Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is an evidence-based treatment developed by Dr. Paul Gilbert. The treatment incorporates Western psychotherapies, evolutionary psychology, and Buddhist philosophy. It addresses unproductive behaviors through improving emotion regulation and compassion for self and others.

The CFT for Hoarding group treatment protocol was developed by Dr. Chia-Ying Chou. In her study published in 2019, significant effects of CFT in reducing hoarding symptom severity have been found among individuals who did not respond well to CBT.


The CFT group in the BTH program will be facilitated by Chia-Ying Chou, PhD. Chia-Ying is a UCSF-trained specialist in hoarding. She has been working with individuals with hoarding challenges since 2014. Chia-Ying treats hoarding by addressing its underlying roots, such as difficulties in emotion regulation, intolerance of uncertainty, shame, self-criticism, and psychological consequences of trauma. Besides treatments she offers, Chia-Ying provides trainings to clinicians and public talks on hoarding.


In this group, our goals are to…

  • Form a compassionate and accurate understanding about what causes hoarding and how to respond to it with long-term benefits in mind.
  • Cultivate emotion regulation skills to work with overwhelming emotions, such as shame and fear.
  • Apply emotion regulation skills to reduce the urges to acquire or save items.
  • Practice to overcome avoidant behavioral patterns, and redirect ourselves back to organizing and sorting, and discarding.
  • Build compassionate partnerships with ourselves and others