ARTICLE Download: 4| View: 29| Comments: 0 | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0211.v1
Online: 18 October 2019 (08:57:53 CEST)
The purpose of the study was to explore older adults’ views and perceptions of psychotherapy in Cyprus. A total of 25 older adults, aged between 65- 89 participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis identified three main themes: Familiar term/Unfamiliar process; existential crises during this stage; and the issue of stigma. Participants indicated a basic understanding of what psychotherapy entails, but did not associate psychotherapy with serious mental illness. Participants identified a number of existential issues that are potentially major life stressors for an elderly person and referred to the historical stigma that has an impact on their own perceptions about psychotherapy. However, participants seemed to view their ability to overcome psychological difficulties on their own, as a proof of personal strength. Psychologists and other health professionals also need to be mindful of how they describe psychological concepts and treatment as older adults may not understand what they are being told or may be afraid of what treatment involves based on historical context. This study highlights the importance of using strategies that have the potential to empower this population in order to proactively attend to their mental health including community-based education and national mental health campaigns.