This workshop is concerned with The Adult Aging Stage of the developmental lifespan, which includes three phases: 55-74, the Young-Old, 75-84, the Old-Old, and 85-On, the Oldest Old (Bernice Neugarten, 1967). It is not enough to say I am working with adults, as this stage is as unique as adolescence and requires specific training. Examples include relationship changes, defining retirement, psychological problems as side effects to medication, and chronic or terminal illness. Family therapists will be challenged with helping families navigate the complicated transitions of the three phases, keeping in mind Erikson’s (1950) individual psychosocial crises of developmental change, as well as Evelyn Duvall’s (1974) eight family stages. The definition of the Adult Aging Stage and its tasks are based on Dr. Masselam’s clinical experience and current research findings. Most importantly, this stage requires a different stance for therapists facilitating a democratic therapy setting.
Therapists need to understand that a symptom is related to an illness or depression, and social isolation is not merely a simple fact of aging. It is necessary to understand the transitions from one phase to the other, and to help all family members in each stage adjust simultaneously. Treatment goals will be those the family develops, be it with an individual, couples, or family therapist. A therapist defining the goals independently risks splitting the family. More than ever the therapeutic approach will require a therapist’s personal knowledge of his or her own biases (countertransference) related to aging in order to be effective. Ability to collaborate with other professions also is required. The integration of current therapeutic approaches, such as BG Knight (CCMCS) found in “Working with the Older Adult” (2004) and the systemic principles found in Minuchin’s Structural Approach (1974) provide the basis for a needed expansive approach.
For more information about the subject of this seminar, please read Dr. Masselam's article "Defining and Living in the Aging Adult Stage," which you can find here.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this program participants will be able to:
Describe changes caused by increased longevity and their effect on individuals and families.
Define the Aging Adult Stage of development, its phases and developmental tasks.
Discuss strategy for defining the presenting clinical problem and developing goals with the family.
About the Speaker:
Venus S. Masselam Ph.D., M.S., CGP, LMFT, Psychologist, Family Therapist, Supervisor, and Consultant, has a private practice in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Masselam is co-chair of the Center for Study of Race, Ethnicity and Culture (CSREC), as well as a faculty member for the clinical certificate in Aging Program at the Washington School of Psychiatry (WSP). She has taught group work as an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.
For more than 30 years, Dr. Masselam has provided supervision for seasoned therapists as well as for graduate students at George Washington, American, and James Madison Universities. Currently, she leads groups for professionals wanting to work with clients at the Aging Adult Stage.
Human development has always been Dr. Masselam’s interest. She began providing psychotherapy to severely acting-out adolescents more than forty years ago. This led to a lifelong interest in the family system’s impact on the individual. Dr. Masselam has broadened her skills, helping adults and couples dealing with attachment issues in transitional stages. Currently, she is focusing on the “Longevity Stage,” (age 55 plus) of the Aging Adult Stage, which requires navigation of transition without clear societal guidelines and developmental tasks.
Who should attend? Mental health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, pastoral counselors) and persons with an interest in psychodynamic and psychoanalytic thinking and application. The instructional level of this activity is advanced.
CE Credits:CE credits are granted to participants with documented attendance and completed evaluation forms. Attendance is monitored. Credit will not be granted to registrants who arrive late, or depart early. Credit will be granted to participants who submit a completed evaluation form at the end of the session. It is the responsibility of participants to comply with these requirements. Upon completion of this program, participants will be given 3 CE credits. This program is being co-sponsored by The Contemporary Freudian Society (CFS). The Contemporary Freudian Society is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Contemporary Freudian Society maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Baltimore Society for Psychoanalytic Studies is recognized by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners as a sponsor of continuing education activities.
Registration: To register, please visit our website, www.BSPSmaryland.org, and fill out our online registration form. Make checks payable to “BSPS” and mail to: BSPS, PO Box 20910, Baltimore, MD 21209-0910.
Refund Policy: Program fees are non-refundable.
Important disclosure information: None of the planners and presenters of this CE program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. While clinical material is heavily disguised, any participant that can identify the patient should immediately recuse him/herself.