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Enhancing cognitive behavior therapy with older people using gerontological theories as vehicles for change 

Enhancing cognitive behavior therapy with older people using gerontological theories as vehicles for change
Chapter:
Enhancing cognitive behavior therapy with older people using gerontological theories as vehicles for change
Author(s):

Ken Laidlaw

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199583553.003.0002
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date: 18 May 2021

This chapter has sought to introduce a new set of targets for CBT therapists to consider when working with older people. The concepts of internalized negative stereotypes and wisdom attainment/enhancement are employed so as to afford better use of standardized CBT techniques in a more coherent age-appropriate context. However, it is important to emphasize that standard techniques in CBT are employed in this endeavor and all that has changed is the contextual framework for their use. This is important as the evidence suggests that CBT is an efficacious therapy and one does not wish to distance oneself from that strong body of evidence. In a sense this chapter attempts to encourage therapists to be more conceptually coherent in their thinking in how they individualize CBT for older people. This again is not new as Beck et al. (1979) emphasized that CBT is individualized to fit the client and approaches such as these outlined here help CBT to be a better fit for the needs of older people. As Laidlaw and McAlpine (2008) note most considerations of modifications to therapy with older people can be quite banal and procedural and this is minimally helpful for therapists and clients. It is hoped that gerontological theories can be examined and considered in terms of utility as vehicles for change in therapy.

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