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(London) Inhabiting Life in Later Years: How to Work Clinically with Ageing and Dementia

Over successive generations our populations have become older. This increased longevity throws up a particular set of psychological challenges around the loss of physical and mental functioning. It exposes us ever more starkly to the realities of age-related illnesses and conditions such as dementia. This full-day workshop will develop an understanding of the psychological issues that can come to dominate in later life. Challenges may be thrown up to intimate couple relationships as long-established projective systems are turned on their heads, with the roles of carer and cared for often inverted. This is particularly true in relationships in which one partner is suffering from dementia, and for which therapeutic containment takes on a particular meaning. The workshop will consider psychoanalytic models of the mind, as well as Andrew Balfour’s pioneering work at Tavistock Relationships in developing a therapeutic intervention for couples where one partner has dementia. It is suitable for psychotherapists working with individual clients and couples as well as for trainees.