This type of group therapy is contraindicated for patients who are suicidal, paranoid, and extremely aggressive. It is also contraindicated with patients who cannot attend to group process because of severe cognitive impairment, severe hearing loss, language difficulty, or for patients who constantly devalue others in an attempt to boost their own egos.

It is very important for the therapist to embrace the belief that older people can grow and make changes and to completely rid himself or herself of the negative belief, "You cannot teach an old dog new tricks." The therapist also needs to feel comfortable with geriatric patients and if the therapist is quite a bit younger than his or her patients, he or she must be consistently aware of countertransferential issues in which the group members may be turned either into parents or grandparents and not actually seen in reality.


Rush, A.J. (1983). Cognitive therapy of depression. Journal of Psychiatric Clinical

North America, 6(1), 105-127. Thompson, L.W., Gantz, F., & Florsheim, M. (1991). Cognitive-behavioral therapy in affective disorders in the elderly. In W.A. Myers (Ed.). New Techniques in the Psychotherapy of Older Patients (pp. 3-19). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.

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