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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: January 2020

Chapter 9 - Psychotherapy and Cognitive Disorders

from Part 3 - Special Topics in Psychotherapy in Later Life


This chapter reviews the most researched psychotherapeutic interventions for individuals with cognitive impairment (CI) and common symptoms targeted by these interventions. Elements of assessment and psychotherapy modifications to consider when working with individuals with dementia are also discussed. Assessment components might include clarification of medical symptom overlap, collateral information, assessment instruments developed for individuals with cognitive difficulties, and incorporating consultation with other specialties. In general, clinicians should consider using simplified skills, increasing the number and frequency of sessions, shortening sessions, reducing group size, and providing more guidance during skill instruction and practice when working with individuals with cognitive impairments. Despite their promise and recommendations for their use, nonpharmacological therapies for individuals with dementia have a small research base and warrant continued development and evaluation.

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