1st Edition

The Hoarding Impulse Suffocation of the Soul

By Renee Winters Copyright 2015
    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    There has been an increased awareness of hoarding in recent years, but clinical treatments aimed at helping people with this condition often have low success rates.  In The Hoarding Impulse Renee M. Winters explores how depth psychology can enrich current conceptual models and treatment standards for compulsive hoarding. The book presents case studies of prominent sufferers including Edie and Edith Beale, the Collyer Brothers, and Andy Warhol and explores common themes of loss, shame and object clusters.

    Winters sets out to provide a clear understanding of a hoarder’s lived experiences and their core schemas of value, worth and personal identity, revealing a direct connection to excessive acquisition of objects.  She illuminates the process of how objects can come to possess a hoarder and become not only their main source of happiness but also part of their identity and in doing so puts forward a new treatment plan based on providing a deeper understanding of and potent treatment approach to what is a core issue for hoarding individuals: the wounding of the soul. This new perspective to treating individuals who hoard helps them in the long term understand their processes, value system, and struggles with negative interpersonal relationships.

    Providing a fascinating insight into the psyche of people who struggle with hoarding, this book will be essential reading for depth psychologists, Jungian psychotherapists, psychiatrists, social workers, students of analytical psychology and anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of this complex condition.

    Introduction. Hoarding as an Epidemic. Identifications and Projections placed on Objects. Diagnosis vs. Soul Work. Personal Stories of Hoarders. Themes Identified with Hoarders. Burying Emotions with Objects. Soul Work Toward Recovery.


    Renee M. Winters is a psychotherapist in private practice in California, USA, where she focuses on helping clients discover symbolic meaning and unconscious processing in their lives. Winters is a graduate of Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California where she earned her Doctorate in Philosophy in Depth Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychotherapy.

    'I would recommend it to therapists as a positive resource on which to draw because it offers a deeper understanding of the core issues underlying the impulse to hoard… Winters brings a wealth of knowledge to the subject and I have a profound respect for her skill and commitment in writing this book.' – Pat Hoare is an accredited counsellor and supervisor, Private Practice

    ‘Renee Winters' The Hoarding Impulse: Suffocation of the soul is a rich, psychological and mythological exploration of one of our culture's most fascinating and, for many, abhorrent human practices. Rather than judge it and those who hoard, Winters' approach is much more compassionate, insightful and in places profound in introducing us to the complex psychology of hoarding and those who hoard. We can't help but see images of ourselves in such fascinating behavior.’ - Dennis Patrick Slattery Ph.D, author of Bridge Work: Essays on Mythology, Literature and Psychology

    ‘Dr. Winters gets it! She charts a path to self-discovery by revealing the human treasures hidden inside the disorder, treasures that must be uncovered for unleashing human potential and enduring change. For many, the world of objects seemed safer and more manageable, until this world was overused and prevented human growth. Dr. Winters shows how people with Hoarding Disorder stall their personal evolution by imbedding in objects needs for intimate relationships with self and others, conflicts, resources and values. In my work with OCD and Hoarding Disorder, clients learn to repurpose their resources and values to a world beyond objects and rituals. Dr Winters shows how this uncovering supplies the direction, drive, and heart to move forward into a world that for many was just too much.’ - Suzanne Chabaud, Ph.D, OCD Institute of Greater New Orleans, USA, expert on A&E Hoarders

    'Delving deep into the inner lives of those who hoard, Dr. Winters brings compassion and new insights to the treatment and care of those who suffer. She invites us to explore the traumatic roots of our attachments and to develop greater regard for the unconscious depths. This book stands against clinical reductionism and upholds the mysteries of the soul at work in these complex symptoms.' - Edward Smith Santana, Ph.D, Jungian psychotherapist in private practice, USA and Canada