Aging and Life Transition
I’ve worked with older adults for 20 years, including almost a decade designing and managing programs and services, providing training and education to service providers, and providing direct clinical care. My graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley focused in gerontology: the study of old age, the processes of aging, and the strengths and challenges of older people. One thing I know for sure is that people experience aging in vastly different ways. If you've seen one eighty year old, you’ve seen one eighty year old. While ageist myths flatten and demean older peoples’ identities, the reality is that older people, and their experiences of aging, are profoundly diverse.
I have worked with older adults committed to change, self-knowledge, and growth and I have worked with folks who struggle to find motivation and who wonder if life is worth living. I have worked with clients with whip-smart wits, and well-connected communities, and folks with significant memory loss, living with extreme loneliness. Of course all of us humans are complex and multifaceted, but in my experience, older adults are more layered, more aware of the context of their lives, and perhaps for this reason, powerful to work with.
Research shows that older adults have better outcomes in therapy than younger adults. Some suggest this is due to our human tendency to make temporal or time-based goals. If you know you have less time, your time is more valuable, and you are more likely to do what it takes toward your goal. In my practice I've seen clients, from their 60's into the triple digits, make incredible strides toward a vast range of personal goals.
My practice with older adults may include themes like:
- Changing physical bodies and abilities: body image, limitations, illness, and adaptation
- Finding or maintaining connection to others while living through grief and loss
- Finding community in a society geared toward younger people
- Caregiving issues
- Challenges with personal possessions, or “stuff:” what it means and what to do with it
- Issues in aging as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender older adult
- Finding purpose and meaning as we age
I use my experience and expertise as a gerontological social worker and therapist to provide referrals to resources and services available to older adults.
If you can't tell already, I enjoy working with older adults. I feel fortunate to explore together, offer my expertise, and strategize around the questions that await us. I feel honored to listen to those who have lived longer.
Interested in learning more? I'm happy to discuss your goals and answer any questions you have during a free phone call consultation. Click on the button below to leave me a secure voicemail or email.
My Recent Writings on Aging Issues:
- Ageism Isn't Cute
- 2,500 Shades of Grey at ASA
- Openhouse LGBT Cultural Humility Curriculum for Aging Services Providers, publication date: Dec. 2016
Select Continuing Education in Aging & Mental Health
- Aging and Mental Health, National Association of Social Workers
- Psychotherapy With LGBT Older Adults: Using Research to Guide Best Practices, Jill Gover PhD and Daniel Parker, PhD
Beyond Research and Medicine: Working With LGBT 50+ HIV Survivors, Jose Albino, MA, Monte Ephraim, LCSW-C and Daniel Parker, PhD
At-Home Behavioral Health: Decreasing Depression in Seniors and Caregivers With Evidence-Based Models, American Society on Aging
Using the Strengths and Resiliency of LGBTQ Elders of Color to Create Change, American Society on Aging
Clinical Practices to Cultivate and Foster Human Happiness, Resiliency and Post-Traumatic Growth, American Society on Aging