Hoarders on A&E

20 Apr

Hoarders is an American documentary seires that airs on A&E. The series depicts the real-life struggles and treatment of people who suffer from compulsive hoarding. The first episode aired August 17, 2009, and has since aired three full seasons, with the third season finale airing January 10, 2011.

Each 60-minute episode profiles one or two invterventions. During most of the first season, the hoarder worked with either a psychiatrist/psychologist, a professional organizer, or an “extreme cleaning specialist”, each of whom specialized in some aspect involving the treatment of obsessive/compulsive disorders, anxiety disorders, and/or hoarding (with the exception of Jill, the food hoarder in the first episode of the series, who had a psychiatrist and a professional organizer working with her due to the potentially dangerous nature of her hoarding disorder) along with a crew of professional cleaners (usually a local franchise of the series’ major corporate sponsor). For the Patty; Bill first season episode, the crew conducting the cleanout for Patty featured a psychologist and a professional organizer due to the sheer size of Patty’s hoard. Beginning in the second season, each hoarder had a psychologist-plus-organizer/cleaning specialist team assisting them in their clean-out. The psychologist-plus-organizer/cleaning specialist combination leads a group of cleaning professionals, family, friends, and relatives of the hoarder in conducting a two- to three-day decluttering session to attempt to get as much of the hoarder’s mess under control as possible. In most instances, the intervention is prompted by a crisis, such as the threat of eviction or the removal of minor children from the home. Most of the segments are filmed in the United States.

At the end of each episode, on-screen text indicates the short-term outcome of the cleanup effort, including the subjects’ decisions on whether to seek further assistance from organizers or therapists. Funds to help pay for these services are offered by the show.

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