The individual may benefit psychologically from a feeling of increased self-esteem and control. Staff must clearly establish a modality in which to utilize reminiscence; goals must be set.

A life review is a phenomenon widely reported as occurring during near-death experiences, in which a person rapidly sees much or the totality of their life history. It is often referred to by people having experienced this phenomenon as having their life “flash before their eyes”. Life review therapy involves adults referring to their past to achieve a sense of peace or empowerment about their lives. While life review therapy isn’t for everyone, there are certain groups of people it may benefit. This type of therapy can help put life in perspective and even reveal important memories about friends and loved ones. Therapists center life review therapy around life themes or by looking back on certain time periods. These include childhood, parenthood, becoming a grandparent, or working years. Teachers often ask their students to conduct life reviews with older adults or loved ones. Students may wish to record, write, or videotape these sessions for sharing purposes in the future. There can be benefits for families when their loved one participates in life review therapy. The family may learn things they never knew before. Saving these memories through video, audio, or writing can be a treasured piece of family history. Therapists also use life review therapy to treat depression in older adults. And a doctor may use life review therapy to accompany other medical treatments, such as medications to reduce anxiety or depression. Life review therapy can promote improved self-esteem. People may not realize the significance of their accomplishments—from raising children to being the first person in their family to earn a college degree. Reminiscence in skilled hands may be a useful adjunct when caring for older individuals. The individual may benefit psychologically from a feeling of increased self-esteem and control. Staff must clearly establish a modality in which to utilize reminiscence; goals must be set. Problems that may result from uncovering certain memories must be carefully dealt with and may even require the assistance of a skilled psychotherapist. Additional research is necessary to improve our understanding of this potentially useful international tool.

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A life review is a phenomenon widely reported as occurring during near-death experiences, in which a person rapidly sees much or the totality of their life history. It is often referred to by people having experienced this phenomenon as having their life “flash before their eyes”. Life review therapy involves adults referring to their past to achieve a sense of peace or empowerment about their lives. While life review therapy isn’t for everyone, there are certain groups of people it may benefit. This type of therapy can help put life in perspective and even reveal important memories about friends and loved ones. Therapists center life review therapy around life themes or by looking back on certain time periods. These include childhood, parenthood, becoming a grandparent, or working years. Teachers often ask their students to conduct life reviews with older adults or loved ones. Students may wish to record, write, or videotape these sessions for sharing purposes in the future. There can be benefits for families when their loved one participates in life review therapy. The family may learn things they never knew before. Saving these memories through video, audio, or writing can be a treasured piece of family history. Therapists also use life review therapy to treat depression in older adults. And a doctor may use life review therapy to accompany other medical treatments, such as medications to reduce anxiety or depression. Life review therapy can promote improved self-esteem. People may not realize the significance of their accomplishments—from raising children to being the first person in their family to earn a college degree. Reminiscence in skilled hands may be a useful adjunct when caring for older individuals. The individual may benefit psychologically from a feeling of increased self-esteem and control. Staff must clearly establish a modality in which to utilize reminiscence; goals must be set. Problems that may result from uncovering certain memories must be carefully dealt with and may even require the assistance of a skilled psychotherapist. Additional research is necessary to improve our understanding of this potentially useful international tool.

 

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