Accessibility Tool
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Older adults

65 years old and above

We welcome referrals from all age groups however, due to the latest research we would be very keen to encourage over 65’s to access our service.

We know they respond particularly well to our treatments with a high chance of recovery and we also know that contrary to commonly held assumptions depression, illness, isolation, loneliness and pain is not something older people have to expect and tolerate.

Depression and anxiety are treatable and full recovery is very possible.

So please complete the self-referral form today.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Why not watch this video on depression in older people – YouTube

By Heather Southback

Assumptions about ageing and mental health

  • It’s normal to feel depressed when you get older
  • To seek help for psychological issues is a sign of weakness
  • Stiff upper lip
  • Older people can’t really recover from anxiety or depression.

However, the new generation of older people may in fact challenge our own assumptions of what ageing is like.

Blondie, for example in 2023 turned 78 and Mick Jagger turned 80; at the time of writing this, both are still touring worldwide to huge audiences and recording.

Hilda Bolger at the grand age of 102 years old, was still working as a psychotherapist (there is a documentary called the  beauty of ageing in which she is featured).

Also, Fauja Singh who was born in India in 1911 and began running marathons aged 89 and continued to race until he was 102.

Daphne self credited as being the world’s oldest working super model who has been modelling since 1949. In 2015 she published her book ‘The Way We Wore: A Life in Fashion’ and she frequently adorns advertising campaigns for designer brands seeking to market to a wider age group and has recently graced the front covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and many other fashion and lifestyle magazines.

By Heather Southback

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by © Chellingsworth, M. and Laidlaw, K. (2016)


In longer term studies of older adults, depression levels are actually lower than in adults of working age (Blazer, 2010) and rather than ageing being a depressing time of life, there is in fact an increase in wellbeing and emotional stability as we age (Carstensen et al. 2011)

Despite the challenges associated with ageing, older people report high levels of life satisfaction (the ageing paradox).

Later life is a time of better emotional stability and a time of growth and personal acceptance.

Contrary to popular belief, older people prefer ‘talking treatments’ and hold positive attitudes towards health seeking; viewing therapy as an option that is effective and as acceptable as a medication but with far fewer unwanted side-effects.

If given a choice, older people prefer to receive psychotherapeutic treatments rather than psychotropic medication (Gum et al. 2006; MacKenzie et al. 2008)

Older people do as well, if not better, when offered a course of CBT than working age adults, achieving better outcomes consistently in 2014/15 (HSCIC, 2015).

Older people may even be better candidates for therapy as they are less likely to drop-out early compared to younger people as has been seen within the Talking Therapies programme.

by © Chellingsworth, M. and Laidlaw, K. (2016)

by Chris

Finally, a review from one of our patients.

65 years and finally getting somewhere!

Over many years I have seen various medical professionals and non-professionals, read loads of self help books and tried different antidepressants. I retired thinking that getting away from a difficult job would cure me but, after a period of improvement and coming off the tablets, the depression and anxiety crept back.

I returned to my doctor and she agreed to restart the tablets but also suggested self referral to the NHS Talking Therapies programme. I was accepted and started with one to one CBT followed by team sessions of mindfulness based CBT. The former was excellently tailored to my specific needs by Debbie. I was then, along with a few others, nursed by Julia and Rayn in the application of mindfulness to support our coping mechanisms & recovery.

I really can’t praise the dedication and expertise of these counsellors enough. It’s been exactly what I need to work on improving my mental health.

I finally have a solid framework of material that I can trust & use easily.

Early on in the process I started to worry about how I would cope once it had finished. How could I maintain the enthusiasm & focus? To me, that’s an important aspect for future planning by the Team. They have provided a robust, personalised and successful programme. As a bonus it’s free! Vital, therefore, to facilitate revisits, reviews, updates etc. We can’t lose or waste such a life changing journey.

Heartfelt thanks & warm wishes to all counsellors and support staff.




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