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Psychodyn Psychiatry. 2014 Mar;42(1):51-63. doi: 10.1521/pdps.2014.42.1.51.

Psychotherapeutic/psychoanalytic treatment of the elderly.


Elderly patients who may have been able to deal satisfactorily with earlier periods of stress may find that in later life they are impacted by an array of devastating losses and crises subverting their abilities to adapt satisfactorily. Psychotherapeutic/psychoanalytic treatment has been demonstrated to be helpful to many elderly patients, especially if the psychotherapist/psychoanalyst chooses to relax a traditional analytic stance and actively engage the patient with the exploration of new relationships and activities that may relieve any residual loneliness. We also propose that an alternative concept of termination be considered, one that includes the possibility of post-termination follow-up contacts between patient and analyst. We detail the advantages for both patient and analyst of this concept, which may be particularly useful for elderly patients.

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