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Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 1995 Dec;9(6):338-47.

Elders' perceptions of the role of group psychotherapy in fostering self-transcendence.

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  • 1Veterans' Administration Medical Center, Tucson, AZ 85723, USA.


Psychotherapeutic goals and interventions for older adults, like those for children and other age groups, need to be developmentally appropriate. Past clinical research has shown that self-transcendence is a resource for mental health in later life. The effectiveness of group psychotherapy in facilitating self-transcendence in elders was examined, applying a method of analysis in which a small, intact clinical sample could be used to generate data for research purposes. Results, based on a matrix analysis of group members' perceptions, indicated that group psychotherapy enhanced self-transcendence in various ways. Group psychotherapy may be used not only as a cost-effective treatment modality, but also as a theory-based intervention that is developmentally-appropriate for elders.

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