Contextual Adult Life Span Theory for Adapting Psychotherapy with Older Adults

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Our aging population is growing in size and diversity. To integrate different views on aging and make explicit the role of culture as a contextual factor, we modified Knight's (Psychotherapy with older adults, 2004) Contextual, Cohort-based, Maturity, Specific Challenge (CCMSC) model of psychotherapy with older adults into the Contextual Adult Lifespan Theory for Adapting Psychotherapy (CALTAP). This article describes various components of the CALTAP, which serves as a meta-theoretical framework in guiding an integrated psychotherapy approach for the aging population. The interaction between environmental factors like cohort differences and socio-cultural contexts and individual factors such as maturation and age-related specific challenges not only shapes the experience and presentation of older adults in clinical settings, but also highlights special considerations in adapting psychotherapy for older adults.

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