In treating depressed older individuals, it is important to support their autonomy and to recognize that many of the reasons advanced for depression or disturbances of mood are legitimate. Among the treatment goals for one elderly depressed male was the development of a positive social schedule; over time, the client identified some of his interests, including reading and chess, and was assisted in finding a book club and a chess partner. The improvement in activity level and the involvement with others did much to assist in reducing the clientĘs depression. Using the core skills of empathy, warmth and genuineness as described by Zarit and Zarit (2000), I assisted this client in recognizing that by asserting a more proactive self and becoming involved in pleasurable activities, he could eliminate some of his sense of isolation.
A third clinical concept addressed during my field experience was related to the question of how aging physically affects a clientĘ self-image. Moody (2001-2002) stated that modern technologies and treatments (including plastic surgeries and anti-aging interventions) are extending human life significantly. As individuals and society as a whole age, it is becoming necessary to recognize that new systems must be developed to care f