Approach to the contents, anxieties and defenses in the beginning of a group psychoanalytic psychotherapy with elderly

This paper presents clinical material from the initial stage of a psychoanalytical group psychotherapy experience with elderly people, and examines the contents, anxieties and defenses shown. Issues related to loss and grief stood out, relating to the death of loved ones, physical deterioration, and retirement.

Coping with these losses provoked different types of anxieties and defenses, which are analyzed in this article. Additional age-specific difficulties arose: the social network impoverishment, unavailability of resources once used, reactivation of previous grieves, and what it represents in terms of the approaching death. I conclude highlighting how psychoanalytical group psychotherapy can be specifically indicated for this age population.

Keywords:
elderly people, aging, psychoanalytic group therapy, grief, anxieties and defenses.

Claudia Issa
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