Nursing

Group Therapy With Older Adults

Group therapy with older adults, like group therapy with children and adolescents, presents unique challenges. Many older adults have had a lifetime of not sharing their inner feelings with others, and they are often fearful of being judged. However, when the group setting is properly facilitated, older adults may embrace the setting, find comfort in their peers, and benefit from this therapeutic approach. In your role, how might you maximize the benefits of group therapy for your older adult clients?

This week, as you explore group therapy with older adults, you examine your own group therapy sessions with older adult clients. You also recommend strategies for improving the effectiveness of this therapeutic approach.

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Learning Resources

Note:  To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the  Course Materials  section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice. New York, NY: Springer.

· Chapter 18, “Psychotherapy with Older Adults” (pp. 62–660)

Bonhote, K., Romano-Egan, J., & Cornwell, C. (1999). Altruism and creative expressions in a long-term older adult psychotherapy group. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 20(6), 603–617. doi:10.1080/016128499248394

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Cheston, R., & Jones, R. (2009). A small-scale study comparing the impact of psycho-education and exploratory psychotherapy groups on newcomers to a group for people with dementia. Aging & Mental Health, 13(3), 420–425. doi:10.1080/13607860902879409

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Krishna, M., Honagodu, A., Rajendra, R., Sundarachar, R., Lane, S., & Lepping, P. (2013). A systematic review and meta-analysis of group psychotherapy for sub-clinical depression in older adults. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 28(9), 881–888. doi:10.1002/gps.3905

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Krishna, M., Jauhari, A., Lepping, P., Turner, J., Crossley, D., & Krishnamoorthy, A. (2011). Is group psychotherapy effective in older adults with depression? A systematic review. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(4), 331–340. doi:10.1002/gps.2546

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Rice, A. (2015). Common therapeutic factors in bereavement groups. Death Studies, 39(3), 165–172. doi:10.1080/07481187.2014.946627

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

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

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Watkins, R., Cheston, R., Jones, K., & Gilliard, J. (2006). ‘Coming out’ with Alzheimer’s disease: Changes in awareness during a psychotherapy group for people with dementia. Aging & Mental Health, 10(2), 166–176. doi:10.1080/13607860500312209

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Discussion: Group Therapy with Older Adults

As the population continues to age, more and more older adults will require therapy for various mental health issues. While the group setting offers many benefits and makes therapy more accessible to those in need of services, this therapeutic approach may not be effective for all clients. For this Discussion, as you examine your own practicum experiences with older adults in group therapy settings, consider strategies to improve the effectiveness of your sessions.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

· Analyze group therapy sessions with older adults

· Recommend strategies for improving the effectiveness of group therapy sessions for older adults

To prepare:

· Review this week’s Learning Resources, and consider the insights provided on group therapy with older adults.

· Reflect on your practicum experiences with older adults in group therapy settings.

Post a description of a group therapy session with older adults, including the stage of the group, any resistances or issues that were present, and therapeutic techniques used by the facilitator. Explain any challenges that may occur when working with this group. Support your recommendations with evidence-based literature.

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