If you have had a lot of trauma in your life, then you will want to have a Professional Organizer/Mental Health/Support Worker/Family Member who has knowledge and experience working within a Trauma Informed Approach. It is important to have positive support to help you with your decluttering efforts and to help you to move forward.
What to look for in a Support Person (for the worker and then the client):
Worker: Someone who has an understanding of trauma and the possible causes. Check out some of the Vulnerability Factors here https://spaceforyou.ca/2019/05/13/the-link-between-trauma-and-chronic-disorganization/ Having knowledge of the emotional, physical and psychological responses of an individual especially if they are feeling very overwhelmed.
Client: If you are in crisis, facing eviction or an emergency clean up you are likely not able to focus on what you need to at that time. An informed worker will help you with some calming and grounding strategies, help you to feel in control of what you can and help you to feel comfortable and safe.
Safety and Trustworthiness
Worker: This will take time so it is important to get to know your client and perhaps look for some commonalities. Help the client to become aware of the safety concerns using a harm reduction approach. Let your client know that you are there to help them to create safety and comfort in their living space and to advocate for them if needed. It is important to be concerned and focused on getting to know the client first. Doing what you say you are going to do to help and following through with the client will help you to gain their trust. I love this Maya Angelou quote.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will NEVER forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
Client: Remember this is a relationship that you are working on with your Support Worker and of course trust is going to be very important. This is very personal and emotional work and it will take some time to get to know if you and your Support Worker are a good match. You will know after a number of sessions as to whether you can trust and work with this Person.
Opportunities for Choice, Collaboration, and Connection
Worker: Offer the client options for support and help. Let client know about possible other supports in the community like support groups or other Support Workers ie: mental health. If the client is in an emergency/crisis situation help the client to be aware of where her important things are like medications, purse, wallet and keys, remote control, etc. Encourage and take the lead from your client. They really do know best about their own life.
Client: Get some support for yourself. Join a Support Group for people who are struggling with clutter in person or online. You are not alone. Learn more about yourself and what is underneath the clutter. Start to look at the reasons you save things and why you have difficulty with letting go. You are important and deserve to take this time just for you. You can make positive changes in your life!
Strengths Based and Skill Building
Worker: What is the client doing well? Comment on those positives and build on them if possible. No need to fix anything that is working well. Encourage your client to come up with some ideas and solutions to help to make things work better. Teach and model some new skills that will help client to move forward.
Client: You are the expert in your own life. It is important that you are working with someone who encourages you to take charge of your life. Someone who will listen to your stories about your life and your possessions, support and teach you some new daily living skills and can help you to make those important decisions that you feel comfortable with.
Have you had positive experiences with Support Workers and/or friends or family members who have helped you in your home?
Please let us know in the comments……
If you would like more support for your Decluttering Efforts please join the Declutter Your Life and Mind closed group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/DeclutterYourLifeandMind/