Flexible and Personalized CBT for Depression in Middle-Aged and Older Adults

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Flexible and Personalized CBT for Depression in Middle-Aged and Older Adults

April 27 @ 1:00 pm 4:00 pm CDT

One of the greatest challenges for clinicians working with culturally diverse middle-aged and older adults is the wide variability of life circumstances that accompany depressive symptoms.  This webinar presents culturally responsive assessment and intervention practices that target the contexts and drivers/antecedents of depression in middle-aged and older adults. Clinicians learn to plan and implement research-supported strategies that fit the contexts of depression in their clients (i.e., changes in brain health, chronic pain, sleep problems, anxiety, experiences of loss, family caregiving issues, among others). Personalized application of change strategies are highlighted, including attention to personal strengths and positive emotional experiences, self-compassion, cognitive reappraisal, behavioral activation, and problem-solving therapy, among others. Case examples are used to support the efforts of practitioners from a range of disciplines (e.g., social work, counseling, marriage and family therapy, nursing, clinical psychology) in busy clinical practices. 


1:00-1:50 Later-Life Depression: Features, Assessment Strategies, Treatment Planning, Culturally Responsive Modifications

1:50-2:00 Break

2:00-2:50 Core Interventions: Emotional Literacy, Cultivation of Positive Emotions, Behavioral Activation, Problem-Solving, Self-Compassion, Cognitive Reappraisal

2:50—3:00 Break

3:00-4:00 Personalized Modules: Brain Health, Pain Management, Sleep Hygiene, Caregiving Tools, Supporting Healthy Grieving, Relationships Skills


At the end of this session, the learner will be able to:

  1. Identify essential domains to include when developing a case conceptualization of later life depression
  2. Discuss rationale and technique for at least three culturally responsive modifications for CBT with aging clients
  3. Describe three methods to enhance within-session focus and effective pacing


Ann Steffen, PhD is a clinical geropsychologist and professor in the UM-St. Louis Department of Psychological Sciences. Her academic career includes teaching, research, clinical services, and supervision that all focus on mental health and aging.  She is dual board certified in behavioral and cognitive psychology, and in geropsychology and is the author of Treating Later-Life Depression (second edition) workbook and clinician guide with Oxford University Press.