Tracy Quayat

Tracy Quayat is an aspiring counsellor, who will soon embark on her practicum journey. She is passionate about finding innovative counselling and research techniques, in efforts to add to the profession and improve understanding. She is deeply interested in Hoarding Disorder and aims to enhance treatment methodologies for those experiencing this condition.

Title: Hoarding Disorder: A Digital-Ethnographic Exploration

Abstract: Rational/Background: The number of Hoarding Disorder (HD) clients who do not benefit from conventional treatment is high. Little research has investigated alternative approaches to HD support and treatment, such as online communities. To capture the nuance and flow of online HD communities, data were collected from 4 online groups; HD individuals, friends/family members of HD individuals, children of HD individuals and the general public, to identify key features which may be missing from current treatment strategies.
Methodology: 10, randomly selected posts and their comments/artefacts were taken from each of the 4 online groups. These were then thematically analyzed to extract reoccurring themes within each group. These were compared to the AQALs theoretical framework to enrich the data and uncover elements which may be present/lacking within the groups. These elements will update our current understanding of HD and approach to HD interventions.
Probable Findings: Individuals with HD benefit from connecting with others with HD. Sharing experiences and finding common understanding is desired and helpful. Family members of HD individuals benefit from sharing advice and strategies for supporting their loved-ones. Children of HD individuals benefit from connecting with other, similar individuals to share experiences and support each other. Healing, boundaries and self-care strategies are highly valued. General public posts appear to echo negative stereotypes and stigma towards HD individuals. Negative judgements towards media-depictions are prevalent.
Likely Implications: This study concludes that more intervention strategies that are aligned with HD individuals’ insights are needed to improve treatment approaches and therapeutic outcomes.


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