour by the control they keep over their hoard/belongings.
  • Addiction – people turn to Hoarding Disorder for comfort the same way others turn to life, alcohol, drugs, food.

SECONDARY forms of Trauma seen in those with Hoarding Disorder / Behaviour

These forms of trauma are usually then caused by the impact of living with Hoarding Disorder / Behaviour

  • Home Eviction – 44% have a previous history of legal eviction proceedings
  • Victims of Antisocial Behaviour – 1 in 7 people say ASB has impacted their mental health
  • Suicide – Hoarding Disorder has a lifetime suicide attempt rate of 24.1%

The Importance of Trauma Informed Practice

Just looking at the breakdowns above shows how much of a part trauma plays within the day to life of an individual with Hoarding Disorder / Behaviour, it is essential that individuals working closely with them know how to best develop their support around this. Especially given some of the secondary forms are added to by industry professionals, through lack of understanding and knowledge on how to appropriately deal with the situation.

Our new course launching this September with Kayley Hyman from Holistic Hoarding is tailor made for industry professionals. From the The psychology and neurology behind understanding the primary causes to what trauma-informed support looks like, it will offer everything required to implement a more holistic approach to supporting individuals with Hoarding Disorder / Behaviour.

Trainer Kayley is a pioneer in developing holistic and trauma informed approaches to Hoarding Disorder, with over a decades worth of experience and a MSc in mental health.

In the video below, Kayley offers a brief run through of what to expect from the one day training.


The first session takes place on Monday 11th September, held online via zoom.

The training is also available to book for in-house, on a date that suits your organisation. If you are interested please email

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