ESSAY: Discussion: Group Therapy with Older Adults

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 resistance 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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Ideally, group therapy is meant to help individuals empathize with others going through similar challenges as themselves (Agronin, 2009). Group therapy for older adults involves a well-established therapeutic system. The therapy program allows the development of socialization and communication skills amongst the members of the group.

Group Therapy Session with Older Adults

Reminiscence therapy is among the most common group therapies applied to older adults. It employs the use of the five senses to assist those who have dementia to remember events and people from their earlier days (Liu et al., 2007). The reminiscence group therapy attended was at the transition stage of treatment, which is an awkward stage for both the facilitator and the members. Some of the group members were defensive, shy, and even fearful of airing their views during the session.

The group facilitator had to make use of some therapeutic techniques to restore order and trust in the group. First, was the use of positive reinforcement through acknowledging any member that volunteered to speak during the session. Secondly, she used immediate behavioral reinforcements. Lastly, she used time-structured activities to enable the group members to have a feeling of a structure as the session carried on.

 Explain Any Challenges That May Occur When Working with This Group

Since reminiscence groups are for older individuals who have dementia, depression, and other mental health problems, dealing with them has its challenges (Hseih et. al, 2010). The first challenge is that those who have dementia may have trouble remembering their group members or even the facilitator. Hence, it is essential to keep reminding them why they are part of the group and the experiences they have had in it. The second challenge is that individuals dealing with depression may have suicidal tendencies. The last challenge is the incidences of violence in the group since most of the members have mental health problems.

Support Your Recommendations with Evidence-Based Literature Suggestions to improve older adult group therapy are necessary to ensure that the patients who need help are well taken care of. First, the facilitator must take time to pick the right group members. Conducting a high-quality screening is the best way to ensure that the members of the group will get along and be of help to each other (Steinman, 2007). Secondly, cohesion must be built within the first few sessions. Group cohesion will help ease communication and socialization in the group. Lastly, introducing experienced…

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