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In Depression With Older Adults, Dr. Peter A. Lichtenberg demonstrates his multimodal approach to treating this common presenting problem in older clients. There are many possible contributing factors to depression in this population, as issues of grief, loss, and physical decline are unavoidable aspects of later life.
In this session, Dr. Lichtenberg works with a 78-year-old woman whose husband is ill, but is controlling. Because many of her friends have died or live elsewhere, the client has no support network to help with the stressors she faces. Dr. Lichtenberg works with her to help to define her problems and focus on what she can change.
Dr. Lichtenberg views depression in late life as a syndrome with many possible contributing psychological (cognitive–behavioral and social support perspectives and loss/attachment theory), medical (neurotransmitter and vascular depression or neurodegeneration), and physical (functional decline, disability and activity limitation theory). He assesses these domains in his therapy and focuses on what strengths the client has as well as on problem areas. Dr. Lichtenberg's interventions are typically multimodal including psychological, social, physical, and medical interventions.
Typical clients with whom to use this approach include elders referred or self-referred for stress, depression, loneliness, adjustment to disability and loss, or difficult adjustments to developmental transitions such as retirement and relocation.
About the Therapist
Peter A. Lichtenberg, PhD, ABPP, is the director of The Institute of Gerontology and a professor of psychology, psychiatry, and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He received his bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis, and his master's and doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University. After his internship he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in geriatric neuropsychology at the University of Virginia Medical School where he also became a faculty member.
He is an active researcher and clinician, and was awarded the Garrett Early Career Award for his contributions to geriatric rehabilitation. He is a fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America. In 1999, Dr. Lichtenberg was awarded the outstanding achievement award from the national network Psychologists in Long Term Care. In 2001, Dr. Lichtenberg was awarded both the Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award and the Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award from Wayne State University. In 2002, he was awarded the Alzheimer's Advocate Award by the Michigan State Council for Alzheimer's Disease.
Dr. Lichtenberg has been awarded over $10,000,000 in grant funding and has over 125 publications including 5 books, the latest being Handbook of Assessment in Clinical Gerontology and Interdisciplinary Handbook of Dementia: Psychological, Neurological and Psychiatric Perspectives.
Lichtenberg, P. A. (1998). Mental health practice in geriatric healthcare settings. New York: Haworth Press.
Lichtenberg, P. A., Kimbarow, M. L., Wall, J. R., Roth, R. E., & MacNeill, S. E. (1998). Depression in geriatric medical and nursing home patients: A treatment manual. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.
Lichtenberg, P. A. (Ed.). (1999). Handbook of assessment in clinical gerontology. New York: Wiley Press.a