Abstract and Keywords
Later life can be a time when coping strategies are challenged by losses and transitions that can resonate with earlier experiences of distress and vulnerability. Pre-existing trauma and low self-esteem can also resurface to produce anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behaviours. Using case vignettes this chapter outlines the theory and breadth of application of cognitive-analytic therapy (CAT) to show how growth and development are possible when confronted with difficult states in later life including narcissistic and borderline personality traits, depression and dementia, and its use in consultation in residential care settings. By offering a lifespan model of socially and culturally mediated development CAT views a person as a ‘work in progress’, a culmination of events, experiences, and relationships that have resulted in the person in the here and now, with the hopeful possibility that regardless of age, transformation and change for the better may be obtainable (Hepple 2002).
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