CLOSE TO DEATH.
The Reflections and Experiences of a Group Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist working with Elderly People in an Institution.
In this paper I would like to present the experience I have had as a psychotherapist, working with a group of elderly patients in an assisted living facility. I have illustrated this experience with four clinical vignettes and the pictures that often come to my mind when working with these patients. I have attempted to explain how death anxiety, along with a massive and overwhelming sense of loss, predominates in this group. I have also endeavoured to show the predominating defences that are used, and what I think should be the role and function of therapists who work with the elderly in an institutional environment.