Life expectancy has increased dramatically in the last 50 years. Older adults are remaining healthier, more active and more invigorated. Consequently, adults and their families are less likely to attribute problems of mood or anxiety to a general decline in health. Depression is no longer seen as an inevitable part of aging. As a result, older people are increasingly seeking psychotherapy. With age can come wisdom, and a readiness to tackle personal issues that were merely tolerated up to now. Some people are ready to restart a previously incomplete therapy or analysis.
It is sometimes difficult for an older person to feel that their life has added up to something significant, and to appreciate all they have accomplished. Instead they are distressed about what they haven’t achieved or can’t do anymore. Of course age does bring a new set of challenges. Career and social opportunities can become more limited. Roles within the family may have changed. The nest is emptying out. There may be financial pressures. A decline in physical ability is inevitable. And so, it may be necessary to find new ways to feel happy and content.
Aging is a challenge. The task now is to avoid despair. Growth can occur throughout the entire life cycle, and each developmental era has its own challenges and opportunities. Psychotherapy can help.
If this sounds like it might apply to you, then Dr Bennett invites you to call to set up a consultation. Dr Richard Bennett has considerable experience working with seniors and is the Director of the Later Lifespan Development Center at the William Alanson White Institute.