chapter  9
6 Pages

Epilogue

The intent in writing this book was primarily to encourage psychotherpists to accept older patients for psychotherapy of all types, without regarding age alone as an impediment. When elderly people realize that they will be accepted for psychotherapy, it is to be hoped that more of them will seek help for their psychological distresses. While there are encourageing signs in our culture at large and in our medical culture that the aged are not as rejected as they once were, as a group they have not yet been made welcome in many areas of society. It is true that more positions are open to the aged and that age alone (the number of years the person has lived) cannot be used legally to bar a person from applying for or maintaining a position, but the acceptance, admiration, or cherishing of the aged as a particular cohort of people is not yet in evidence. The aged have not been awarded a place in society that offers the acceptance and/or nurturance that people in other developmental phases of the life cycle have received. Adolescents, for example, have been acknowledged throughout the West as a defined group, even though this is a developmental stage as delineated by society,

whereas the very existence of old age as a developmental phase in humankind has never been accepted.