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CBT for Older People


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Table of Contents

Preparing to use CBT with Older People Introduction to CBT Practical information for Psychotherapists working with Older People CBT for Late Life Depression CBT for Late Life Anxiety The application of CBT with Older People Structure and Content of CBT with Older People The Therapeutic Relationship in CBT with Older People Cognitive and Behavioural Interventions Age Appropriate CBT: Case-conceptualization with Older People Specialist applications of CBT with Older People Augmented Age Appropriate CBT: Enhancing Wisdom, Resilience and Self-acceptance Chronicity and Comorbidity CBT for People with Dementia and their Carers References

About the Author

Professor Ken Laidlaw is Head of Department of Clinical Psychology and Programme Director of the ClinPsyD Clinical Psychology Training Programme within the Norwich Medical School, at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Professor Laidlaw is also currently honorary consultant clinical psychologist with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust, having for many years served as Professional Lead of an Older Adult Clinical Psychology Service in Scotland. He maintains active and ongoing research activity in cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for late life depression and anxiety, especially with complex, chronic and comorbid conditions. From 2000 to 2001 he was invited to spend a year at University of Pennsylvania (PENN) in Philadelphia with Aaron T. Beck, the father of CBT, as visiting scholar. He has a long and productive association with Professors Larry W. Thompson and Dolores Gallagher-Thompson at Stanford University, California, USA. He was the Principal Investigator on the first UK RCT of CBT for late Life depression. His manual for this trial has subsequently been used in other clinical trials. He also led the development of a cross-cultural Attitudes to Ageing Questionnaire (AAQ), that was pilot and field trialed in 20 countries worldwide. This is now used widely in international trials. His conceptualization framework for CBT with older people is part of the National (England) IAPT curriculum materials for HI IAPT workers. He authored the older adults section of the evidence-based guide to the commissioning of psychological therapies for the NHS in Scotland (The Matrix, NES, 2011).


I found the style of writing easy to read and the author clearly engages with the reader in a meaningful way. The frequent use of case studies makes application of theory to real life situations much easier for the reader and the summaries and learning logs/reflection sections at the end of chapters are really useful.

This is a great book for anyone with an interest in exploring the benefits, practices and challenges of use of CBT with the older person -- Traci Whitfield

The eleven chapters cover a range of relevant and useful topics, from basic to complex presentations, including clients with mild to moderate dementia. It integrates theory with practice, and includes a number of helpful case studies.

-- Ian James Andrew
This book gives an excellent exposition of using cognitive behavior therapy with older people. It is accessible and encourages active engagement with the material. All the cases are highly illustrative and give a good idea of the problems people ask for help with. I would highly recommend this book to any learner, teacher or practitioner of CBT in any mental health profession. -- Ann Wills

An up to date work by Professor Ken Laidlaw that reflects his large clinical experience and provides valuable assessment and practical tools for professionals working with older adults. I would recommend it for practitioners as well as for students. In addition, it is very enjoyable reading.

-- Prof. Andres Losada

Without question, this is the definitive guide for using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) effectively with Older People. This book will challenge assumptions, provides effective and practical strategies from gerontology to augment CBT techniques and is written in an accessible and user friendly format by the leading expert for CBT for Older People in the United Kingdom. It is loaded with the most up to date strategies and interventions and is written with authority and passion for the subject. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for all CBT therapists, psychologists and practitioners working in a CBT format with Older People. Prepare to be challenged on your own views of ageing, think critically about what successful ageing means and to feel confident to work skilfully and creatively with this client group.

-- Marie Chellingsworth

This book is a thought-provoking, accessible introduction to CBT for older people. Adults are living longer and CBT therapists need to understand the late-life journey before they experience it themselves. This book maps the territory in a highly informative and engaging way. It offers a high-quality integration of theory, evidence and practice with numerous learning opportunities for trainees and experienced therapists. The author dispels the myths of late life misery, at the same time illuminating the particular needs of older people struggling with emotional difficulties. The richness of the case material makes the key points clear, relevant and above all usable. Cognitive behavioural therapy has to be developmentally-sensitive - this book addresses a growing need in a sophisticated and practical way.

-- Dr Stephen Barton * Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Newcastle University *

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