Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Older People

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Older People

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Older People

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Older People


Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is now well established as an effective treatment for a range of mental health problems, but for clinicians working with older clients, there are particular issues that need to be addressed.

Topics covered include the need to build a therapeutic relationship, dealing with stereotypical thinking about ageing, setting realistic expectations in the face of deteriorating medical conditions, maintaining hope when faced with difficult life events such as the loss of a spouse, disability, etc., and dealing with the therapist's own fears about ageing.

Illustrated throughout with case studies, practical solutions and with a troubleshooting section, this is essential reading for all clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and related health professionals who work with older people.

• Authors are world authorities on depression and psychotherapy with older people

• First book to be published on CBT with older people

• Case studies and examples used throughout to illustrate the method and the problems of older people


A book looking at the application of cognitive therapy (CT) with older people is long overdue, especially as the first empirical evaluation of this approach with older people took place almost 20 years ago, and was conducted by two of the four authors. This book is the first non-edited book on the use of CT with older people. The authors have all been involved in the clinical evaluation of CT with older people and remain at the forefront in the development of this approach's application in a number of settings and with a broad range of older client groups. An innovative aspect of this book is that information from the field of gerontology is provided in the introductory section so that therapists less experienced in working with older people are less affected by age-related biases in terms of treatment options and treatment outcomes. In many previous works researchers have stated that therapists ought to know about normal ageing and normal age-related changes when working with older people, but have stopped short of stating what that knowledge should be, and its relevance. This book corrects that omission.

The book is firmly within the tradition of CT and helps therapists to remain empirical in their approach to working with older people. The model of CT is clearly stated and real case examples of CT in action are provided throughout. In many ways Chapter 3 is the most important as it outlines the integration of gerontology and CT when working with older people. At the centre of this new approach is the cognitive model and the authors are explicit in their desire to keep this as the basis for treatment. The cognitive model of psychopathology is supplemented with important additional areas of enquiry in conceptualizing work with older people such as the importance of cohort beliefs, intergenerational biases, role status, health status and the sociocultural context. All of these elements are combined into a formulation that retains a strong cognitive theory identity. This model directly addresses the common misconception that CT needs to be adapted before it can be effective with older people. In that sense this book makes an important contribution to the CT

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