The present article describes the main approaches addressing mental disorders in the elderly. A brief presentation about Psychology of Aging, in its historical development between myths and science, and about theoretical and historical/cultural frame of psychotherapy with older adults, is first proposed. Then, the setting and clinical procedures, together with experimental findings obtained from studies about efficacy, are presented concerning the main approaches, such as Psychodinamic, Cognitive-Behavioral and Cognitive-Constructivist Therapies. Other relevant clinical models are also briefly illustrated, such as Interpersonal Therapy and Mindfulness that developed and implemented adjustements to traditional clinical procedures for the older adults’ care, and the Life Review Therapy. Finally, a summary of empirical evidence about the efficacy of interventions specifically tailored on patients with cognitive impairment, which affects persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment or dementia, is presented; among these, the Doll Therapy is described, addressed to persons at moderate-severe stages of dementia. Overall, the described studies depict a complex and articulated framework, which suggests the importance, shared by all the approaches, of adapting the clinical interventions to the specific features and particular needs of the older adults, with the purpose of endorsing resources and potentialities.
Keywords: Relational elderly psychotherapy, constructivist psychoterapy, cognitivebehavioral psychotherapy, psychoanalysis.
Barbara Poletti, Annalisa Lafronza, Laura Carelli, Pietra Romano, Rita Pezzati, State of the Art of Psychotherapy with older adults: a plurality of approaches in "QUADERNI DI PSICOTERAPIA COGNITIVA" 37/2015, pp. 107-166, DOI:10.3280/QPC2015-037007