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Psychotherapy and the elderly

Dr Janine Stevenson

Many contemporary psychotherapists and psychoanalysts do not believe in the usefulness of psychotherapy with the elderly. Freud thought that personality is set by the age of 30. Many challenge this view, Karl Abraham, Karl Jung and Erik Erikson to name a few. They talked of a more optimistic perspective on psychotherapy and old age.

Dr Janine Stevenson having extensively worked with elderly in psychotherapy believes that a lot can be done and that age is not an impediment to therapy. One has to understand the person in their social context and set specific goals. She talks about how to overcome the stigma of referral and the clinical barriers. She warns about the different transferences and counter-transferences that risk emerging in therapeutic situations with the elderly.

Janine Stevenson
Janine Stevenson
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Dr Janine Stevenson

Dr Janine Stevenson is on the faculty of the Masters of Medicine Psychotherapy Program at Westmead Hospital in Sydney, Australia, where she is a consultant psychiatrist. Dr Janine Stevenson also works privately as a psychiatrist/psychotherapist. Dr Stevenson's outcome studies of the treatment of borderline personality disorder by means of the Conversational Model have given her an international reputation.

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Janine Stevenson, Russell Meares, Roberto D'Angelo
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