The Hoarding Impulse: Suffocation of the Soul

by Renee M. Winters (Author)





The Book Abstract

Suffocating the Soul:

The Hoarding Impulse


Renee M. Winters

The term hoarding is become increasingly common in psychiatric literature with the escalating public awareness of and interest in stories of hoarding. This book will explore how depth psychology can enrich current conceptual models and treatment standards for compulsive hoarding by providing a deeper understanding of and potent treatment approach to what is a core issue for hoarding individuals: the soul’s wounding that has occurred. I will explore and shed light on the following question hoarders suffer with: what does soul want in this cluttered and murky setting? My purpose for writing this book from a depth perspective is to provide a deeper, more common understanding of the hoarding disorder that currently is being described in literature from only a clinical standpoint- bringing what is obscure and clinical in its meaning into something meaningful, where questions of origins, development, purpose, or utility are eliminated.

Stories provided in the book will explore the lived experiences of individuals who suffered hoarding tendencies. I will tell their stories in a spirit that is welcoming, fluid and open to metaphor myth and symbol. I’ll search for poetic meaning in their deep experience of hoarding. I will provide a clear understanding to the reader of their lived experiences and their core schemas of value, worth, and personal identity and reveal a direct connection to excessive acquisition of objects as well as the general condition of hoarding. My goal for the book is to provide readers a better picture of how the themes of loss and shame are common among people who struggle with excessive acquisition of stuff, as is the presence of the numinous power of the shadow. An additional goal of mine would be to illuminate 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.

I will clearly articulate the stories of hoarders with the themes of loss and shame as the imaginal consummation of lovers, a coming together of emotions and physical connectedness between object and person, so as to provide the core concepts imaginally articulated from a depth psychological perspective.

Everyone wants to understand the puzzling yet common practice people have of keeping a lot of stuff around them. What is it all about? This book doesn’t just count the numbers and make a surface stab at understanding. This book employs depth psychology as well as literary and myth analysis to get to the heart of the matter.


The Book Reviews

Book Reviews

‘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


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