Alcohol misuse is becoming an increasingly significant issue for people aged 55 and over, and providing effective counselling services to this growing client group requires a unique and specialised approach. This practical guide explores the factors that differentiate older drinkers, and introduces an innovative person-centred model that will help counsellors and other healthcare professionals to give older people with alcohol problems the help and support they need.
Older people with alcohol problems often have complex personal histories, and are particularly vulnerable to long-term dependency, social isolation and self-medication. This book explores the influences, patterns and triggers that affect the development and progression of alcohol dependency in this age group, and provides a detailed description of a theoretical model and therapeutic process that has proved successful in practice. Informative case studies demonstrate the approach in action and guidance is also given for working with clients with dementia or mental health problems.
This book will prove an invaluable resource for counsellors and other healthcare professionals who encounter alcohol problems in their clinical practice, including clinical psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and community psychiatric nurses.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. Preface. Foreword by Dr. Martin Blanchard, Consultant and Senior Lecturer in Old Age Psychiatry, Royal Free & University College Medical School. Part I: A Guide to Understanding the Client Group and an Outline of the Theoretical Model. 1. What Distinguishes this Client Group? 2. Where to Begin? Alcohol and Identity - am I an 'alcoholic'? 3. Reasons for Drinking - Alcohol and Paradox. 4. A Non-directive Approach - Abstinence or Moderation? Part II: The Therapeutic Process - a Linear Description. 5. First Session/Assessment. 6. Working with Types and Patterns of Drinking. 7. Addressing the Problem - Alcohol and the Hierarchy of Needs. 8. Detoxification (Detox). 9. After the Drinking Ceases/Working with Relapse. 10. Endings. 11. Self Care and the Therapist. Part III: Working with Complex Needs/Dual Diagnosis. 12. Dementia and Alcohol. 13. Depression and Alcohol. 14. Bipolar Disorder and Alcohol. Index.
'This is the only book which addresses both the philosophy and practice of counselling older people with alcohol problems. It is based upon the authors' extensive experience of working with older people, and draws upon extensive case studies drawn from the experience of working in a specialist service for older people who have developed alcohol problems. The book is therefore based on a real understanding of the needs of this particular client group, how their alcohol problems have developed, and how they might be addressed. In overcoming alcohol dependency, older people invariably regain the ability to live more fulfilling and creative lives, and, as this book assists counsellors to take them on that journey, it is an invaluable tool for the caring profession, alcohol agencies and other helping bodies.' -- Baroness Dianne Hayter of Kentish Town, Former Director of Alcohol Concern
'Mike Fox and Lesley Wilson have created an invaluable practical guide, highlighting specific issues for working with older people with alcohol problems. The art of counselling takes many forms: this thoughtful and readable book will inspire and inform people involved in this field, from the briefest encounters to the deepest transformative processes. The detailed case stories throughout the book offer a rare and rich insight into the effectiveness of counselling and the beneficial impact for all involved. Practitioners will recognise and reflect on the accurate portrayals of the context for their work, and people new to the field will gain access to a wealth of information and ideas for practice.' -- Wendy Bryant, Deputy Director of Centre for Citizen Participation