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When Siblings Become Caregivers

Three Ways to Defuse Confrontation

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - Nothing reveals the fault lines in sibling relationships like the seismic shift caused by an aging parent's sudden decline. Brothers and sisters can quickly become locked in conflict about what's best for Mom and Dad. Here's how to help them forget their old rivalries and cooperate with one another.

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Reframing the "Burden" of Caretaking

Why Accepting Help is Empowering for Those Receiving and Giving

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - For those who've spent their lifetimes taking pride in giving generously to others, suddenly being on the receiving end of care because of illness or age-related infirmity can be tormenting. For many, rejecting help is regarded as a measure of one's courage and determination in battling family crises brought on by old age or disease. Here are some ways of overcoming this common tendency to refuse help.

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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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Creating a Support System for the Caregiver

Confronting an Unprecedented Challenge of Old Age

Terry Hargrave

By Terry Hargrave - In many respects, extended old age represents a vast triumph for modern medical science. Forty or fifty years ago, people who became seriously ill in their sixties and seventies usually didn't live very long. On the other hand, it means that long after most of us have received our AARP card, we'll be caring for our aging parents, on the front line of caregivers for frail, elderly parents.

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A Positive Psychology Approach to Aging Well

Four Lessons for Growing Old with a Positive State of Mind

Robert Hill

By Robert Hill - The question of interest in the 21st century has turned from "How long will I live?" to "If I'm going to live a long time, how can I be happy in the process?" From a practical point of view, it would seem that growing old portends misery, not happiness. However, in spite of the harsh realities of aging, most of us believe that old age is still worthwhile. Here's why.

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The Uninvited Guest

A Master Clinician Shares Her Most Memorable Therapeutic Moment

Hedy Schleifer

By Hedy Schleifer - Many people wonder how therapists manage to do the work they do. Of the thousands of meaningful sessions that take place in a therapist’s office, certain ones stand out. In the following storytelling piece, couples therapist Hedy Schleifer shares a memorable moment from her own work.

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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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How Brain Science Helps Therapists Heal the Distressed Mind

Dan Siegel on How to Regulate Emotional States Through Mindsight

Dan Siegel

Over the last twenty years, I've come to believe that integration is the key mechanism beneath both the absence of illness and the presence of well-being. Integration---the linkage of differentiated elements of a system---illuminates a direct pathway toward health. It's the way we avoid a life of dull, boring rigidity on the one hand, or explosive chaos on the other. The key to this transformation is cultivating the capacity for mindsight.

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Positive Psychology Approaches to Aging Gracefully

How Therapists Can Boost Happiness for Elderly Clients

Robert Hill

More people are living into very old age than ever before. But with a greater life expectancy, the prime question for the growing elderly population has moved from "How long will I live?" to "If I'm going to live a long time, how can I be happy in the process?" The realm of Positive Psychology offers specific actions and habits of mind that we can learn to help the process of aging become a more positive experience for our clients and ourselves. Here are a few ways to construe growing old as meaningful and worthwhile, regardless of the challenges that old age inevitably presents.

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