Group therapy has been found to be effective in treating elderly individuals with multiple symptoms, including depression (Wang, Tzeng, & Chung, 2014). In this post, the author shared their experience during a group therapy session for addiction with members ranging in age from 24 to 67. The group was in the storming phase, and the primary challenge was the age differences among the members, which caused separation in the group. The therapist used cognitive-behavioral therapy combined with a humanistic approach, emphasizing self-growth and self-actualization. To improve group cohesiveness, the author recommends encouraging clients to communicate openly and honestly, reflect on experiences, and share them with others (Wheeler, 2014).
The author of this post led a group therapy session with older adults with depression using reminiscence therapy. 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). The author highlighted the positive aspects of this group, including increased self-acceptance, providing perspective, and enabling the resolution of past conflicts. Overall, reminiscence therapy is a fun and interesting group to lead that can help elderly individuals.
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 effect of early group psychotherapy on depressive symptoms and quality of life among residents of an apartment building for seniors. Psychogeriatrics: The Official Journal of the Japanese Psychogeriatric Society, 14(1), 38-46. doi:10.1111/psyg.12037
Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice. New York, NY: Springer.