Treatment of PTSD in Older Adults: Do Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions Remain Viable?


The literature examining trauma among older adults is growing, but little is known about the efficacy of empirically supported interventions for PTSD within this population. Clinical writing on this topic often implies that cognitive-behavioral treatments may be ineffective or inappropriate for older adults with PTSD given physical and/or cognitive vulnerabilities. Review of the limited research in this area, however, provides little support for the claim that cognitive-behavioral interventions are ineffective in treating PTSD among the elderly. In an effort to explicate specific issues related to treatment process and outcome among older survivors of trauma, a case series is presented outlining the treatment of three older adults within the context of a structured, cognitive-behavioral group intervention. Observations from this case series suggest that cognitive-behavioral interventions continue to be useful in treating PTSD with this population. Specific treatment issues unique to older adults are explored and recommendations for future research are discussed. © 2011.

Publication Title

Cognitive and Behavioral Practice