Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chronic Disorganization, ADD and Hoarding, Oh My!

October was the month of conferences and I'm glad we'll be heading into the quiet weeks of just major family holidays!

It was actually the end of September when I attended the NSGCD (National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization) Annual Conference in Mt. Laurel, NJ. We had two main wonderful speakers whose expertise was in ADD and people who hoard. Both areas are such huge issues right now in the field and it was great to hear the most up-to-date information. Among the attendees, we realized that collaborative therapy (client, therapist and organizer) is the way to go with our clients in great need. We'll be bringing this message to the world of therapists and coaches in the next few years! On a personal (and professional) note, I sat for my Level III peer review and received my official CPO-CD (Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization) title and lapel pin. Sixteen months of study and mentoring have come to a close! And yet the work continues....

Conference #2 was the ADDA Regional Conference in San Francisco. (Attention Deficit Disorder Association) Again, more wonderful information about adult ADD.

Conference #3 just wrapped up this last weekend in San Ramon. The NAPO-SFBA (National Association of Professional Organizers-San Francisco Bay Area) held their regional conference. I co-presented a session with colleague Kim Anker-Paddon (soon to be of the LA area) on ADD with a twist. We called it "Nature and Nurture: It all A.D.D.s up!" Kim spoke on the "traditional" organizer ways to help our clients with ADD (or AD/HD--same thing) and I spoke about some new ideas I am using about how nature and other natural methods can help people focus. (Some great studies have been done by Stephen Kaplan and Andrea Faber Taylor and Frandces Kuo.) I'll write more about these ideas and studies soon.

I actually passed on another great conference in SF--the Mental Health Association's Hoarding and Cluttering Conference. There just wasn't enough time for me to attend this one, but Kim did and she said it was wonderful. I attended last year and heard Randy Frost speak. He is one of the authors of the new book "Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring and Hoarding." Also a must-read for anyone who has this issue or has a loved one with hoarding problems. The problem is more widespread than anyone can imagine--and such a heartache for all involved. Marin County is starting a task force on the situation.

Well, there is certainly enough fodder in my last month of conferences to blog daily for quite awhile. Please tune in soon for more detailed information about all the topics mentioned today.

Have a Happy (and safe) Halloween!