Life review therapy as an intervention to manage depression and enhance life satisfaction in individuals with right hemisphere cerebral vascular accidents.
Life review therapy using autobiographical retrieval practice for older adults with depressive symptomatology.
The assignment was based on Butler's (1963) pioneering work in life review therapy
, Erickson's (1963) psychosocial theory of human development over the lifespan, and Haight and Haight's (2007) structured review process.
This "life review" as coined by Butler (1963), is the central tenet of the common therapeutic intervention of life review therapy
. Many gerontological practitioners use this method of treatment to facilitate introspection into one's life and facilitate positive reminiscence of one's life work.
Life review therapy. Because life review is "normal" in later life and necessary for the achievement of ego integrity, life review has emerged as the treatment of choice in virtually all settings in which older adults congregate for voluntary reasons or through institutional or group-living placements (Schwiebert & Myers, 1994).
Few studies have evaluated the long-term effectiveness of life review therapy. One notable exception is a study by Haight, Michel, and Hendrix (2000), who followed 52 participants, ages 70 to 88, over a 3-year period to evaluate a structured life review process as a holistic nursing intervention.
Probably efficacious interventions included cognitive, behavioral, and brief psychodynamic therapies for depression, life review therapy for older persons with depression and older persons living in institutional settings, cognitive-behavioral interventions for sleep disorders, psychoeducational support groups for caregivers, and cognitive retraining for older persons with dementia.
Serrano et al., (2004) offered life review therapy to 20 older adults (aged 65-93) with clinically significant depressive symptoms and no dementia; participants were randomly assigned to treatment or to no treatment.
Based on theory and research about the effects of depression on autobiographical memory, we conducted a randomized trial to test the effects of life review therapy in older adults with major depression.
The remaining 37 participants were randomly assigned to life review therapy (n= 18) or to the placebo control group (n= 19).
During the third to sixth weeks, the life review therapy was carried out with the experimental group, and the placebo control group were seen by a psychologist for one hour each week for supportive therapy during which they talked about their present concerns.
The life review therapy consisted of autobiographical retrieval practice that entailed focusing on a particular life period each week--childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and summary.