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Tip: Books are sorted alphabetically…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The list of books available on PEP Web is sorted alphabetically, with the exception of Freud’s Collected Works, Glossaries, and Dictionaries. You can find this list in the Books Section.

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Martindale, B.V. (1989). Group Psychotherapies for the Elderly: Edited by B. W. MacLennan, S. Saul & M. B. Weiner. Madison, CT: International Universities Press. 1988. Pp. 290.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 16:508-510.
   

(1989). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 16:508-510

Group Psychotherapies for the Elderly: Edited by B. W. MacLennan, S. Saul & M. B. Weiner. Madison, CT: International Universities Press. 1988. Pp. 290.

Review by:
Brian V. Martindale

This is an important and optimistic book that will interest mental health workers, psychoanalysts and administrators who provide treatment for the elderly. The twenty-five contributors describe psychotherapies of many modalities, applied to many different settings for the varied needs of the elderly.

Group psychotherapies for those in the latter part of life are, by no means, new developments. However, doubling of the population over 65 in the next 50 years and the, even greater, proportional increase in those over 80, should, appropriately and inevitably, lead to an increasingly critical appraisal of the most effective ways of helping that proportion of the elderly population whose quality of mental and physical life falls well below its full potential. It is of course a cliché that these matters are also of the greatest political and economic significance.

The first chapter is a substantial review of the literature on group work with the elderly. There is a wealth of useful information here. Particularly helpful was the account of variations in group therapy technique, the degree of activity of the therapist and the amount of structure that he or she should provide according to the psychopathology of the patient, the primary task of the group, and the stage of development of the group. I will list some of the differing problems for which groups are being considered—retirement issues, senile psychosis (all patients left hospital!), many in-patient and residential groups, alcoholism, carers for the elderly, elderly couples etc.

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