‘I was impressed with the accessibility of the book, offering a guided tour through the history, context and purposes of reminiscence therapy, the range of applications from promoting social and emotional stimulation to reminiscence as psychotherapy. It also provides a brief overview of its theoretical underpinnings… As a book for health professionals interested in reminiscence work, it is a must for the shelf… most importantly it emphasizes the need for adequate training and supervision for those undertaking this type of work… the authors [also] provide a very good working guide to the assessment process’ - Aging and Health

In this practical and accessible book, leading exponents of reminiscence work describe the purposes and techniques of reminiscence and set out detailed guidelines on how to implement and conduct a wide range of reminiscence activities with different types of client.

Highlighting its tremendous diversity and potential - and its special ability to allow people of all ages and abilities to communicate deeply about their lives - the authors separate out the different aims of reminiscence, which include intellectual or social stimulation, allowing people to leave behind them a cultural legacy, or a means of intergenerational communication. They show clearly how each can be directly beneficial either to clients or their carers, or for improving the culture of the arena in which the activity is being carried out.

Purpose Seven: Reminiscence to Create Group Cohesion

Purpose seven: Reminiscence to create group cohesion

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main … And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

JohnDonne, Devotions


The use of reminiscence for cohesion does not appear in the original claims for reminiscence, where its merits for life review, for stimulation and for energizing were highlighted. But as people began running reminiscence groups, they started rediscovering some of the principles and ‘laws’ of groups and groupwork. This area of study is part of social psychology, but there is not much contact between academic social psychologists and field workers. One of the interesting properties ...

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