From slippers to shoes. Psychotherapeutic work with older people in Basic Health Areas


[Automatic translation from Catalan]: This article aims to make known the work done with older people in basic health areas included within the Mental Health Support Programme in the Primary Health Care Areas from our Sant Pere Claver Mental Health Center.

In May 2011 a research project was initiated, promoted by Dr. Pere Folch and a set of Mental Health professionals, to think of the needs of older people who do not come to the CSMAS of the Zone perhaps because they have never been derived to these centers, probably because they never needed it before; but when they enter the vicissitudes of old age, family physicians detect a symptomatology associated with “getting older”.

Family physicians are the one who is in the case and try to make comprehensive bio-psycho-social care, but in some cases they need advice, so that they can take over themselves and raise the possibility of specialized interventions within the same Basic Health Area, whether individual, family or group, by specialist professionals in those cases considered appropriate.

From our working group we decided to start a pilot project in several ambulatories in our area, in order to offer psychotherapeutic groups to the elderly. These groups, once they have started, have enabled us to contrast the hypotheses we had made about the problems of the old man, often focused on mourning and losses and other issues – such as the difficulty of bonding and emotional isolation – that have been emerging.

In this work, we will describe from the selection process of participants and the organisation of groups, to the measures of progress – when they become apparent – from transcriptions of clinical materials and from the support of information obtained with the Old People Self Report test- OSR (Achenbach, 2004).

old age, loss, mourning, repair, anxiety at the senectitude, defenses

Marta Lleonart, Glòria Mateu
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