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Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy


Springer Publishing Company

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Interventions for hoarding disorder need to target difficulty letting go of items to reduce clutter and improve functioning. The present studies were designed to test the efficacy of brief cognitive interventions for letting go of possessions and self-report outcomes. Participants (N = 67 in Study 1; N = 110 in Study 2) received training on defusion or distraction in Study 1 and defusion, self-as-context, or distraction in Study 2 and completed measures at pre- and postintervention. Study 1 found no differences between defusion and distraction on saving, self-rated discomfort with discarding, or perceived importance of the target belonging. In Study 2, participants provided most favorable feedback for self-as-context compared to defusion and distraction, indicating promise of this strategy. Nonetheless, findings from both studies overall provide minimal support for use of present procedures to reduce saving. Limitations include use of non-clinical samples and single-item variables to obtain participant feedback.