‘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 Fifteen: Reminiscence for Life Review

Purpose fifteen: Reminiscence for life review


With the purpose of life review, we are very clearly in the area of psychotherapy, so practitioners in this realm will need formal and extensive training. They do need a good grasp of the major theories of personal development and of mental illness/emotional disorders. They should also have considerable experience of working in therapy groups. So, we begin this chapter with a disclaimer: you can't start from here in terms of running such groups.

Expanding on what we wrote in Part One of this book, the classic underpinning for life review therapy is one chapter, a few pages long, called ‘Eight Stages of Man’ in a book entitled Childhood and Society by the Danish-German psychoanalyst ...

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