Treating the aged in rural communities: the application of cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression



Many rural communities are experiencing an increase in their older adult population. Older adults who live in rural areas typically have fewer resources and poorer mental and physical health status than do their urban counterparts. Depression is the most prevalent mental health problem among older adults, and 80% of the cases are treatable. Unfortunately, for many rural elders, depressive disorders are widely under-recognized and often untreated or undertreated. Psychotherapy is illustrated with the case of a 65-year-old rural married man whose presenting complaint was depressive symptoms after a myocardial infarction and loss of ability to work. The case illustrates that respect for rural elderly clients' deeply held beliefs about gender and therapy, coupled with an understanding of their limited resources, can be combined with psychoeducational and therapeutic interventions to offer new options. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol: In Session 66:1–11, 2010.