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Dying as a Rite of Passage

There's a Gap Between How We Hope to Die and How We Really Do

Katy Butler

By Katy Butler - There’s a gap nowadays between how we hope to die, and how we really do. More than three-quarters of Americans hope to die at home like their ancestors, but more than two-thirds die in hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions. It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s a pathway to a peaceful, empowered death, even in an era of high-technology medicine.

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Approaching Alzheimer's Proactively

What Therapists Can Do to Lessen Its Impact

Robert Hill

By Robert Hill - Since our population is aging, memory decline is something older clients are increasingly bringing to therapists. We have to help these clients understand that memory is like any other bodily ability: it shows the signs of natural aging. And while no pill can restore memory to its youthful proficiency, people actually have more control over memory loss than they think.

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A Late-Life Lesson in Love

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Jeanne Folks

By Jeanne Folks - It's difficult to describe my shock as my mother opens the front door and ushers me into the house of my youth. She's aged-shrunken, with poorly dyed blond hair and the familiar rigidity in her hands and body. Her once beautifully straight teeth are crooked, and one tooth is missing. It's been eight years since my last visit.

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The Retiring Rebel

Rethinking the Way We Help Clients Face the Midlife Crisis

Tammy Nelson

By Tammy Nelson - Rather than thinking of midlife as an emotional unraveling, I believe it’s more helpful to reframe this stage of life in our early 50s and 60s as “second adolescence,” a time when we’re old enough to appreciate how short life is, but young enough to find new ways to enjoy it.

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A New Stretch of the River

Learning to Age with New Openness in Our Hearts and Minds

Mary Pipher

By Mary Pipher - As we age, our bodies and relationships change, and the pace of change accelerates. At 70, we’re unlikely to be able to function as we did in our 50s. We require fresh visions and new paradigms for framing our experiences. What worked yesterday will not be sufficient for tomorrow.

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Erv Polster on How Aging Changes Therapy

Learning to Embrace the Flow of Relationship

Erv Polster

By Erv Polster - As each of us grows older, we can try to embrace the full possibilities of aging, even alongside its challenges. In the following interview, Erv Polster, a prime mover of Gestalt Therapy, delves into a little-acknowledged element of older people’s inner lives, shares what aspects of his own aging process have had the biggest impact on his approach to psychotherapy, and reflects on life after ending his practice.

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Joan Klagsbrun on Aging Courageously

...And What Many People Who Struggle with Aging Have in Common

Joan Klagsbrun

By Joan Klagsbrun - As each of us grows older, we can try to embrace the full possibilities of aging, even alongside its challenges. In the following interview, Joan Klagsbrun, a leader in the field of Focusing-oriented therapy, explains what many people who struggle with aging have in common, and shares how a client spurred her own wake-up call about how to approach aging creatively.

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Irvin Yalom on the Possibilities of Aging

An Icon Shares His Thoughts on the Rewards and Challenges of Being an Older Therapist

Irvin Yalom

By Irvin Yalom - As each of us grows older, we can try to embrace the full possibilities of aging, even alongside its challenges. In the following interview, iconic existential psychotherapist Irvin Yalom, now 86, traces how his quality of presence with clients has changed over time.

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The Best Way to Support Older Caregivers

...And the One Question You Probably Didn't Think to Ask

Nancy Kriseman

By Nancy Kriseman - The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.2 million Americans affected by dementia are over the age 65, which makes the vast majority members of what’s called the traditionalist generation. Understanding this generation’s entrenched values and how they can affect their coping and your intervention can facilitate better outcomes.

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Facing a Parent's Decline

Helping Grown Children and Aging Parents Learn to Nurture Each Other

Marian Sandmaier

By Marian Sandmaier - Nearly all therapists will soon be working with substantial numbers of aging families, whether or not they ever consciously choose to. The question at hand, then, is how can this juncture in the family life cycle be transformed from an emphasis on adjusting to loss and disappointments to a focus on growth and possibility?

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