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  • Treating Older Adults with Depression and Anxiety: A Compassionate and Effective Approach

Treating Older Adults with Depression and Anxiety: A Compassionate and Effective Approach

  • Friday, May 31, 2019
  • 11:15 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Michael's at Shoreline, 2960 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043

Registration is closed

Mid-Region Luncheon

Presented by Edna Wallace, LMFT


There is a lot of talk of baby boomers and how older adults will be the largest sector of the population. However, the older adult population remains for a large part still fairly invisible and misunderstood. They struggle with complex issues such as diminishing physical and mental capacities and a plethora of losses or changes—in independence (driving capability), partner, family members, friends, identity and purpose, and sometimes their homes.

Depression and anxiety often go unnoticed, with the older adult (or a close family member) not recognizing the dropping of activities or over-sleeping as symptoms of any disorder. There is still more resistance and internalized stigma toward mental health and accompanying treatment in older adults as opposed to their younger counterparts.

To that end, El Camino Hospital in Mountain View offers OATS (Older Adult Transitions Services), an outpatient clinic covered by Medicare that treats depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder specifically in older adults. Patients can refer themselves or have a family member or doctor refer them. This clinic helps the depressed person manifest a life worth living—with purpose and connection. OATS offers two weekly groups—a support group and a skills group—along with monthly case management and psychiatrist visits.

At this presentation, Edna will use OATS case studies to illustrate the complex interplay of the clinical, existential, medical, and connection aspects of working with this population. Edna’s presentation will be partly experiential, giving the audience a chance to try some of the exercises and techniques that have worked well with older adults.

Learning Objectives

  • Name three commonly held mistaken beliefs about the older adult population
  • Identify four core needs and sensitivities of this population 
  • Name two resources in the community that treat older adults suffering from anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.

About the Presenter

Edna Wallace has been providing psychotherapy for over 15 years. She has worked with the older adult community for the majority of that time, since 2007, when she first started working at OATS. For the last ten years, she has also been involved in the local (and national) group therapy communities; given talks at various senior centers in the community; led a Caregivers Support Group for many years; and is part of Geri-Team—a consortium of geriatric providers in the South Bay. Edna also has a small private practice in Los Altos and co-leads a weekly interpersonal process group with Dr. Benjamin Page. Edna can be reached at www.ednawallace.com.

This is a 1.5 CEU presentation.

TARGET AUDIENCE:  LCSW, LMFT, LPCC

SCV-CAMFT is a CAMFT-approved Continuing Education Provider (CEPA 052466). This course meets the qualifications of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LPCCs, LEPs and/or LCSWs. SCV-CAMFT maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.

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