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Reminiscence and Life Story Work


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Table of Contents

About the Author. Acknowledgements. 1. The Transforming Nature of Reminiscence. 2. Growing Throughout the Life Cycle - A Challenge for All Ages. 3. What is Reminiscence Work? 4. Why Encourage Reminiscence Work? 5. How to Begin Reminiscence Work - The Planning Phase. 6. Reminiscence work with Groups - The Beginning, Middle and Ending Phases. 7. Reminiscence and Life Review Work with Individuals and Couples. 8. Reminiscence and Oral History in Community Development. 9. Reminiscence with People from Minority Ethnic Groups. 10. Intergenerational Reminiscence Work. 11. Reminiscence with People with Dementia and Their Carers. 12. Reminiscence with People who are Depressed. 13. Reminiscence with People with Hearing, Sight and Speech Disabilities. 14. Reminiscence with People with Learning Disabilities. 15. Reminiscence with Terminally Ill and Bereaved People. 16. Staff Development, Training, Quality, Evaluation and Research Issues. References. Appendix - Recording Forms. Index.

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Develop the attitude, knowledge, understanding, and skills needed to use reminiscence with people of all ages

About the Author

Faith Gibson OBE is Emeritus Professor of Social Work at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. She trained as a social worker and teacher in the Universities of Sydney, Queensland and Chicago, and has had wide experience as a social work practitioner, teacher and researcher. Faith is President of the Northern Ireland Reminiscence Network, and has been awarded a Dementia Care Award from the University of Sterling, a Millennium Medal from the British Geriatrics Society and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers.


This handbook is extremely full, informing and inspiring with detailed and helpful ideas to give reminiscence work depth and seriousness. It is aimed at a variety of professionals and volunteers, to support people of all ages, including family, friends and other staff... I have come away from reading this book having much deeper respect for reminiscence work, and wishing I had this book to hand all those years ago. -- Dramatherapy
Now updated and in its fourth edition, this is the standard and comprehensive volume on reminiscence by the leading authority on the subject. It is, perhaps, more suited to the specialist reminiscence worker (paid or unpaid). Nevertheless reminiscence plays such an important part in all sorts of care work that the manager or someone leading on integrating the use of memory and life-stories in the whole work of a care home would find this book very helpful. A feature of the new edition is the inclusion of reminiscence for all ages, even children. -- Caring Times

This book would prove to be an invaluable tool to anyone involved in reminiscence work, from paid carers or family members to trained professionals... There is a natural flow to the chapters, making it easy to follow, and each chapter takes you through specific learning outcomes, key points and application exercises along with well-referenced further reading topics.I found there was a strong focus on the benefits of reminiscence work, looking at different client groups and group dynamics and working with couples and clients from different cultural backgrounds. One of the key issues for me was the need to pre-plan sessions, not to carry them out ad hoc, and to vector into the plan any expected outcomes; however, if the opportunity does arise then an unprompted spontaneous session must be seized "as the moment may not come again". The chapters are very diverse, covering reminiscence work with many client groups including people who are depressed, those with learning disabilities and people with sensory impairments. One of the areas covered that I found particularly interesting was carrying out reminiscence work with people who are coming to the end of their life and those recently bereaved, and how this helps to celebrate their life and also helps to deal with the loss and grief process. Finally the instructions relating to staff training and the forms provided to document sessions will prove invaluable to anyone with supervisory responsibility for staff teams currently or wanting to engage in any form of reminiscence work.

-- Community Care

This book provides information on all aspects of reminiscence work... for practitioners involved with individuals, groups and diverse communities... In this, the fourth edition of the book, emphasis is being made on working with people who are depressed, who have learning difficulties and with people in palliative care and facing the end of their life. The book is designed as a handbook and the reader is guided through each chapter which has its own learning outcomes, a summary of key points and application exercises... This is a well-structured and accessible book and one I would confidently recommend to practitioners in social work and other human service areas... She wisely promotes recognition
of human development and the way in which we all grow throughout the life cycle when doing reminiscence work, and she constantly stresses the place of respect and hope in reminiscence work

-- Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work
This may prove a very useful resource for those family members or professionals working alongside or in partnership with loved ones or service users who are experiencing memory loos or memory recall problems... This book is both a useful handbook and a reference tool - I can see that it will have many applications in a variety of settings. It is sensitively and well written,describing "memory as the invisible history of the self". i found it to be a very honest book, admitting that on occasion some people do not want to remember. -- Carolyn Taylor-Score, CAFCASS Enhances Practitioner * Professional Social Work *

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