Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Is A&E setting up hoarders for failure?

I'm sure that A&E isn't trying to set up its featured subjects in the Hoarders series for failure.

But they are doing their darndest to make that happen.

Here's what's wrong. (See what's right in my next post.)

1. The subjects don't seem to be getting therapy while they are getting organizing help.
This is necessary for any real change in a person's saving or acquiring habits. Not to mention emotional help with the trauma of loss and the difficulty of change, or any other mental health (or even physical health)conditions they might have.

2. They seem to be only getting help over the course of two days.
This is not how long it takes for real clearing to happen, even with a team. Maybe a bunch of guys with shovels could do it, but that would just be junk-hauling, not helping human beings.

3. They have a "team" of people there ready to help.
The "team" is a bunch of hired hands ready to do manual labor. The team is going to be of no use unless the organizer or therapist has arranged pre-sorted piles for the client to look through and make decisions about. A real team would be a team of professional organizers led by one leader organizer and the client.

4. Family members do not seem to have been briefed on how the process is going to go or what to expect.
The family members just seem to be set up for high expectations and the frustration that ensues is just good camera fodder.

Granted, I have no behind-the-scenes knowledge, so I don't know what is edited out or edited for effect. I can only hope some of these other things are happening, but what I do know is that the whole picture of hoarding is not getting out to the public, nor some of the resources, like the NSGCD, where some of the organizers got their training.

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