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Geropsychology

Abstract:

Geropsychology is a growing area of practice within professional psychology. Due to the demographic imperative of an aging population, increasing numbers of psychologists will find themselves working with older adults, their families, and related care systems. They will seek to develop increased competence for work with this historically underserved yet rewarding and challenging clinical population. This chapter reviews the knowledge base and skill competencies for professional geropsychology practice, as defined in the Pikes Peak Model for Training in Professional Geropsychology. Foundational competencies (e.g., ethical issues, diversity, relationships) and functional assessment, intervention, and consultation competencies are defined and elaborated as applied to an older adult population. The chapter includes an overview of common late life clinical problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, dementia, alcohol and substance abuse), strategies for evaluation and efficacy