Necessity and potentiality of psycho-trauma treatment for elderly clients


As a psychological psychotherapist working in my own practice I started a pilot project in a Senior Centre in cologne. I noticed in my practice that a certain group of clients , means over 70 years, do not come very often into psychotherapy. Actual studies show that the need of psychotherapy is quite high but a very little percentage is treated. It still has more or less an emergency status in Germany. Restricted mobility, sensory deficiencies, pain, illness, loneliness etc. can lead to a reactivation of earlier trauma. In cooperation with this senior centre I started to offer psychotrauma therapy in the site of the centre. We were surprised of the interest of using this brief therapy concept. In my work I do a structural life-review with the clients where I can identify trauma incidents or memories. Once the dual attunement frame is set and the atmosphere is secure trauma processing is possible. As I am working in their homes and their known surrounding clients feel grounded. A permanent stimulation with tapping or the bilateral music during the whole session turned to be very helpful. Together with the German Television Company (WDR) I made a documentary on this specific problem. It showed the need of elderly people to talk about their trauma memories especially 2. World war experiences. The feedback of this documentary was very high in Germany. The case of a 80 year old lady was very impressive because she got released within a couple of EMDR sessions. In my presentation I want to show that trauma treatment for elderly people is necessary and also possible. I also would like to motivate other trauma collegues to work with this thankful group of clients and not to be too cautious.






Tomris Grissard

Original Work Citation

Grissard, T. (2014, June). Necessity and potentiality of psycho-trauma treatment for elderly clients. In specialty presentations (Markus Heinimaa, Chair). Presentation at the 15th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland



“Necessity and potentiality of psycho-trauma treatment for elderly clients,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed June 24, 2021,

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