By David Bain
In the beginning of this century, some 17 years ago, I worked for a consulting firm and did a great deal of coast-to-coast travel. At one point, after a long workweek, I was sitting in the gate waiting area and fell asleep. I not only missed the flight announcement, I missed final call and my flight. Flying from the East Coast to California on Friday and returning on Sunday made for very short weekends home. The delay getting home that weekend meant I spent what time I had doing laundry, sleeping and re-packing. I did not make that mistake again.
We don’t want you to experience frustrations by missing a great conference with new exciting sessions. This conference is focused on innovation; therefore, we have ventured into topics that have not been presented in any of our prior conferences.
But, this is our final call and we don’t want you to miss it. We would be sad not to see you at our 18th International Conference on Hoarding and Collecting March 22-23 on the campus of the University of California Berkeley, just blocks from the downtown Berkeley Bart Station.
The venue is set, the program is set, and all we need now is you.
The program is a mix of new and the familiar. Yes, there are breakout sessions where you can expand your knowledge and understanding of hoarding disorder.
But there are also new approaches such as the one-woman stage performance by Hillary Kacser, “DisordR, The Play”. This is a fictionalized personal story taken from Hillary’s struggle with hoarding disorder. Sophie F. Clark, former Executive Director of NAMI DC describes the play as “Facilitating recovery, educating as it entertains, and de-stigmatizing, her play provides a peer-delivered service to the community. ...Ms. Kacser’s original performance epitomizes a self-help recovery method. ...Both funny and poignant, Ms. Kacser’s auto-biographical exploration of Hoarding Disorder advocates on behalf of sufferers.” That’s exciting!
We are thrilled to have Hillary opening the conference with such an entertaining performance, but more importantly, her performance provides hope and a reason to reach out for support.
Breakout sessions include a wide range of topics including: research on resilience
delivered by Dr. Satwant Singh of London, England, ‘Coaching Skills’ presented by Dr. Michael Tompkins, ‘Stages of Change’ presented by MHASF’s own Peer Response Team and Susie DuBois ‘ presentation of ‘Voices of Family and Friends’ with members of her family and friends support group. For more details about the program check our website.
In addition, we want your direct participation in two work sessions looking at the hoarding-related challenges we all face, whether as peers, researchers, therapists, or service providers. In the first session we will pool our knowledge and draw from each area of expertise to formulate the questions: what are the real issues that keep us from moving forward and make our work more challenging. In the second session we intend to strategize: to work out what can we do to defeat these challenges.
The final keynote by Hannah McCabe-Bennett presents her new research using virtual reality technology. The goal of the research is to expand our understanding of the cognitive and emotional aspects of hoarding disorder. In the past, techniques such as guided imagery and exposure therapy have been used to address phobias, anxiety disorders and other diagnoses. Virtual reality is a technology that has the potential to increase our knowledge and treatment of many such psychological conditions.
This year more than ever before, MHA is breaking new ground by changing the focus of the conference. We are truly ‘Thinking Outside the Boxes’ with exciting new keynotes while still delivering the quality presentations you’ve come to expect from the conference over the years.
So please, don’t miss the final call. Join us at our 18th International Conference on Hoarding and Clutter for these and other exciting presentations