Aging & Life Cycle

ESTSS Special Interest Group ‚ÄúAging & Life Cycle‚ÄĚ.

Action is needed to make progress in our understanding of treating trauma-related disorders in later life and in the inclusion of older populations into international treatment guidelines concerning PTSD. In order to achieve these goals, we think that greater collaboration between clinicians and researchers internationally is needed. The ESTSS supports the idea of creating a platform in which clinicians and researchers from all over Europe (and also other parts of the world) get to know each other, exchange ideas, collaborate, and share knowledge about ageing and the life cycle. The first activity of the ESTSS Special Interest Group (SIG) Aging & Life Cycle will be a meeting at the ESTSS conference of 2023 in Belfast.

What do we know about posttraumatic recovery in later life in terms of mood, subjective mental distress and resilience?

Recently, new evidence from intervention research on Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) and Present Centered Therapy (PCT) in older adults with PTSD (Lely et al., 2019) were published. Treatment results from NET show that posttraumatic recovery in older adults extends beyond PTSD symptoms and includes depression symptoms and perceived mental distress. Resilience is not burdened by either intervention. These conclusions offer relevant insights for clinical practice.

Jeannette C. G. Lely, F. Jackie June Ter Heide, Mirjam Moerbeek, Jeroen W. Knipscheer & Rolf J. Kleber (2022) Psychopathology and resilience in older adults with posttraumatic stress disorder: a randomized controlled trial comparing narrative exposure therapy and present-centred therapy, European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 13:1, 2022277, DOI: 10.1080/20008198.2021.2022277

If you are interested, you can subscribe to the e-mail list of the ESTSS SIG Aging & Life Cycle by filling out the form here.


For more information about traumatic grief, please visit the ESTSS Factsheet SIG Aging & Life Cycle.

New: December 2022

Do older adults suffering from clinically significant post-traumatic stress symptoms fit into the existing disorder-specific classification systems? More here.

Would you like to give feedback, share local developments in the field of trauma treatment in later life, or participate in the SIG Aging & Life Cycle? If so, you may contact the ESTSS secretariat ( or Jeannette Lely,

New: March 2023

The latest publication by Ellen Gielkens and colleagues

New: June 2023

This time I draw your attention to the latest publications by Simon Forstmeier (University of Siegen, Germany) and his research team from Germany, Israel and Switzerland. More here.

New: December 2023 

At the end of this year, there is a surprising amount to report from the field of elderly people and psychotrauma. More here.

New: March 2024

This time, a qualitative case study is presented, describing a drama-therapy group for older adults at an adult daycare center in Israel. It explores the therapeutic processes in the group in terms of drama therapy and positive aging theory. More here.