af-am-man.200.157.s-1The Penn Memory Center and the University of Pennsylvania’s Section of Geriatric Psychiatry are pleased to host a group for people with Mild Cognitive Impairment or very early stage dementia.

People with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may experience a complicated mix of fear, anxiety, sadness and frustration as they face new challenges with thinking, learning and remembering. The psychotherapeutic group meets for one hour each week, providing a supportive and therapeutic environment for people who have been diagnosed with MCI or very early stage dementia (such as Alzheimer’s disease).

The group is appropriate for people who may be experiencing difficulties in social settings, at work or in other areas of their life as a result of problems with memory, organizing and planning. Group members must have insight into their cognitive difficulties and the ability to recall information from one session to the next. People with memory concerns who do not have a formal diagnosis are encouraged to speak with group facilitators to find out if this group may be appropriate.

Overview of the group

This group is facilitated by a clinical psychologist and other trained mental health providers and will provide a supportive and open environment in which participants can express their thoughts and feelings, as well as share coping strategies with other people who experience similar problems. The group facilitators help participants explore the interactions between thoughts, feelings and behaviors as the underlying structure of the program is guided by principles drawn from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

The focus is also in large part determined by the needs of the group’s members, providing a mix of emotional coping tools to help manage stigma, shame, changes in lifestyle, and communication. Group members may also help each other cope by sharing their experiences with practical tools to help compensate for changes in memory or executive function (organization and planning).

Details/Enrollment

The group meets Monday afternoons at 3535 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Enrollment is open on an ongoing basis, but the group is capped at 12 participants. There is also a minimum of 5 participants.

Participants are welcome to remain in the group as long as they continue to benefit.

To enroll, please call Melissa Livney, PsyD, at 484-534-8815 or email Melissa.Livney@uphs.upenn.edu. Individuals interested in the group will first have a private session with Dr. Livney.

Cost

This program is considered “group psychotherapy” and is covered by Medicare and many insurance companies. The co-pay for each session will vary based on each individual’s insurance coverage. If our department does not accept your insurance, you will have to pay for each session up front and out of pocket. The fee for group therapy is considerably less than that of individual or family sessions.

Reimbursement is based on “medical necessity” and therefore a diagnosis will be associated with each bill. Feel free to discuss any concerns about this with group facilitator. Our staff can help you submit necessary paperwork for reimbursement.