Buried in Treasures: When Stuff Takes Over

October 24, 2018 (Wednesday) / 5:00 pm6:30 pm

Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

Buried in Treasures: When Stuff Takes Over

Gail Steketee

Professor and Dean Emerita, Boston University’s School of Social Work

What happens when stuff takes over? Hoarding disorder is a startlingly common, and complicated, mental health condition. Not only a personal problem, social groups and institutions can also be overwhelmed by their material possessions. Museums, for example, may devote themselves so blindly to the tasks of collection and storage that they lack resources to do much else. One of the world’s leading authorities on the social and medical aspects of hoarding, Gail Steketee will discuss the current research on this challenging problem and some emerging strategies for overcoming it.

Cosponsored by the School of Social Policy & Practice.

Dr. Gail Steketee is Professor and Dean Emerita at Boston University’s School of Social Work where her scholarly work has focused on developing and testing treatments for obsessive compulsive spectrum conditions, including hoarding disorder. She has published over 200 articles and chapters, and more than a dozen books on these topics, including Frost & Steketee’s non-fiction best seller Stuff (Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, 2010) and the Oxford Handbook for Hoarding and Acquiring (Oxford, 2014). Her work has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, New Yorker, Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and CNN.com. She is past president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, vice-president of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, and serves on the advisory board of the International OCD Foundation where she received an Outstanding Career Achievement Award.  She gives frequent lectures and workshops on hoarding and related disorders for professional and public audiences in the U.S. and abroad. Her bachelor’s degree is from Harvard University and her masters and PhD are from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.