Talking over the Years: A Handbook of Dynamic Psychotherapy with Older Adults

Talking over the Years: A Handbook of Dynamic Psychotherapy with Older Adults

Talking over the Years: A Handbook of Dynamic Psychotherapy with Older Adults

Talking over the Years: A Handbook of Dynamic Psychotherapy with Older Adults

Synopsis

How can we work effectively with older people? What contribution can be made by the field of psychodynamics? It is now recognised that older adults can benefit from psychodynamic therapy and that psychodynamic concepts can help to illuminate the thorny issues of aging and the complications of later life. Talking Over the Years begins by examining how ideas of old age are represented by the key psychodynamic theorists of the twentieth century including Freud, Jung, Klein and Winnicott. Contributors go on to draw on their own experiences in a range of settings to demonstrate the value of psychodynamic concepts in clinical practice, covering subjects such as: * brief and long-term work with individuals, couples and groups * the expressive therapies: art, music, dance and movement * ethical considerations * training, supervision and support * sexuality. Illustrated by a wealth of clinical material, Talking Over the Years increases psychodynamic awareness, helping practitioners become more sensitive to their patients' needs to the benefit of both the patient and the professional.

Excerpt

Older adults can benefit from psychodynamic therapy. This idea no longer provokes astonishment and disbelief. What is still unusual, however, is what this book provides: detailed descriptions of psychoanalytic theory together with the use of psychodynamic concepts in clinical practice.

The two editors, with vision and hard work, have brought together theory and practice. Ideas from Freud, Jung, Klein, Kohut, Erikson, Bion, Foulkes and Yalom are discussed; the psychotherapy described includes brief and long-term work with individuals, couples and groups; and there are chapters on the expressive therapies - art, music, dance and movement - as well as the older-established treatments. a chapter on intercultural work was withdrawn, to the great disappointment of the editors, when it was too late to commission another paper. (There are two descriptions of intercultural work in Chapter 18 on bereavement). the authors all work in the uk and in the nhs or other public and private settings. They are all actively involved in the clinical care of older adults, mainly those with psychiatric problems although these ideas also apply to individuals without major mental health difficulties. I know of no other book that covers such diversity.

It is timely to publish this material: dialogue between the proponents of different theoretical schools is increasing; experience of the psychodynamic approach in clinical settings is more than enough for the work to be brought together and published; and expressive and other therapists are finding common ground. the two editors, Jane Garner and Sandra Evans, are experienced old age psychiatrists who use psychodynamic ideas in their work with individuals and groups, and with their teams. Through their skill and determination they have succeeded in bringing together theoretical and clinical strands to produce an interesting, unusual and readable book.

'Old age is a sensitive time' an 80 year old commented. 'Age is no place for softies, ' from another older person (Garner, personal communication). Softies or not, however, older individuals may be unduly sensitive, perceiving offers of help as patronising and condescending (which sometimes they are). Through psychodynamic awareness professionals can become more sensitive to their own as well as to their patients' needs - the patient and the professional

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