Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This study was designed to explore the experiences of social workers and clinicians who provide counseling to elderly clients and their families as they face late-life transitions. The focus of the study was to reveal more information regarding the validity of Narrative Therapy as a productive means of therapeutic intervention with elders. Nine participants from three different agencies, a Veterans Hospital, an Ecumenical Center and a Nursing Home were interviewed for this study. The interviews took place in San Antonio, Texas and all but one was done in person. The participants included six social workers, one geriatric nurse, one pastoral counselor and one geriatric psychiatrist. They were asked questions about their experiences, how they viewed their role as a counselor, the specific needs of the elderly, joys and challenges and their work with Narrative Therapy. The findings of this study produced powerful insight into the world of clinicians working with elderly clients. The data confirmed that the lack of quality time in several settings and the actual cognitive ability of the clients make it a challenge to do in depth psychotherapy. All participants found that they did use some form of a narrative style in the assessment with their clients and feel it to be helpful in their work of addressing the specific needs of their elderly clients.


Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2008. iv, 43 p. Includes bibliographical references (p. 36-37)