A brief narrative approach to the treatment of depression in the elderly

Julian Mark Sharman (1998)

Older Americans are an underserved population when it comes to receiving mental health services. This is partially due to the myths and cultural beliefs about the elderly that are carried by mental health workers, and partially due to the stigma of psychotherapy that is carried by the elderly. Other problems such as transportation and isolation contribute to the difficulties in servicing the elderly. As this population grows rapidly, psychotherapy models must be developed that are effective and suitable for this age group. Current cutbacks in Medicare and other mental health services make brief therapy appealing to both the elderly client and provider alike. This study attempts to utilize a strength focused, narrative style approach to treat depression in two to three sessions. Fourteen participants over age sixty-five are seen in their homes over a three to four week period. Pretest and posttest scores are measured against a control group using the Geriatric Depression Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory.