Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home is a self-help book written by Lauren Rosenfeld, a life coach who focuses on spirituality, and Dr. Melva Green, a psychiatrist on the TV show Hoarders. I watch Hoarders for white noise while I work, I dislike Hoarders, I have a guilty pleasure/loathe it relationship with Hoarders. But I learn from it: my Organizer colleagues’ assessments of their clients’ situations can give me valuable insights about my clients – I’ve even recommended that a client watch a particular episode because his circumstances are startlingly similar to the circumstances of the episode’s participant. My colleagues’ approaches broaden my own. The therapists’ differing styles – some far quieter in their demeanor, some much more forceful, some much more “clinical,” some far more spiritual, some very skillfully weaving between them all, demonstrate for me potential affects I can try with my clients.
And I admit I have favorite clinicians. Dr. Green is top of the list. I admire her: she shared her self with Hoarders participants, asking them to look into their lives by openly deciphering what she could reveal of herself that would ring true to them. Breathing Room gifts its readers that same voice. It’s the only self-help book I know which barely alludes to established exercises, such as the Clutter-Image Rating Scale and the Saving Inventory – Revised, for analyzing your clutter. There’s no ranking your levels of anxiety while discarding things. Instead, Dr. Green leads people to immediately listen to their emotions about their satisfaction with their lives, no matter how negative, to learn what is driving them to clutter their environments. Dr. Green provides guidance to healing from discontent, with self-forgiveness and care, and transforming the discontent into motivation for change. It’s a gentle approach with great power.
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