“A definite read for students in counseling programs for improving the lives of older adults!” –Amy Gray-Graves, Webster University Helping Relationships with Older Adults: From Theory to Practice examines the fundamental theoretical perspectives of the aging process with an emphasis on the healthy aspects of aging. Taking a comprehensive approach, the text addresses various therapeutic methods as it highlights the strengths and resiliency of the older population. Exercises and case studies demonstrate key concepts and promote skill development by allowing students to experience the various challenges in the lives of older clients. Helping Relationships with Older Adults: From Theory to Practice is part of the Counseling and Professional Identity Series. To learn more about each text in the Series, please visit www.sagepub.com/cpiseries.

Professional Practice With Goals for Older Adults

Professional Practice With Goals for Older Adults

“Age is no barrier. It is a limitation you put on your mind.”

—Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you will be able to

  • Analyze the goals and common approaches of psychosocial interventions
  • Explain the stages of the helping relationship and challenges that may arise
  • Examine common issues that cause clients to seek counseling


The emerging professional practice of gerontological counseling requires highly trained, knowledgeable, and caring practitioners. These practitioners must possess the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors that create an environment that supports the older clients’ willingness to divulge intimate life details. A genuine respect and appreciation for older adults and their abilities is a fundamental requirement in initiating dialogue. Counselors must have intangible qualities ...

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