Group Therapy with Older Adults

Group Therapy with Older Adults

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

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.

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, 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, she acknowledged 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 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 the 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, et.al, 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 patients into the group will help the newer members have a picture of how the therapy sessions will help them. This will help them open up since they have confidence that the program will help them too.


Group therapy is vital in dealing with the challenges that come with getting older. It is, therefore, essential for every facilitator that they make the group sessions interactive and fruitful for their members.

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