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Call for papers: Conference on Integrating Genetics and the Social Sciences, Oct 21-22, 2016, CU-Boulder

PRB training program in policy communication for pre-docs. Application deadline, 2.28.2016

Call for proposals: PSID small grants for research on life course impacts on later life wellbeing

PSC News, fall 2015 now available

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Constructing Couples' Stories: Narrative Practice Insights from a Dyadic Dementia Intervention

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Scherrer, Kristin S., Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, and Beth Spencer. 2014. "Constructing Couples' Stories: Narrative Practice Insights from a Dyadic Dementia Intervention." Clinical Social Work Journal, 42(1): 90-100.

Memory loss and dementia can be devastating for both caregivers and care recipients. Narrative therapeutic approaches offer promise, as well as challenges, for social interventions with couples where one partner has dementia. The Couples Life Story Approach is a recently-developed method by which practitioners work with such couples to help them narrate the story of their life together. This narrative approach is augmented by mementoes (e.g., photos, cards) that are collected by the couple during the intervention. Significant memories are elicited from both partners and developed into a Life Story Book. Drawing on data from this clinical research intervention with 20 older couples, we ask: What are some of the challenges of conducting narrative-based therapeutic interventions with older couples with memory loss? Clinical themes were identified utilizing a multiple case study approach during weekly team meetings. Six of the most prominent themes are presented here. Specifically, how to: (1) construct a narrative from disparate stories, (2) tell a mutual story, (3) tell the story of a couple that has been in a shorter relationship, (4) incorporate others in the story, (5) include difficult life moments, and, (6) end the story. Within each theme, we utilize case examples to illuminate relevant issues and describe strategies that were developed to resolve these clinical challenges. Implications for practitioners and clinical researchers who are engaged in dyadic interventions are discussed.

DOI:10.1007/s10615-013-0440-7 (Full Text)

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