Group therapy has been found to be effective in treating elderly individuals with multiple symptoms, including depression (Wang, Tzeng, & Chung, 2014). The author of this blog post shared his experience from a session with group members aged 24 to 67. In the group’s storming phase the main challenge was caused by the differences in age between the participants. In a combination of cognitive-behavioral and humanistic approaches, the therapist emphasized self-growth. For better group cohesion, the author encourages clients to be open and honest, share their thoughts and experiences with others, and think about them.
This post’s author led a group session of reminiscence-based therapy with older adults who were suffering from depression. Reminiscence therapy is a brief and structured intervention where participants share personal past events with peers, which has been found to improve an older person’s well-being and reduce symptoms of depression (Gaggioli et al., 2014). This group has many positive attributes, such as increased acceptance of oneself, perspective and the ability to resolve past conflicts. Reminiscence Therapy is an interesting and fun group that helps elderly people.
Gaggioli, A., Morganti, L., Bonfiglio, S., Scaratti, C., Cipresso, P., Serino, S., Riva, G. (2014). Intergenerational group reminiscence: A potentially effective intervention to enhance elderly psychosocial wellbeing and to improve children’s perception of aging. Educational Gerontology, 40(7), 486-498. doi: 10.1080/03601277.2013.848840
Wang, C., Tzeng, D., & Chung, W. (2014). The impact of early group psychotherapy in reducing depressive symptoms among seniors living in a senior apartment complex. Psychogeriatrics: The Official Journal of the Japanese Psychogeriatric Society, 14(1), 38-46. doi:10.1111/psyg.12037
Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). The evidence-based guide to psychotherapy for advanced practice psychiatric nurses. New York, NY: Springer.