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date: 03 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) with older people is a mainstream treatment approach for the alleviation of depression and anxiety in later life. It is particularly appropriate as an intervention for older adults because it is skills enhancing, present-oriented, problem-focused, straightforward to use, and effective. CBT is empowering of individuals, seeking to promote and encourage self-agency in the face of challenges; it adopts a non-pathologizing stance in understanding a client’s problems. As such it can be a very attractive form of therapy for older people who often endorse strong cohort beliefs about personal independence and problem-solving. A brief but contemporary account of the evidence base for CBT for late-life depression and anxiety as well as depression and anxiety in dementia is outlined here as context for later discussion around the debate as to whether CBT requires augmentation in order to achieve optimal treatment outcome. In this chapter, written from the point of view of an experienced clinician, based on two decades of clinical experience, a contemporary account of CBT with older people is described.

Keywords: cognitive-behavioural therapy, evidence-based treatments, late-life depression, older people, geriatrics, gerontology, ageing

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