January 21, 2018

Who calls a therapist about concerns that arise during our Senior years?

At Counseling Collaborative we often receive calls from Seniors. The caller may have used counseling services at an earlier stage of life and found it helpful or else it may the first time. He or she may have been discussing concerns with a physician, clergy person, friend or relative who made the suggestion to speak with a mental health professional specially trained in understanding the challenges common to this stage of life.

A dramatic change might precipitate the call such as the loss of a life partner, child, or sibling or the development of a serious illness.  Possibly the changes have been more gradual, such as diminished interests, financial decisions or the weariness that comes with being a caretaker for another person. The circumstances of younger family members can also be worrisome.

Calls also come from family members who are grappling with changes presented by an older loved one.  They might call with requests for concrete information about services and resources.

Often, there is a wish to discuss the feelings that arise as the changes presented and anticipated challenge the dynamics and the structure of the relationships within the family and the available support system.  There can be a sense of disequilibrium that recalls the previous strengths and weaknesses in this long relationship.

It can be a very complicated time.

There is potential for growth for all concerned during the elderly chapter and a skilled therapist can be a helpful guide and source of support.

 Judith Meirowitz LICSW ACSW