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

Luis Botella, Guillem Feixas

Research output: Book chapterChapterpeer-review


From a personal construct point of view, writing autobiographical texts becomes a relevant therapeutic ingredient for elderly individuals._1_If conducted in a context of a group, as Birren proposes [1, 2]; 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 142assess the assigned writings of the participants for each session [3]. 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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Meaning of Reminiscence and Life Review
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781351852616
ISBN (Print)0895031701, 9780415785334
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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