PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Over the past few years, documentaries and studies have brought attention to the issue of compulsive hoarding.
The next distinguished lecturer at the University of Maine at Presque Isle is looking to do the same.
The lecturer will be Dr. David Tolin, founder and director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn.
Tolin will deliver his talk, “Buried in Treasures: The Nature and Treatment of Compulsive Hoarding,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, in the campus center. His presentation will include information about compulsive hoarding, the root causes of this common and potentially disabling problem, and treatments used to help manage its symptoms.
Tolin has been a guest on television programs including “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Good Morning America,” “The Dr. Oz Show” and “Today.” He has been a featured expert on the A&E TV series “Hoarders” and was the lead expert on the VH1 series “The OCD Project.”
According to the International OCD Foundation, hoarding may affect as many as 1 in 20 people in the United States. Sufferers commonly collect too many items, have difficulty getting rid of items and have problems with organization. These problems can lead to significant amounts of clutter that can severely limit the use of living space, pose safety or health risks, and result in distress or impairment in day-to-day living.
Tolin founded the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living in 2000. It was one of the first mental health centers in the U.S. and is nationally recognized for its expert treatment of anxiety and related disorders and associated research.
He is also an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, an American Board of Professional Psychology certified clinical psychologist, and a fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Psychology. An expert on cognitive-behavioral therapy, Tolin received his doctorate from the University of Arkansas and completed a pre-doctoral internship at Tufts University School of Medicine-VA Medical Center in Boston. He is a recipient of numerous awards.
In addition to writing more than 100 journal articles and book chapters, including as co-author of “Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding” and “Treating Trichotillomania: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Hairpulling and Related Problems.”
Dr. Michael Sonntag, UMPI vice president for academic affairs, said recently that the university is “pleased to have someone with Dr. Tolin’s expertise visit our campus” as part of the Distinguished Lecturer Series.
Each year, the lecture series, established in 1999, sponsors five to six speakers who come from Maine and beyond, representing a range of disciplines and viewpoints. The speakers typically spend two days at the university meeting with classes and presenting a community lecture.
Tolin’s lecture is free, and the public is invited. For information, contact the University’s Community and Media Relations Office at 768-9452.