A call for psychotherapy integration in work with older adult patients

Jennifer Hillman, George Strieker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Although a growing number of studies in the literature espouse the effectiveness of various therapies with elderly adults (e.g., cognitive-behavioral, reminiscence, and interpersonal therapies), little has been written about the perceived need for psychotherapy integration in clinical geropsychology. This article argues that an assimilative, integrative approach allows a practitioner to maintain a conceptual framework in one theoretical orientation while matching techniques from other orientations to elderly patients' unique situations or needs. Older adults represent a more heterogeneous group than both young and middle-aged adults, and therapists must often address special issues related to aging, such as chronic illness and social stigma. Integrative work with older adults also appears unique because interventions must often focus on the impact of the patient's immediate environment and outside systems, such as families and institutions, as well as the traditional therapist-patient relationship. A case study is offered to illustrate the effective use of psychotherapy integration with an older adult in treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-405
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychotherapy Integration
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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