Child and Geriatric Counseling
Answer discussion questions:
1. Discuss the difference that may appear in child therapies with Adlerian therapy approach.
2. How would you alter your techniques when treating children?
3. Discuss the needs of senior adults and how therapy may need a different delivery than other adults.
4. Are there senior adults that would not benefit from therapy?
The Difference That May Appear in Child Therapies with Adlerian Therapy Approach
The Adlerian therapy approach is a psychoeducational approach that is goal-oriented and humanistic. The approach emphasizes how the strive for success, connectedness with others, and individual contributions to society are hallmarks of mental health. The approach emphasizes individuals’ early experiences as crucial in developing a person’s view of self. Therapists, therefore, seek to understand the ‘family constellations’ such as familial values, gender roles expectations, psychological birth order, cultural values, nature of interpersonal relationships (Miller & Dillman, 2016). The difference that appears in child therapies using the approach is the inability of the children to remember their early experiences. This reduces their participation in the therapy sessions as opposed to adults who can recall their past experiences and talk about their thoughts and feelings. The therapies may therefore not be effective.
How to Alter Techniques When Treating Children
An alteration to the techniques when treating children would involve Adlerian play therapy, a model that allows children to engage in therapy and be valued as creative and resourceful. The approach uses a holistic approach by looking at the child and other factors such as relationships and settings in which the child lives. I would therefore ask the parent, guardian, or caregiver, and teachers to participate in the therapy sessions. In-play therapy, play is communication, and there are no expectations for the child to talk about their feelings or thoughts. The approach provides the children with various techniques for communication such as free play, games, art, metaphoric storytelling, music, dance, and others. The content of therapy sessions will be different depending on the needs of every child. According to Evans (2020), role-playing frequently emerges in ‘non-directive approaches to play therapy and is essential in play therapy intervention. It facilitates therapeutic alliances between the client and therapist.
The Needs of Senior Adults and How Therapy May Need a Different Delivery Than Other
The needs of senior adults mainly involve support for a smooth transition to a new phase of life characterized by retirement, medical conditions, and establishing meaningful activities and lifestyles. Senior adults may find it difficult to cope with their new lifestyle, especially with a support system resulting in mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Therapy for the senior adults may differ significantly from that of the other adults due to others issues such as changes in cognition, which is a normal part of the aging process. A mental health professional must be able to differentiate mental health issues related to the normal aging process and those that represent health issues such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and others. Delivery of therapy for seniors may be characterized by interprofessional collaboration with other professionals. According to Bodner et al. (2018), senior adults experience ‘an overlap between psychiatric symptoms and symptoms related to other issues such as hormonal changes, physical disability, a decline in cognition, and physiological processes. It is crucial to differentiate the symptoms to assess progress in therapy.
Senior Adults That Would Not Benefit from Therapy
The benefits that senior adults gain from therapy differ depending on various factors. Studies indicate that therapy for seniors is challenging due to cognitive issues such as decreased memory, concentration, and mental rigidity (Bodner et al., 2018). Mental health professionals are more likely to experience difficulties dealing with senior adults since it is challenging to create therapeutic relationships. Patients with health issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s may not benefit from therapy alone and may require combination with pharmacologic interventions. Therefore, mental health professionals have a responsibility to ensure that the patient is receiving holistic care for maximum benefits.
- Bodner, E., Palgi, Y., & Wyman, M. F. (2018). Ageism in Mental Health Assessment and Treatment of Older Adults. Contemporary Perspectives on Ageism, 241-262. https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.12657/27836/1002169.pdf?sequence=1#page=267
- Evans, C. (2020). Adlerian Play Therapy and Trauma. Journal of Individual Psychology, 76(2) 217-228. https://books.google.co.ke/books?
- Miller, R., & Dillman, T. D. (2016). Does Adlerian Theory Stand the Test of Time? Examining Individual Psychology from A Neuroscience Perspective. The Journal of Humanistic Counseling, 55(2), 111-128. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/johc.12028