By David Bain
Change is scary. We have a natural inclination to resist it. Individuals are inclined to stick with the known and familiar because it feels comfortable and safe when we know it is not.
Do you remember turning 18? Graduating from high school looking at what is next with excitement and a certain amount of fear. It is something of a no-man’ s land isn’t it? You can vote and join the military but you cannot legally drink. The safety of home is compelling but the thought of being independent is exciting.
This year is the 18th International Conference on Hoarding and Cluttering. We have entered that no-man’s land with both a bit of fear and excitement considering what next. And, this year’s conference reflects that move toward change. We are ready and eager to cross a threshold.
In past conferences, the flow of information was very one-directional. The goal was to educate and inform; therefore, for the most part, the sessions involved being presented to. There is still that sharing of knowledge in some of the breakout sessions; however, one of our goals this year is to listen.
We are excited about the work sessions on Thursday and Friday. The opportunity for peers, researchers, therapist and service provides to work together on defining problems and then potential solutions. What might a researcher hear from a peer that could move them in a new direction? What might a therapist learn from a researcher that could improve their effectiveness and make their job
easier? What might a housing specialist learn from a peer or therapist that would help them better understand the challenges their residents face? The potential is exciting.
And, it is fun to think outside the box. Some of the sessions will present new research and new approaches. The gold standard for treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy; however, it is not a quick fix and it is difficult for individuals to stay on track. Therefore, we are looking at new ways to supplement your efforts. If you read last week’s blog, Dr. Singh’s session on resilience is just one example of thinking outside the box.
Yes, change can be scary. But, it can also be exciting and necessary. MHASF wants to drive a stronger connection between all players in the field. We look forward to seeing exciting explorations of what next. And, we would like for you to leave the conference with the feeling that change is both good and exciting.