Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is a way to help people with a broad variety of mental illnesses and emotional difficulties. Psychotherapy can help eliminate or control troubling symptoms so a person can function better and can increase well-being and healing. During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors.  

Goals for therapy may be specific (change in behavior, improved relations with friends or family), or more general (less anxiety, better self-esteem). But one needs to understand that the therapy will be different and customized according to the age and gender. The therapy that will be used for a child will be different from what therapy will be used for an adult or a senior citizen.



While men and women experience many of the same symptoms of depression –  no motivation, despondent mood,  appetite changes, loss of pleasure,  difficulty sleeping, sleeping too much, difficulty staying focused and feelings of guilt, research suggests there are differences in how the symptoms of depression are expressed by men and women. Two noticeable differences between men and women and how they experience depression is in sleep and appetite. Women typically will sleep more and overeat. The opposite is true of men, men typically experience insomnia and have a loss of appetite. While genetics and hormone fluctuations account for the differences a major contributing factor has to do with gender roles.


 differences in how men and women experience symptoms of depression may be due to gender roles in our society. Men in general have been taught to not show their emotions and to be strong and stoic. While it is more acceptable in our society for women to express their emotions, typically women visibly express their emotions.  While both men and women experience irritability men are more apt to express their irritability through anger. 

In our society it is acceptable for a male to have outward expressions of anger. On the other hand society has frowned on the idea that a woman be aggressive or show anger. Women typically internalize their irritability. In fact, men experience anger three times more than women when they are depressed. 

The way men and women have been socialized into their gender role also affects how they are most likely to react to being depressed.  Men who have been taught to not ask for or seek assistance but rather to go it alone. The contrary is true of women. Women will typically reach out for help.


As patients get older, cognitive impairment with comorbid depression can make treatment challenging. Limited research suggests CBT applied in a modified format that involves caregivers and uses problem solving and behavioral strategies can significantly reduce depression in patients. 

A number of practical issues may limit the effectiveness of CBT for a specific patient, including patient be­liefs about the usefulness of therapy compared with medication, financial considerations, active health issues, sensory impairment, mobility, transpor­tation issues, and cognitive changes. Consideration should be given to these factors when recommending or delivering CBT to older adults.

The majority of CBT programs developed specifically for older adults make adjustments to the standard CBT manuals. For example, type size may be increased to account for visual impairment, the number of sessions may be increased to provide for added summary and review, or explicit learning and memory aids may be incorporated.