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Investigate the use of Reminiscence Therapy for both elderly clients, and those suffering brain injury, and link to the theory of the development of memory.

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Introduction

Applying Psychology Investigate the use of Reminiscence Therapy for both elderly clients, and those suffering brain injury, and link to the theory of the development of memory. Evaluate how this theoretical knowledge increases the effectiveness of therapy and interventions in care. Reminiscence Therapy is a technique that is used to encourage clients to use their memory; they are supported to remember things about their life and to share them with the group or therapist if they feel comfortable. It is worth noting that Reminiscence Therapy is not always done in groups, it can be individual work carried out one on one basis with the client. There are a few reasons as to why a therapist might reminisce with a client on a one to one basis and these may be that the client is so depressed they may not want to socialise with other people or they have a low self-esteem so can not deal with a room full of strangers. They may need extra attention because they are finding things difficult or it could just be a particularly sensitive subject. The normal way in which Reminiscence Therapy is carried out is that the therapist would meet with the clients at a set time and date each week, so that they feel they have continuity and there is time to build up trust and confidence in the group or therapist. The therapist would bring in things that could be used as retrieval cues such as memorabilia, wartime things, recipes, clothes, etc. ...read more.

Middle

Finding out about their backgrounds will also help in finding retrieval cues to use, so if a client was a 1930's model you could try to find clothes from that time and bring then in to show to the client. People often wonder what makes us remember or forget things, different theorist say different things about the way we store information so therefore have different ideas about why we forget. The general view is that of the two types of memory - long and short-term, what is different is the way information is transferred from one to another. According to the theory of Atkinson and Shiffrin; there are two types of memory - short and long term. They both have different roles in helping us to store and retrieve information. Short term memory plays the larger role in conscious thought and is used to try and solve a problem, if the information is important or rehearsed often enough then it gets transferred into the long term memory where information can be kept for years. The long-term memory often helps with information we need for short-term use, like hearing and recognising a fire bell would probably be stored long term but only used by the short-term memory when needed quickly. Long-term memory holds all our information, without it life would be like a blank slate, existing of immediate impressions. We would be unable to hold conversations or play games, as the skills for these are stored here. ...read more.

Conclusion

Without knowing about the theory that we have better long-term memories then we would treat somebody with Dementia very differently. Care staff may keep repeating the day and time to them, wrongly believing this would help when giving a bit of your attention is all that's needed. Staff would be spending so much time repeating things instead of holding a conversation and finding out more about the client. Talking to and spending time with an elderly person is very important, the reason being that they might be feeling depressed or lonely and somebody taking the time to talk to them can make them feel valued. This increases their self-esteem and makes them feel like living in the present time instead of the past, therefore making in easier for staff to care for them. By talking about the past it will make the clients feel good about themselves instead of feeling stupid for not remembering something as simple as the day. So knowing about the theories makes the day easier for the staff, the clients feel happier and have a greater self-worth So to sum it up, although there is not any concrete research to back up the theories, most of what is known points towards Reminiscence Therapy being a good thing. In my opinion there are many benefits for taking part in or leading a Reminiscence therapy group and it appears to have little or no negative effects. It is important to remember that just taking half an hour out of your day to focus completely on the clients, if done correctly, can benefit everyone. ...read more.

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