Anxiety Into Action: How To Help The Chronically Disorganized Take Control


1. Recognize signs of anxiety in Chronic Disorganization (CD)

2. Learn how anxiety’s energy and focus can be harnessed for solutions

3. Understand the science of Mindset, its role in controlling anxiety, and its connection to resilience and growth

4. Identify ways organizers can help clients identify, rethink, and transform anxiety into solutions


Anxiety is something almost everyone deals with from time to time, but can be an especially
challenging complication of Chronic Disorganization (CD). Professional organizers are on the
front lines of the chaos caused by CD, and experience first-hand the anxiety and distress clients
live with. Bearing witness to the physical and emotional impact of CD, organizers transform
environmental distress into solutions, every day. With every client solution, they transform
their own anxiety into solutions, and model the path through anxiety toward control for their

From this talk, organizers will gain a greater understanding of the latest science of anxiety, how
anxiety shows up with CD in particular, how constructive anxiety can be found amidst the
chaos, and how anxiety can be harnessed for solutions. Tools for identifying and labeling
constructive anxiety will be shared along with strategies for coaching clients to optimize
control. Through the lens of positive psychology, organizers will learn how their services can
empower clients to face their fears rather than avoid them, uncover the positive anxiety
embedded in their chaos, and use that anxiety to take control.

Alicia Clark is a Washington, DCbased licensed psychologist and author of Hack Your Anxiety, Dr. Clark specializes in anxiety and relationships and helping people take control of their lives. She has been named one of Washington’s Top Doctors by Washingtonian magazine and has served as adjunct clinical faculty at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Her presentations on stress and anxiety have been sought after by numerous professional conferences and organizations. She is a regular contributor to Psychology Todayand she has been featured in a number of media outlets including O, The Oprah Magazine, First for Women, and The New York TimesShe is also the Co-CEO of the Belizean Grove, a preeminent global network of influential women committed to building collaborative, trusted partnerships.




Devon Price, PhD, is a social psychologist, professor, author, and proud Autistic person. His research has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and the Journal of Positive Psychology. Devon’s writing has appeared in outlets such as the Financial Times, HuffPost, SlateJacobinBusiness InsiderLitHub, and on PBS and NPR. He lives in Chicago, where he serves as an assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.




Beth A.D. Nolan, Ph.D. is the Director of Research and Policfor Teepa SnowPositive Approach to Care® (PAC). Formerly an Assistant Professor and the Senior Associate Director for the Evaluation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health (PITT), Dr. Nolan received her Ph.D. in applied gerontology, and holds master’s degrees in Human Development and in Applied Behavior Analysis. She completed her internship with the National Academy of Social Insurance at the National Academy on an Aging Society, and her post-doctoral training in geriatric psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh, PA. While at PITT, she worked with a variety of human service agencies to translate and implement evidence-based programs for behavioral health, criminal justice, medicine, and senior living. Dr. Nolan now works with PAC to help caregivers become care partners.






Hoarding: Chasing a New Diagnosis Through Brain, Body, and Behavior



1. Review the efficacy and limitations of treatment for hoarding disorder (HD).
2. Discuss how HD is associated with physiological abnormalities.
3. Describe the brain correlates of HD and its treatment.

Hoarding disorder (HD) is a relatively new diagnosis in DSM-5. Characterized by excessive clutter and difficulty discarding objects, this condition is both common and potentially debilitating. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been demonstrated to be efficacious, but most patients remain clinically symptomatic after treatment. I suggest that current CBT faces an “efficacy ceiling” due to our currently fragmented understanding of the disorder. I will discuss a body of research aimed at increasing our understanding of nervous system abnormalities in HD, and will describe how those abnormalities are reflected in behavior. We will also examine current research on the relationship between CBT treatment and the brain. The ultimate aim of this research is to develop a working model of HD that will inform specific, targeted intervention efforts. To this end, we will review novel interventions that might more specifically target dysfunctional brain mechanisms and provide greater symptom relief


