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Coping With Loss and Grief - Treatment Session With an Older Woman Teaching Module

This teaching video demonstrates ongoing social work treatment with an older single woman presenting with low-level diffuse anxiety, frequent crying, and lack of motivation. The symptoms addressed are: unresolved grief, existential depression, and early life issues with self-esteem and narcissism that are now exacerbated by issues of aging and loneliness. The video illustrates how grief work, ego-supportive work and behavioral interventions can all coexist in work with an older adult with supportive, empathic communication as well as intentional use of silence. It also demonstrates the use of direct didactic education about how events can shape feelings and assumptions and taking stepwise actions to increase social connection and pleasurable activities address earlier losses and disappointments. The video shows how older adults sometimes react to a current loss with severe symptoms related to earlier, unresolved, or unrecognized losses and disappointments. Teaching points, evaluation tools, discussion questions, and resources are offered. A script of the video is provided.

Advanced Competencies Addressed in This Module

  1. How to engage, maintain rapport, and sustain an effective working relationship with older adults.
  2. How to intervene to assist individuals dealing with complex issues regarding bereavement and loss.
  3. Application of concepts, theories, and research of biological, psychological, and social aging to social work assessment and intervention.

More On This

Loss & Grief - Treatment session with an Older Woman - Interview Script
Loss & Grief - Treatment session with an Older Woman - Instructor's Guide

Loss & Grief - Treatment Session with an Older Woman- Video

This video demonstrates part of a session in ongoing social work treatment (after about 10 or so earlier weekly sessions) with a 73-year-old retired single woman. Viola Madsen originally presented with low-level diffuse anxiety and difficulty “getting over” the death of her dog. She reported crying frequently, not being motivated to bathe or get dressed every day. During the sessions with her social worker, she was able to talk about her many personal losses and disappointments that led her to the current day, as well as to her feeling that her life was basically over and she was not worth much, despite the fact that she had sufficient income to live comfortably and was in fairly good health. She has established a very positive relationship with the social worker and usually doesn’t have difficulty using her sessions appropriately.

Duration: 541 seconds