Do you or someone you love hoard? Is your home or environment considered unsafe or unhealthy? Have your efforts to help make changes been unsuccessful? Have you felt shame, anger, or embarrassment regarding these conflicts?

I am frequently called upon to help families who answer yes to those questions.

What I have learned and found to be true, time and time again, is the following:

1. You can only change yourself, not others.

2. Probably the most important step you will take as a family member is to forgive what you perceive as a loss of the life and relationship you would prefer with the person who hoards, and to meet them where they are. Period.

If you are still reading, you may feel unkindly toward me for suggesting forgiveness after all the worry, pain, and anguish you have suffered. But here's the deal. Not forgiving is destructive and causes a deeper, sometimes, unbridgeable gap with someone you truly care about.

If you are willing to consider forgiveness as a part of a plan to help yourself or your family member, I will listen to your story and help you find a path to making this difficult situation more manageable.

My approach is two fold: To do no harm and To assist in creating a safe and healthier environment. That's it.

The details of this becomes clearer as I work with you and your family member. There will be obstacles, both physical and emotional, and it may feel as if you are walking backwards at times. But, every step forward is a victory. Are you ready to forge ahead?