Dr. Tolin is the Founder and Director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living, and an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. He is the Past-President of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the Past-President of the Clinical Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, and a principal investigator for the National Institutes of Health. He received the Award for Lifetime Contribution to Psychology from the Connecticut Psychological Association. Dr. Tolin is the author of over 200 scientific journal articles, as well as several books, including Doing CBT: A Comprehensive Guide to Working with Behaviors, Thoughts, and Emotions and Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding. Dr. Tolin has been featured on the reality TV series Hoarders and The OCD Project, and has been a recurrent guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show.



positive mindset

Leslie Hatch Gail, PhD, owner of Declare Order Professional Organizing, uses sensitivity, patience, and a dose of wit and whimsy to help families reduce stress and take back control. She recognizes her clients are the experts and ultimate authority in their own life process and works with them to create organizing systems to meet their unique needs.

Clients benefit from Leslie’s previous experience as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher and Before and After School Program Director. She organized students for learning and fun, while also coming up with systems to store toys and curriculum materials when not in use. Leslie presented, “Shift Your Mindset: Tapping into Client Strengths” at NAPO’s 2022 conference in Baltimore where she encouraged attendees to identify asset-based approaches for clients living with challenges that impact organization and productivity in activities of daily living.

Leslie’s course, "Working Smart Together: Preparing for Conversations with Clients Living with Diagnoses" is one of the required client interaction courses for NAPO’s Brain-Based Conditions Certificate. She was the 2022 recipient of the Service to NAPO Award. Leslie recently earned a PhD in Community Psychology at National Louis University in Chicago. Her dissertation research involved factors influencing community responses to hoarding. She considered the operational culture of hoarding task forces, stigma, and successful outcomes for people living with hoarding challenges. She interviewed professionals, family members, and participants who identified as having hoarding tendencies to better understand the various perspectives about how to help those living with hoarding challenges. The dissertation document is publicly available at Leslie posts regular content to her wide-reaching community on TikTok. She teaches about conscious consumerism and challenges the notion that “Instagram-worthy” equals organized. Join the conversation @declareorder!




Linda Roggli is the creator of the ADHD Palooza series, a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), an award-winning author and founder of the A-D-Diva Network for ADHD women 40-and-better. She is an internationally recognized expert in midlife and senior ADHD.

The Palooza series now includes ADHD Women, ADHD Parents and ADHD Couples.  She accidentally created her hand-on, online organized program “Get Organized” for ADHD women one week before the COVID shutdown! It was (and is) wildly popular. Linda regularly hosts workshops, coaching groups and retreats. Linda’s book Confessions of an ADDiva-midlife in the non-linear lane won first prize for women’s issues in the prestigious Next Generation Indy Book Awards competition. She is the former vice-president of ADDA and currently chairs its webinar series. She lives in Durham, NC with her slightly OCD husband, one OCD cat, four adorable ADHD Shelties and 15 cackling hens.


2023 moderator

Sara Skillen, COLC, CPO®, is the owner of SkillSet Coaching based in Nashville. She works with curious, creative, life-cluttered clients, helping them embrace their discomfort and unique brain wiring to create real-life order—both internally and externally. She is also a trainer with Coach Approach Training, published author, blogger, and speaker.




2023 panelist

Cindy Sullivan works with individuals and organizations who want to be more effective and productive with their time — helping busy and motivated professionals accomplish what’s most important to them. Cindy has earned the Time Management and Productivity Specialist Certificate from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, the NAPO Specialist Certificate in Workplace Productivity and is a Certified Professional Organizer®.








2023 panelist

Ellen Faye is a Professional Certified Coach, Certified Productivity Leadership Coach, Certified Professional Organizer®, and entrepreneur who has had her own successful organizing and productivity company since 2001.





2023 panelist

Cena Block is the Founder of and the Creator of the Time & Space Style Inventory (TSSI). As a Certified Productivity Coach, she specializes in working with adult high performers with ADHD. She's a productivity expert, master facilitator, and trainer. Cena works with corporate and non-profit groups to deliver engaging workshops and keynotes.