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CBT for Older People

CBT for Older People
An Introduction

January 2015 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Going beyond simple procedural modifications, this is the first book to address how the application of gerontology to CBT practice can augment CBT’s effectiveness and appropriateness with older people. Taking you step-by-step through the CBT process and supported by clinical case examples, therapeutic dialogue, points for reflection and hints and tips, the book examines:

- basic theoretical models in CBT and how to relate them to work with older people

- main behavioural interventions and their practical application

- social context and relevant theories of aging

- implications of assessment, diagnosis and treatment

- issues of anxiety, worry and depression, and more specialist applications of CBT for chronic illnesses

- latest developments, thinking and empirical evidence.

This is an invaluable companion for any clinical psychology, counselling, CBT/IAPT, and social care trainee or professional new to working with older people, especially those who are keen to understand how the application of CBT may be different.

Professor Ken Laidlaw is Head of the Department of Clinical Psychology, University of East Anglia.

Preparing to use CBT with Older People
Introduction to CBT
Practical information for Psychotherapists working with Older People
CBT for Late Life Depression
CBT for Late Life Anxiety
The application of CBT with Older People
Structure and Content of CBT with Older People
The Therapeutic Relationship in CBT with Older People
Cognitive and Behavioural Interventions
Age Appropriate CBT: Case-conceptualization with Older People
Specialist applications of CBT with Older People
Augmented Age Appropriate CBT: Enhancing Wisdom, Resilience and Self-acceptance
Chronicity and Comorbidity
CBT for People with Dementia and their Carers

I found the style of writing easy to read and the author clearly engages with the reader in a meaningful way. The frequent use of case studies makes application of theory to real life situations much easier for the reader and the summaries and learning logs/reflection sections at the end of chapters are really useful. 

This is a great book for anyone with an interest in exploring the benefits, practices and challenges of use of CBT with the older person

Traci Whitfield
Senior Lecturer, University of Chester


The eleven chapters cover a range of relevant and useful topics, from basic to complex presentations, including clients with mild to moderate dementia. It integrates theory with practice, and includes a number of helpful case studies.

Ian James Andrew
Lecturer, Newcastle University

This book gives an excellent exposition of using cognitive behavior therapy with older people. It is accessible and encourages active engagement with the material. All the cases are highly illustrative and give a good idea of the problems people ask for help with.  I would highly recommend this book to any learner, teacher or practitioner of CBT in any mental health profession.

Ann Wills
NHS Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust

An up to date work by Professor Ken Laidlaw that reflects his large clinical experience and provides valuable assessment and practical tools for professionals working with older adults. I would recommend it for practitioners as well as for students. In addition, it is very enjoyable reading.


Prof. Andrés Losada
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain

Without question, this is the definitive guide for using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) effectively with Older People. This book will challenge assumptions, provides effective and practical strategies from gerontology to augment CBT techniques and is written in an accessible and user friendly format by the leading expert for CBT for Older People in the United Kingdom. It is loaded with the most up to date strategies and interventions and is written with authority and passion for the subject. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for all CBT therapists, psychologists and practitioners working in a CBT format with Older People. Prepare to be challenged on your own views of ageing, think critically about what successful ageing means and to feel confident to work skilfully and creatively with this client group. 

Marie Chellingsworth
Programme Director BSc Applied Psychology (Clinical), University of Exeter

This book is a thought-provoking, accessible introduction to CBT for older people.  Adults are living longer and CBT therapists need to understand the late-life journey before they experience it themselves.  This book maps the territory in a highly informative and engaging way.  It offers a high-quality integration of theory, evidence and practice with numerous learning opportunities for trainees and experienced therapists.  The author dispels the myths of late life misery, at the same time illuminating the particular needs of older people struggling with emotional difficulties.  The richness of the case material makes the key points clear, relevant and above all usable.  Cognitive behavioural therapy has to be developmentally-sensitive – this book addresses a growing need in a sophisticated and practical way.


Dr Stephen Barton
Programme Director
Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Newcastle University

A great resource helping to support development of skills in diversity and inclusivity. Considers all the factors of providing support for older people as well as practical skills and adjustments.

Mrs Michelle Brook
Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, De Montfort University
May 23, 2017

This text is accessible and comprehensive. Our trainees undertake clinical placements working with older people and this offers a practical and conceptual guide to the application of CBT in these settings.

Dr Danielle De Boos
Medicine, Nottingham University
November 24, 2015

As part of the introduction to counseling psychology and transitions across the lifespan, students have been recommended to read this book. With the growing older adult population and the importance of counseling psychologists engaging with older adults in mental health services this book has both theoretical and practical applications. It challenges the question of age and relates this to specific issues such as depression, anxiety, neurodegenerative disorders etcetera.

Dr Helen Nicholas
Psychology Department, Worcester University
September 30, 2015

A bit too niche for our course requirements.

Mrs Rebecca Claire Southall
Counselling Training, GB Prohealth Ltd
December 10, 2015

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