Therapists for Elders
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Therapists for Elders
I am looking for recommendations for individual
counseling/psychotherapy for my 80 year old mother. She has
been dealing with depression for the last several years, and
now that my father has had a stroke it is clear she needs
more help than I feel qualified to give. Does anyone know of
someone who specializes in counseling for the elderly, who
she might feel comfortable with? Appreciate any names or
resources where I might start my search.
There is a very experienced counselor in Albany: Allan
Grill, MFT. He is a colleague of mine.
He works with seniors and with their adult children. His
number is 510.232.1630.
I would highly recommend Dr. Melinda Ginne, a psychologist with a geriatric
specialty, in Oakland - (510) 717-2012, www.drmelindaginne.com. She is very
knowledgeable about elderly psychological issues and is a great resource.
My elderly mother-in-law saw Peter Opperman (925) 937-9707 for several years.
He's very patient and kind. He was helpful to us, as well, in
dealing with her dementia and other difficulties. He has a lot
of experience with the elderly, is based in Walnut Creek but also has
an office in Montclair.
My mom, who is in her mid-eighties, was recently diagnosed
with mild dementia or Altzheimers. She's had an MRI and is
working with a Neurologist. She has become very sad about
the diagnosis, worried, and depressed. It might be a
normal reaction, but I am worried about the depression and
of course don't want her to be hurting. I'm thinking some
talk therapy might help. Does anyone have a counselor they
could recommend who would be good with this sort of issue?
Family Caregiver Alliance offers recommendations for Elder
Issues Counselor. It is a non-profit based in SF but
serves surrounding counties.- www.caregiver.org.
I'm sorry to hear your mother has been diagnosed with early stage
Alzheimer's, but rest assured, her reaction of feeling depressed is quite
normal and appropriate. To be told you will lose your memory, at some point
not know those close to you, and not be able to care for yourself can be very
devastating and send one right into depression. I've been a geriatric SW for
several years and think having your mother see a therapist could be a good
idea - if she is open to it. It could really help her process all the emotions
and feelings that are swirling around in her and may help her feel have some
control over her future. In addition, I think you should contact the
Alzheimer's Assoc. to find early stage Alz. groups for your mother and
caregiver support groups for yourself and maybe other family members. I
don't know where your mother lives, but some local resources for eldercare
1) San Francisco - Institute on Aging (IOA): they are an umbrella organiz.
that have many different programs for older adults
2) Oakland / Berk. - Center for Elders Independence (CEI) - the IOA of the
3) Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) - helps w/support & respite of the
As for therapists, I would recommend Carol Nabori, LCSW w/Elder Care
Consultants. She is in Oakland (near Summit Hospital) and has a very gentle,
sweet approach. I don't know how much she charges or what insurance she
takes, but just a thought. Good luck and kudos to you for reaching out for
support early on.......
Roberta Tracy is director of program for seniors in
Oakland and contact for family support- 601-1074. She will
have referrals for you as will Alta Bates Psychiatry 204-
4405 and Family Caregiver Alliance -1-415-434-3388.
My mom has asked for a referral to therapy. She is in her 60s and ready to deal
with the following issues: aging parents, continued grief for first husband who
died at age 43 leaving her (at that time a stay at home mom) with kids to raise and
pretty much no money. Ten years later (at 53) she had a stroke. She recovered
well but now must wear a foot brace and has limited mobility. It's been hard.
Over the ensuring 10 years, she gained weight and I think this has caused
additional epression. Mom remarried in 2000. He's a nice guy but he's a bit dopey
and, the kicker: he is obese. She's worried about him but also, I think, disgusted
by his lack of physical activity and his secret eating. He wants to retire soon
and she is worried that she will lose her mind with him at home doing basically
nothing but watch movies and eat.
This is a big, very complex job and will require the right person. Somebody who
can show compassion for my mom but, when the time is right, constructively help
her realize how letting go of her judgments of herself and others is the best gift
she can give to herself.
She's a Kaiser member but, since last I checked, Kaiser only approves 20 sessions a
year and I think she'll need to go more regularly than that thus she's willing to
pay out of pocket. But Kaiser would be great economically. Thank you in advance
for your ideas and suggestions. anon
I recommend Dr. Laurie Campbell in Walnut Creek. She is wise and patient and has
a great sense of humor which can be exceedingly helpful in dealing with a painful
past. She has 30 years of experience (much of it in the field of body
like this could help your mom) and you can feel it as she helps you. I agree,
should not get a Kaiser therapist and limit herself to a set number of sessions
therapist who is likely to be biased towards drug therapy. Mental health is an
where it is really worth it to get someone fabulous.
Good for your mom for taking this on! Therapy certainly has changed my life.
free to email with questions.
Dr. Laurie Campbell
2910 Camino Diablo, Suite 200
Walnut Creek, 94596
I think Yvonne Mansell would be perfect for your mom. She
specializes in grief, family relationships and parenting. She
has helped me through several deaths including my fathers, and
now dealing with my aging mother. She has also helped me dealing
with my own disabilities and my own aging.
She works from a very compassionate and nonjudgemental heart
while firm, professional and always at the right time is able to
lighten up our work with humor.
Her phone is (510) 528-9551, email is firstname.lastname@example.org
and web-site is www.yvonnemansell.com
Best of luck to your mom
Suzanne Pregerson is a mature and experienced couples counselor.
She is a professional colleague whose work I respect.
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