Therapeutic Approaches among Residents with Mental Disorders in Long Term Care

There is a growing trend of older adults coming into Long Term Care Homes with traditional psychiatric illnesses. The approach to care for these residents is different and very specialized compared to residents with dementias and related disorders.

When staff use the wrong approach, it negatively affects the development of a resident-staff relationship. Countertransference is the phenomena where care providers lose the objectivity and begin to project their own biases and personal feelings onto the resident. Care providers then begin to personalize the behavior of the resident and professional boundaries become blurred which inevitably lead to conflict.

The solution is for each care provider to develop awareness through education and self-reflection as well as learn skills to develop a therapeutic relationship. The therapeutic relationship is built on trust, empathy, shared goals and is critical for helping the resident achieve their individual level of recovery.

Learning objectives:

In this presentation participants will gain the following:

  1. Understanding of negative care dynamics which are precipitated by stigma against persons with mental illness and the problems of transference and countertransference.
  2. In-House Case study analysis to develop and demonstrate therapeutic interventions.
  3. Promoting staff mental-wellness.

The session is suitable for all levels of staff, from all departments.