Life is full of transitions. Today, we are fortunate to live in a time where our lives are long. As many of us get older, we may feel that we are charting new territory on our own. Our parents may not have reached the ages we ourselves are reaching. In 1960 for example, the average life expectancy was 52 years old. Today in the US we can expect to live (on average) until 78.7 years. It is as if we’ve been given a whole second life to live. But what are these years supposed to look like? How do we achieve a lasting sense of happiness through so many changes?
Psychotherapy for seniors
The benefits of psychotherapy for the elderly have been under-appreciated. This is unfortunate as research has found therapeutic techniques such as interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) have achieved great success in the elderly population. As a therapist, I would argue that in our later years, therapy is especially useful because of the multiple issues we likely will have to deal with, such as loss of a spouse, loss of close friends, and feelings of vulnerability. Studies have shown us that therapy is as effective for the elderly as it is for younger age groups.
Psychotherapy is designed to relieve suffering, offer support and provide guidance. During our senior years, we may need a little extra support to help us live the best life possible.
A positive self-concept and self-esteem
Positive feelings and self-esteem are important in every phase of life. Our society’s obsession with youth can cause us to feel undervalued as we get older. This does not have to be a part of any elderly person’s experience. A therapist with training and a genuine desire to work with older clients can provide a rich resource for support. Many individuals are unaware of the value of learning coping strategies. They may not expect to have access to an understanding, supportive and non-judgemental therapeutic environment.
A therapist can offer support with mourning the losses of friends and family and working through unresolved issues from the past. Dealing with these issues can lead to healing and help to cultivate a sense of peace and satisfaction in life.
As we get older we have much to offer. Many seniors should be experiencing feelings of mastery and appreciation of their hard earned life wisdom and experience. While this is possible and should be expected, sometimes they need a little help to get there.
I’m here to help
If you or someone you love is going through transitions associated with getting older, therapy can help. You are welcome to call for more information or fill out my contact form and click send.
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