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7 Reasons To Work With Therapists Who Specialize With Older Adults

February 9, 2023

You’ve heard of the situation where an older adult starts to experience depressive symptoms. They become withdrawn. Their mood starts to change. They become more tearful, more sad, more nostalgic, experiencing despair. And the family is out of sorts. They don’t know what to do. They wonder is this normal? Is this not normal? Will my loved one even benefit from mental health care? We don’t know what to do.


Assessing and treating older adults for mental health concerns requires specialized training by a mental health professional, like a therapist, psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist.  When searching for mental health professional for older adults, it’s important that they either specialize with older adults or at minimum have had some specific training related to older adults. Here are several reasons why.


7 Reasons To Work With Therapists Who Specialize With Older Adults


One: They’ll know what’s typical with aging and not typical with aging so that when they see something that is not typical with aging, they can point you in the right direction.


Two: They’ll have a better understanding of how stigma and stereotypes about the aging process and engaging in mental health care in general can impact the physical and mental health of older adults. So they can start to reshape it.


Three: They’ll be more likely to know evidence-based mental health care treatments for older adults and caregivers.


Four: They’ll have a better understanding of why it’s so important to manage the mental health of people living with dementia. And they’ll help people living with dementia, maintain health, wellness, and a sense of purpose.


Five: They’ll also be more skilled at managing the complex mental health, medical, pharmacological family needs of older adults.


Six: Speaking of family. Therapists who specialize with older adults may be more likely to include family and family therapy as part of their work with adults and older families.


Seven: And finally, they’ll have a better sense of the community resources available to older adults and their families and how to use them.


If you’re concerned about mental health needs of your older loved ones or your older clients that you connect them with professionals who specialize with older adults, or at least have some training in working with older adults.


If you’d like training in working with older adults, we have continuing education programs for licensed mental health professionals that will elevate your practice.


And if you’re looking for a mental health provider, check out our national provider directory of professionals who specialize with older adults. All right, check out resources down below.


Are you a professional looking to enhance your work with older adults? Check out our Online Continuing Education courses.  Older adult or family member looking for mental health providers? Visit our directory of mental health professionals and find a provider today. 


Regina Koepp, PsyD, ABPP

Dr. Regina Koepp is a board certified clinical psychologist, clinical geropsychologist, and founder and director of the Center for Mental Health & Aging: the “go to” place online for mental health and aging. She is currently the lead medical psychologist at University of Vermont Medical Center. Dr. Koepp is a sought after speaker on the topics of mental health and aging, caregiving, ageism, resilience, sexual health and aging, intimacy in the context of life altering Illness, and dementia and sexual expression. Learn more about Dr. Regina Koepp here.