Centre for Continuing Education

Understanding and Treating Hoarding Disorder Course

Psychiatry. Encouraging a healthier community.

Developed and delivered by the Discipline of Psychiatry at Sydney Medical School, the University of Sydney. Psychoeducation courses promote health and well-being, and are open to everyone.

This introductory training course in Sydney is open to anyone who wants to understand hoarding disorder and learn how this disorder can be treated. It is also recommended for healthcare practitioners who provide service to patients with symptoms of compulsive hoarding.

About hoarding disorder

Compulsive hoarding is a highly disabling and complex disorder, with prevalence estimated 2-5%. Although the onset of compulsive hoarding often begins in childhood, hoarding most commonly presents in later life. Costs associated with compulsive hoarding highlight significant psychological and public health and safety problems, including impairment in psychosocial and occupational functioning, high levels of social service involvement, poor physical health, and many preventable residential fire fatalities.

Effective psychological treatments are available for hoarding disorder. However, recent research indicates that hoarding disorder remains under-recognised in primary care and the majority of sufferers do not receive adequate treatment.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • discuss the symptoms, prevalence, and burden of hoarding disorder
  • develop in vivo exposure hierarchies for acquisition-prevention and discarding
  • identify and challenge cognitive distortions common to hoarding disorder
  • design a behavioural experiment to test an anxious cognition related to hoarding
  • assist patients in improving decision-making and organisation skills
  • identify appropriate medications to complement cognitive-behavioural treatments for hoarding disorder.


This course covers the following topics:

  • What is hoarding disorder?
    • Hoarding versus Collecting
  • DSM-V diagnostic criteria of hoarding disorder
    • Differential diagnosis
  • Etiology of hoarding
    • Genetic factors
    • Impulse control problems
    • Emotional dysregulation
    • Maladaptive emotional attachment
    • Executive dysfunctions
  • Pharmacological treatment for hoarding disorder
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy for hoarding disorder

Delivery style

Upon enrolment, you will be given access to a pre-course reading that gives you an overview of hoarding disorder.

During the full-day training, a wide range of teaching methods will be used, including didactic presentations, interactive small group activities, case studies, and role-play. A reinforcing activity sheet with answer keys will be provided for you to complete at your own time after the course.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Free, expert advice
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

What others say.

  • Thank you. The tutor managed every aspect of the day perfectly and was very well-prepared and obviously extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the subject matter.

Understanding and Treating Hoarding Disorder Course

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