Transformational Reminiscence: Life Story Work

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"John A. Kunz and Florence Gray Soltys have made a major contribution to the field by providing a framework for individuals and groups engaged in this enriching and important work. — Robert N. Butler, MD

Using the life story matrix as a framework, the book covers the complexities of reminiscence and life review, techniques and advice for telling personal stories, and differentiating between therapeutic and destructive stories. It teaches the reader to use the full spectrum of life story approaches, ameliorate social and psychological problems, and intervene if they occur. Practical applications, anecdotes, exercises clarify the experiential side of the content. This book is for anyone using a life story approach with older adults or teaching others in doing so.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826115409
  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/23/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.58 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

John A. Kunz, BSW, MS, has worked as a psychotherapist, author, and educator in the field of mental health since 1978. He began his practice with an emphasis on family systems and was the first practitioner to conduct family assessments within the medical community of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI in the early 1980s. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Kunz worked with clients of all ages doing inpatient and outpatient individual, group, milieu, marital, and family therapy. From the mid-1980s until today he has increasingly focused on work in the area of gerontology and geriatrics. He has conducted hundreds of presentations, written numerous articles and book chapters, and has written and produced over a dozen educational videos. He is most known for his work in the field of reminiscence and life review. He founded the International Institute for Reminiscence and Life Review in 1995. He continues to direct this institute, its biennial conferences and many other health and human issues programs at the Center for Continuing Education/Extension at the University of Wisconsin - Superior.

Florence Gray Soltys, MSW, LCSW, is a clinical associate professor in the School of Social Work and the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has provided clinical work in the area of hospice and interdisciplinary assessment of frail elders since 1984. Her work in rural areas included the use of telemedicine and doing reminiscence with nursing home residents living in rural North Carolina. Her work in the community has enhanced care options by planning and executing needed programs for elders. She currently serves on the North Carolina Aging Study Commission and chairs numerous committees and boards.

Some of the recognition she has received includes: "The Distinguished Teaching Award for Post Baccalaureate Instruction for the University of North Carolina," "Trustee of the Year for the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging of the U.S.," "Social Worker of the Year in N.C.," "The Ned Brooks Award for Community Service," "Hospice Service Award," and others.

She is the current President of the International Institute for Reminiscence and Life Review.

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Table of Contents


• The Life Story Matrix, John A. Kunz

Section One: Reminiscence to Life Review
• Older Adult Development, John A. Kunz
• Reminiscence and Older Adults, Florence Gray Soltys and John A. Kunz
• The Life Review: Historical Approach, Barbara K. Haight

Section Two: Private to Public
• Reminiscence Group Work, Florence Gray Soltys and John A. Kunz,
• Life Stories as Heirlooms: The Personal History Industry, Anita Hecht and Mary O'Brien Tyrrell
• When Words Are Not Enough: Art-Based Methods of Reminiscence, Renya Larson and Susan Perlstein

Section Three: Content versus Process
• Cultural Aspects of Reminiscence and Life Review, Daniel W.L. Lai
• Mental Health Applications of Reminiscence and Life Review, John A. Kunz
• Traumatic Memories and Life Review: Individual and Group Approaches, Marvin Westwood and Holly B. McLean
• Reminiscence, Grief, Loss and End of Life, Florence Gray Soltys


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