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Group Therapy Session Assignment

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Group Therapy Session Assignment

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Group Therapy Session with Older Adults

To begin, I am going to explain a group session I completed with a group of older adults with a diagnosis of depression. This group took place at an ALF located in Tampa, FL. The clients that participated in the group were 65-80 years old, there were 10 members present on this day. This group session lasted approximately 40 minutes.

The type of group that I lead is a reminiscence group. Group reminiscence therapy is a brief and structured intervention in which participants share personal past events with peers. This psychotherapeutic approach has been shown to improve an older person’s wellbeing and has the potential to reduce symptoms of depression (Gaggioli et al, 2014). This approach involves the recollection and review of past personal events. It is believed that reminiscence therapy can help elderly individuals by increasing self-acceptance, providing perspective, and enabling the resolution of past conflicts (Gaggioli et al, 2014). This is a very fun and interesting group to lead because it gives the group leader and the other members the opportunity to hear remarkable stories from the other clients. At it gives that particular member a moment to shine and share with others certain meaningful events they accomplished during their life instilling a since of pride.

Stage of Group & Techniques Used

There are five stages group formation known as forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning (Caffaro, 2007). This group of clients meet twice per week and will complete different group activities together. The stage that this group is currently in is known as performing. This group is already well known to each other, they have been working together for several months now. These members operate without friction, there is respect and empathy present between members, diversity is welcomed, and members welcome new ideas without conflict (Kumar, Deshmukh, & Adhish, 2014). Since this group is in this phase when I conducted the reminiscence group with these members my approach was to allow the members to be less active and allow them to take a role in welcoming me to their group. I was welcomed with open arms and joined right in, at this time I was able to comment on how functional the group is.

Challenges

There can be many challenges when providing psychotherapy to older adults. Chronic health problems can impact psychotherapy with the elderly. Eighty percent of those 65 years or older have at least one chronic illness (Wheeler, 2014). If an older client has a cognitive impairment then they will require simultaneous treatment for both the cognitive impairment and the mental health condition to be effective. Also another challenge when working with older adults is their views on mental illness. Older adults may not be as accepting and open regarding mental illness due to the time period in which they were raised and how mental health was viewed during that time.

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