Sharing memories take you on an adventurous journey that helps you relive the moments of past. The idea of sharing memories has now become a therapy to treat concerns such as depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Life review therapy is a way to achieve a sense of peace or empowerment about one’s life. It is often confused by the term reminiscence therapy which is slightly different from it. On one hand, people describe a memory while on the other hand people tell what that memory means to them.
This therapy may not be for everyone but helps a certain group of people to look back into their lives with a different perspective. There is no particular theme for the therapy but it usually revolves around childhood, education, friendship, parenthood, working years etc. You may be asked to bring souvenirs including music, photos, letters, possessions, or even family trees that can help you sketch your story with each minute detail and embellishment.
Life review therapy can be done for various purposes such as therapeutic, educational, and informational. Talking about therapeutic, it is useful for the people to dig deeper into their lives and discover the hidden purpose. Older adults suffering from diseases like Dementia, Alzheimer, depression, anxiety or those diagnosed with a terminal condition and are facing the pain of the loss of loved one can be benefited by this therapy. Secondly, Educational purpose; students these days are asked to talk to their parents and grandparents about their past life and experiences that have taught them various lessons in life for a better understanding. Lastly, informational purpose; sharing memories help to carry forward the family traditions and culture to the coming generations.
Life review therapy is related to ego integrity and despair. Some studies revealed that life review interventions promoted ego integrity and enhanced psychological well-being in older people. These studies showed that life review improved personal meaning, increased life satisfaction, increased self-esteem, and promote adaptation of older people. In addition, studies also revealed that life review interventions prevented despair in older people.
On the contrary, people who have had a miserable past may have ill effects of this therapy as it may bring back all the bad memories associated with one’s life and take them on to a painful trip. There is a platform that has been working for the well-being of older adults by treating them through Life review therapy which they keep conducting on a regular basis individually or in the groups. The advantage of having a group therapy is that you feel light sharing your memories and become strong after listening to other people who might have an entirely different experience. Seniors who would love to share their life experience can do that as well. Because each person has got a story to tell that can empower not only himself but also the person listening to it.