The Handbook of Structured Life Review: The Structured Life Review Process

Reminiscence, life review, life story, autobiography, etc., are popular activities undertaken with or by older adults, whether for personal or therapeutic reasons. The act of reminiscing takes many forms, often very freeform, but this book presents a specific, structured approoach that has been extensively researched and found to provide measurable therapeutic benefits.Haight’s Life Review process involves eight one-hour sessions that are organized around Erik Erikson’s eight developmental accomplishments, or life stages: trust (early childhood), autonomy and initiative (childhood), industry (early adolescence), identity (adolescence), intimacy (early adulthood), generativity (older adulthood), and integrity (old age). Some people have not achieved one or more of these goals over the course of their lifetimes and the Life Review process offers an opportunity to rethink experiences in a way that helps them achieve these goals through understanding and acceptance of the past. Although this Life Review process has been used effectively with teenagers and other populations, the target audience for this book is older adults, especially those who have had difficult lives, to help them achieve integrity, which is an acceptance of the life lived rather than despair over it.The book describes in detail the role of the interviewer (Therapeutic Listener) and of the Life Reviewer. A chapter is devoted to each session, describing goals and instructions for the session along with sample dialogue from actual listeners – reviewers that illustrate the types of experiences and responses that may be elicited. Much of the text focuses on methods to be used by Listeners to facilitate the reminiscence process, including communication techniques, counseling techniques, assessment techniques, and even how to arrange the physical space to maximize comfort and minimize distractions. Different types of participants are described and effective methods of interviewing them are offered, always w

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