ERIC Number: ED244206
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Expressive Group Psychotherapy with the Older Adult.
Szwabo, Peggy; Thale, Thomas T.
Traditionally, the elderly have not been viewed as appropriate candidates for dynamic psychotherapy. To examine the effectiveness of a psycho-dynamically oriented group (focusing on the issues of aging, conflict resolution, and self-actualization) on 6 older adult participants, ages 63 to 87 years, systematic clinical observations of group participation, medical facility relationship, and real life situations were made. All members were screened for intact cognitive functioning; however, all members were suffering from a variety of psycho-social as well as physical stressors. Common themes of the group were death, dependency needs, depression and loss of control, loneliness, pride in survival and accomplishments, and health problems relating to the aging process. Insight-oriented techniques (literature review, role play) in conjunction with support and elements of socialization (networking) were used to facilitate the therapy. Measures of success of the group were regular attendance, decreased requests for medication, increased socialization and independent activity, and increased abilities to communicate and discuss sensitive issues. A concomitant improvement in problem-solving abilities was also noted. The findings suggest that group therapy is a viable and beneficial treatment modality for older adults. (Author/BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (36th, San Francisco, CA, November 17-22, 1983).