George Kraus, a geriatric clinical psychologist debunks the stereotypes about working with elderly populations, and shares his discovery of the joy and gratitude that come from intimate contact with wise elders. He, wisely, address three important myths regarding psychotherapy and/or counseling with seniors:
- Myth #1: Psychotherapy with the elderly is time wasted, because the elderly client has so little time to enjoy any gains that might be made.
- Myth #2: The grief, loss, and somatic and socioeconomic burdens of the elderly are too excessive to warrant believing they could get better.
- Myth #3: Old people are staid in their ways; they are too stubborn to change. Dr. Kraus emphasizes the fact that In America, “…we honor the young for their beauty, strength, and vitality. However, in other places on the globe, old men and women are objects of veneration. This leads to a curious consequence: the less we acknowledge what can be respected, admired, or even venerated in the parents and grandparents of the world, the more we make ourselves orphans who lose a piece of our faith, security, and connection to a past that we risk repeating. This has been part of my joy in working with older adults: I am able to honor them, to sit at their feet, marvel, and learn. As their therapist, I have become their faithful student, their privileged witness, and my life is ever richer because of it…” Read his article