Older people are less likely to seek and receive counselling than those in early adulthood – the reasons for this are complex and include social, structural and practical factors.

Advances in medical knowledge and health services mean we are living longer than our parents and grandparents. But research shows that expectations of later life in the UK remain low. Many of us still associate ageing with loss, low mood and depression.

As we add years to life, we will encounter more life events and changes that can challenge our resilience, confuse and confound us, and we may need help to make sense of them and continue adding life to our years.

This online resource will explore the value of counselling at different stages of later life, consider how practice and services might adapt to appeal more to older people and offer insights into removing barriers that can prevent equality of access to therapy for older people.


This resource will be live streamed on Thursday 8 October between 9.30am - 1.00pm. You will hear from four speakers and will have a chance to have your questions answered at the end of each session and in a panel session at the end of the day.

As this event is being recorded, you will also have access to view this resource until Sunday 8 November in the on-demand service. Therefore, if you are unable to join on the day but want to access it afterwards, book on and you will receive information on how to watch this service once it is available.

View the programme

This short video includes comment form one of the event speakers, Richard Brocklehurst, along with reflections from older clients on how counselling supports healthy ageing.

Aims and learning outcomes

  • The event will raise awareness of structural, cultural and attitudinal barriers to counselling for older people. By the end of the day, practitioners will understand how ageism impedes wellbeing and have gained knowledge and learning from experts in the field that will inform and develop their own practice.
  • Attendees feel that BACP listens to them and that the Association is committed to providing them with high quality CPD
  • Presentations will demonstrate the value of talking therapies to people managing later life transitions and increase engagement with BACP’s work in this area.
  • Participants will be encouraged to access further CPD that informs work with older adults.
  • Members with experience of working with older clients will be encouraged to share their experiences further after the event.

Who is this event relevant to?

Whether you have experience of working with older clients or would like to develop fresh skills and approaches to your work, the event programme offers a range of perspectives, insights and learning from experts that will enable you to identify and remove barriers to therapy for older people and work to enhance healthy ageing and wellbeing irrespective of age.