Life review refers to a process that involves the recollection, evaluation, and integration of memories into a broader story about who we are. A successful life review results in accepting and finding meaning in both positive and negative memories. This entry covers the background of the concept of life review in gerontology, describes its role in life-span development, and summarizes the increasing evidence that life review interventions are effective in preventing and treating mental illness as well as in promoting well-being in later life.

Conceptual Background

The concept of life review originates in the work of psychiatrist Robert Butler in the early 1960s. He was among the first to argue that a return to the past in later life is not a sign of cognitive impairment but ...

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