Adult Psychotherapy

Many individuals, at some point in their lives, struggle with emotional difficulties, which may affect their ability to function effectively. Regardless of definition or “schools” of therapy, psychotherapy is a relationship designed to help address life’s difficulties, fostering growth and well-being. Therapy can provide a consistent and safe space for the person to develop his/her potential for emotional understanding. Your therapist can offer invaluable support in a trusting, non-judgmental space.  Here you are fully listened to (and also hear yourself) and you can become aware of different perspectives and internal conflicts that hinder your sense of self and interpersonal or professional functioning. Psychotherapy may help change maladaptive thought, communication, and behavioral patterns. The purpose of psychotherapy is not only to rectify the problems we struggle with, but also to allow a person to utilize their full potential.  Please go HERE for an in-depth article titled What is Psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy for Older Clients

The elderly population of the United States is often overlooked when it comes to mental health issues.  Many times symptoms that are an indication of an emotional problem, are mistakenly attributed to “just the aging process.”  While some people believe older individuals are unlikely to change, research has suggested that psychotherapy is as effective for older adults as for younger populations.

Through psychotherapy, older adults have the opportunity to gain self-awareness, as well as feel more understood by their family members. Some of the areas I focus on in therapy with older adults include restoration of positive self-concept and self-esteem, dealing with loss, coping with aging and illness, and possible substance abuse/dependence.  The greatest gift psychotherapy gives, which we know is of particular importance to older clients, is the feeling of being understood, valued, and feeling connected. 

I sometimes encourage family members to participate in sessions (as appropriate and indicated) when working with older adults.  As priorities and life perspectives differ between the adult children and the older parent(s), communication may break down. Adult children of elderly parents can learn to improve how they relate to and deepen their relationship with their elder. The best thing adult children can do at this stage of their aging parents lives is to be conscious of what is changing with their parents and re-evaluate how they relate to them.  Individual and family therapy are designed to address such dynamics.