Assimilation of problematic voices within psychotherapeutic work with people with dementia

Cheston, R. (2013) Assimilation of problematic voices within psychotherapeutic work with people with dementia. Neuro-disability and Psychotherapy, 1 (1). Available from:

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This paper presents an outline of how the Assimilation of Problematic Voices model (APV) can be used as a framework to understand change in awareness of people with dementia. APV is a dialogical model of change developed within psychotherapy process research. Within this framework, the concept of dementia can be understood as being psychologically problematic for people affected by the illness in the sense that the existential threat of dementia prevents an easy assimilation into the person’s existing self-concept. Successful assimilation is viewed as the result of a process that involves a series of conversations between a Dominant Voice, typically asserting a continuation of the status quo, and a Problematic Voice or voices which articulates emotionally difficult material. This process of assimilation is illustrated through accounts given by people with dementia about their illness within psychotherapy groups run by the author. Representing the accounts of people with dementia in this way is important as it enables a fine grained analysis of changes in expressed awareness, including those that occur during psychosocial interventions, such as psychotherapy or counselling

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The publisher and the editors of Neuro-disability and Psychotherapy give their full permission for academic purposes only.
Uncontrolled Keywords:assimilation, dementia, awareness, psychotherapy, alzheimer’s disease, identity
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences > Department of Nursing and Midwifery
ID Code:18019
Deposited By: Professor R. Cheston
Deposited On:02 Jan 2013 15:20
Last Modified:15 May 2018 08:41

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