I’ve taken classes on hoarding cleaning-out techniques. I work with people in treatment for ADD. I work with people in treatment for OCD. I’ve worked with people suffering from dementia.
I NEVER DIAGNOSE. I am not a clinician, not a therapist, not a doctor, not a diagnostician of any kind. The closest I can ever ever get is to say “You’re speaking about experiences which, through my training, remind me of some of the symptoms of X. If you would like to explore that idea, let me point you to resources.”
My obligation to never diagnose was driven home to me when I took a class in which a presenter made a strong distinction between her client with hoarding disorder and another client with hoarding behaviors brought on by OCD.
But, but but but… Even as I say, unequivocally, that I don’t diagnose, the corollary to that statement is: “Please, whenever you can, find medical and therapeutic support for your efforts.” Someone with ADD might benefit from medicine and skills coaching. Someone with hoarding disorder may never be able to turn a situation around without psychiatric interventions. Someone with dementia may need caregivers. An Organizer can’t determine what support is appropriate unless s/he is also a counselor – and some of our rock stars are!
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