The autobiographical group: A tool for the reconstruction of past life experience with the aged

L. Botella, G. Feixas

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From a personal construct point of view, writing autobiographical texts becomes a relevant therapeutic ingredient for elderly individuals. If conducted in a context of a group, as Birren proposes; it promotes self-awareness, self-disclosure, and the capacity of generating alternative views of life's experiences. In a group of elderly volunteers from a recreational society of Barcelona (Spain), the guided autobiography method was used to foster the reconstruction of the participant's past life experiences. The degree of reconstruction was assessed through a design that included the administration of a repertory grid at the initial and tenth (last) session. A parallel assessment was applied to a control group of participants with similar demographic characteristics. An adaptation of the method proposed by Feixas for the analysis of autobiographical texts was used to assess the assigned writings of the participants for each session. Results show a significant and gradual change in the construing system of those participants in the autobiographical group. Thus, the distance of the elements self-ideal/self and self-ideal/others significantly decreased in comparison to the control group. It is suggested that the guided autobiography is an adequate therapeutic tool to promote the reconstruction of experience in aged individuals.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)303-319
Nombre de pàgines17
RevistaInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1992
Publicat externament


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