Therapeutic Strategies

Individual Therapy

Therapeutic StrategiesThe first several sessions of therapy are dedicated to creating a trusting and safe relationship between the therapist and the client. Together, they look to identify and set plans to reach personal, social and professional goals. Individual therapy sessions can utilize several modalities depending on the concerns facing the client. The length of time a person may be involved in individual therapy depends on a number of factors which become apparent as the treatment unfolds.

Couples Therapy

Couple therapy differs from individual therapy as we focus on concerns regarding the relationship. Some of the more common difficulties arise through poor communication habits, intimacy conflicts, changes in medical financial or family health, or decisions to separate and restart a life without each other.

Crisis Intervention

There are times in people’s lives that a situation arises and one feel’s unable to cope with immediate emotions or find a way to work out a solution to the problem without help. The major goals of crisis intervention are to assure safety, stabilize the person or situation and to assist in the beginning of a plan to change the situation. This may involve other people, like family members or close friends and professional help. Crisis intervention is a temporary aide and a bridge to more lasting forms of assistance.

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

for the past 28 years, I have worked with first responders (Fire service, EMT’s, Police, and Sheriff Department personnel) following their work in traumatic situations involving severe injury and death. Critical incident stress management programs are widely used throughout the United States as a primary means to assist first responders in processing their thoughts and reactions to these terrible events. There are a number of programs and techniques used to work with primary responders and their families to assist with adjustment and stability.

Development & Training Programs

In-service continuing education is the primary source of new learning for staff in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers, and local and state organizations serving the Geropsychology population. As a staff psychologist and consultant to programs dedicated to serving this population, Dr. Gelber has been able to provide up-to-date training and expertise to assure the highest quality and consistency of care.


3 thoughts on “Therapeutic Strategies

  1. Kathleen Harrison

    Thank you Dr. Gelber for your reply. My sister did have a physiologist that deals with dementia patients coming to the house but their schedules don’t coincide. I’m urging her to get him to come back. She really responded to him. Thank you again.

  2. Kathleen Harrison

    Hello Dr. Gelber,
    I have been to a few of your talks and have purchased your book “Alzheimer’s Shadow” for myself and one for my sister. Our mother has Alzheimer’s dementia. This past January an unexpected death of our brother forced us to take her out of her home. My sister moved her from Pennsylvania to Florida. We did not tell her she was not going to go back to her home and in the evenings she gets very agitated about going home. My sister also took the cat because it is Mom’s companion and felt she needed at least that in her new environment. I know you have said that it is not wise to move them from one place to another but we had very little choice and Mom is not adjusting to living with my sister and husband. My sister has found a Memory Care facility near her home that will open in September. Anyway, in the last two months Mom has started to use the little box at night as her bathroom for bowel movement. The litter box and the cat are kept in her room because the cat has not adjusted well to my sisters other cats. This is such a strange behavior and has us baffled. There is a potty chair in her room which she does use sometimes at night to pee and does make several trips to the bathroom during the night. During the day she has no issues with using the bathroom and when asked about using the litter box she says it’s the cat. I am going to Florida to visit and am thinking that maybe I should sleep in her room and try to change that behavior. Do you have any thoughts on why she is doing this? It all sounds so strange to us. Maybe this is just the disease or is she acting out about not being in her home. She thinks her home is the farm that she grew up on and was sold in the 1940’s. I fear for her going to memory care and I feel this will just push her further over the edge. Any insight would be appreciated.

    • Kathleen:
      Thanks for the inquiry. I am sorry to hear about your unexpected loss and I am sure the entire family grieves, including your mom. I cannot give direct advice to your situation with having a limited perspective. It does sound like there are several transitions going on for your mom with the complexity of changes with the move, the loss of her son and the progression of the disease. It is not uncommon to have people with growing dementia become inappropriate with their hygiene issues. Sometimes the behavior, as in mom’s case, is very direct and disturbing.

      With the information you have provided, I strongly suggest you have your sister and mom connect with a professional knowledgeable in dementia to evaluate and establish a relationship with them. Considering the plan is to have her remain in the area, it is better to establish new professional alliances prior to admission to another facility. If your mom is having increased anxiety or other secondary symptoms, having a knowledgeable professional involved would help relieve everyone’s added stress.

      I hope you and your family can move through this transition more peacefully.

      Dr. Gelber

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