This edition has a special focus on cognitive and behavioural work with older people. Many of the papers have been written by national and international experts in their respective fields and demonstrate the variety and breadth of work undertaken within the specialty. Older people bring heterogeneity to the therapeutic context, with unrivalled opportunity for challenge, versatility and creativity. For example, during a single working day one could find oneself treating a centenarian with depression, a 60-year-old patient with early onset dementia, a person with pseudo-dementia whose anxiety mimics a Parkinson's presentation, a depressed person with chronic heart failure, and a depressed family carer. Alternatively, one could find oneself working with nursing home staff who are struggling to deal with a resident with challenging behaviour. Practitioners require knowledge and skills in neuropsychology, chronic disease management, standard 1:1 therapy, family and systems work. They must also be able to apply a wide ranging set of conceptual frameworks and associated interventions to people with varying degrees of cognitive impairment as well as undertake activities such as supervision, consultation and training of carers, staff and colleagues. Thus therapists working with older people are often acutely aware of the importance of extending treatment to the individual's supporting social context and the system within which treatment is offered.