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.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

Hoarding disorder is a highly disabling and complex disorder, with prevalence estimated at 2.5%. Although hoarding symptoms typically begin in late adolescence, the majority of individuals with clinically significant hoarding symptoms do not present for treatment until later in life. Costs associated with hoarding disorder are significant and include: psychological and public health costs, safety concerns, 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 individuals with hoarding difficulties in improving decision-making and organisation skills.


  • 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
  • Assessment of hoarding disorder
    • Motivation and insight
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy for hoarding disorder
    • Cognitive therapy
    • Behaviour therapy
    • Organisational skills and decision-making

Delivery style

During this one-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.

Delivery options:

  • presenter-taught training on University premises
  • online training via the platform Zoom.


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


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • 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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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.
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