Clients in this age segment have unique challenges. Health, medicine, doctors, tests and procedures take center stage and can sometimes be overwhelming. Family-related concerns are also of utmost importance and often take precedence over one’s relationship with their significant other. The central challenge of this age is hope: to find a sense of peace and contentment, being satisfied in looking back on the bulk of one’s life, and yet also optimistic about what the next week holds. Struggling older clients may find themselves depressed over where time has gone or fearful about what lies ahead. Questions about retirement, financial resources, and longevity are also very important. Sickness, widowhood, or loneliness may contribute to what is already a very challenging situation.

A talented therapist, despite typically being younger than her client, will nonetheless be able to break through a client’s pessimism and establish a relationship of mutual respect and understanding. Always mindful of ongoing health concerns and a client’s physical limitations, the therapist aims to uncover the underlying reasons for a person’s despair and creatively and collaboratively build new avenues for meaning in a client’s life.

Common symptom clusters: Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety, Agoraphobia, Chronic Illness, Suicidality, Grief and Loss