Topic - Aging

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We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.

Hard Lessons in Setting Limits

From Dutiful Daughter to Self-Aware Caregiver

Katy Butler

By Katy Butler - Five years ago, my 79-year-old father had a stroke, and my family entered a new life stage. Every family wound I thought I'd outgrown and every trusted defense that had seemed to work emerged again, carrying with it danger, and an opportunity for redemption.

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Intimate Enemies

A Stepson Reconsiders a Long-Held Resentment

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - A lot of blended families don’t really blend: the new “relatives” at first try to join together, but then they quietly distance themselves, however awkwardly, as differences and conflicts emerge, even as they try to pretend otherwise. My stepfather, Steve, and I made no such pretense—we were enemies from the start.

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What Really Gets Handed Down in a Family?

A Personal Essay from our Family Matters Department

Roberta Israeloff

By Roberta Israeloff - Our son was 30, the new girlfriend just a few years younger. They continued to date. She was funny and smart. They moved in together. “Is there some kind of family ring?” my son finally asked. Soon after, my mother-in-law took a turn for the worse. She wouldn’t get out of bed in the rehab center, and she’d lie instead curled up like a fetus. When we’d call, all she’d want to talk about were her things: her dishes and cups, jewelry, and the gifts and mementos she’d accrued over her lifetime. “Every single one of them has a story,” she’d say.

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Breaking the Isolation of Caretaking

Three Ways to Help Clients Cope with the Challenges of Alzheimer’s

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. It’s important never to underestimate how validating and normalizing the caretaker’s experience can foster resilience and inspire hope.

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Promoting Positive Caregiving

Helping Clients Escape Negative Cycles in Caring for Aging Parents

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs and Julia Mayer - The bedraggled, beleaguered, and bereft family caregivers who come to us for therapy have a common litany of complaints. They feel overburdened by caregiving tasks, unacknowledged by those they’re caring for, and unsupported by family members who take their herculean efforts for granted. Here's how to help them approach the caregiving experience more positively.

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Rediscovering the Therapeutic Sanctuary of the Wilderness

How a Wilderness Pilgrimage Helped One Man Reclaim Mindfulness and Connection

Dick Anderson

Standing in my bedroom one evening more than a dozen years ago, I made an announcement to my wife: "I've got to go to the wilderness. Alone. It's been something I've been carrying in the back of my mind most of my life, and if I don't do it now, while I'm still able, I'll never do it." So a dozen years ago, I began making an annual two- to three-week pilgrimage into the wilderness to reacquaint myself with the rivers, mountains, and lands that we share with fellow creatures, and---in this vast expanse of silence---to do something I don't normally do in my busy life: just stop and listen.

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Helping Therapy Clients Cope with the Reality of Death

Clinical Wisdom to Combat Fear, Anxiety, and Grief at the End of Life

Barry Jacobs

For 17 years, managing responses to death has become part of my work, whether originally my intention or not. I’ve aspired to helping families hang tough through medical crisis, but now spend some of my time hanging crepe. I’ve now accepted the variety of ways people react to their dying. All of these ways of facing death are utterly ordinary and human. Throughout it all, I've learned that as difficult and awkward as confronting death can be, this work also gives me a richer sense of my client, the cast of characters in their world, and the drama of their life.

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Therapy Lessons from Men's Relationship with Sports

Using Athletics to Tap into Male Emotions, Relationships, and Aggression

Barry Jacobs

I understand and relate to the passion that many men have for sports. At the same time, I'm aware of a counternarrative held by many of my psychotherapist colleagues: sports breeds competition, which causes decreased empathy, which foments injustice. Still, there's so much more here: rich drama, with which to understand the strivings, insecurities, and identities of many of our male clients. Sports can teach us about trust, relationships, teamwork, and our power to regulate feelings.

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Putting SPECT Brain-Imaging Under the Microscope

Why is Daniel Amen's Method for Treating Psychiatric Disorders So Controversial?

Mary Sykes Wylie

Psychiatrist Daniel Amen argues that a brain-imaging method called SPECT is an invaluable tool for understanding and treating psychiatric disorders. SPECT has been used in a huge number of research studies on almost every conceivable psychiatric and neurological condition, as well as some nonpsychiatric studies. So what is it about Amen and his mission to get therapists to use brain imaging, and SPECT in particular, as an aid to diagnosis and treatment that makes him such a lightning rod?

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Addressing Race Therapeutically in Black Relationships

Testimonials from the 2015 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Symposium Student Scholars

Today I attended a workshop called “Working with Black Couples: Overcoming Myths and Stereotypes,” led by Dr. Christiana Awosan. Being an African American female, this talk was very emotional and I was able to identify with some of the stereotypes that have been placed on black single heterosexual women. A big problem in black relationships, Christiana said, is not that black men and women don’t want to stay together. It’s that they don’t know how to sustain their relationship. Race is a huge contextual factor in why black couples have a hard time working through their issues. But nobody seems to be talking about this or giving voice to their oppressive experiences within society.

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