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SUMMER “SAFETY FOR KIDS” SERIES (2013)

SUMMER SAFETY SERIES #1 of 8
Empowering Children to Feel Safer in a Sometimes Scary World

Since July 20, 2012, our nation has been exposed to five tragedies, all taking or threatening the life of at least one child. In Aurora, Newtown, Boston, Cleveland, and Oklahoma, manmade or natural violent events have taken the lives of young people.  Below are ways to talk to children and help them feel safe in their immediate lives even when the bigger world can be scary and unpredictable.

  1. Find out what children already know about the tragedies. Older kids will probably have more developed memories and opinions about these events.
  2. Gently probe to see if they worry about bad things happening, especially when trusted adults are not around. Older children are more likely to articulate concerns; a young child may talk about being afraid that a monster will come to school, or bring a drawing home of their biggest fear.
  3. Validate in age appropriate ways that bad things sometimes happen to innocent people, even kids. Stress that this is not because the victim was bad or deserved it in some way; rather, things sometimes happen for reasons that we do not fully understand.
  4. Validate that when people are hurt for any reason, it can feel scary to others who hear about it.
  5. Remind them most children stay safe in school, at home, in stores, etc. The media reports a tragedy – because it is unusual. Demonstrate how their lives have been safe in school, at sports, at home.
  6. Point out that even when something very bad happens in a community, good people respond and help. Talk about the Red Cross, EMTs, fire personnel, etc., who are ready to help.
  7. Focus on something kids can do to feel empowered. Baking cookies for local fireman, collecting pennies for the Red Cross, saying a special prayer injured kids – allow young people to feel they have impact.
  • The key is neither to sugar-coat the dangers of life nor to feed the beast of fear.
  • Emphasize community and individual resilience; seek balance with the relative rarity of events like those of the past year.

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SUMMER SAFETY SERIES #2 of 8
Empowering Children to Prevent Abduction

*  About 200,000 children are abducted by family members every year, often by a non-custodial parent.
*  Another 58,000 kids are abducted by non-family members who usually intend to sexually abuse the child.
*  About 70% of abductors are known to their victims.
*  About 75% of abducted children are female.

Despite these terrible numbers and terrible deeds, only a minority of young people – about 115 – are killed, ransomed or kept by their abductors yearly.  The rest are eventually found and returned.

The FBI points out that most parents talk to their kids about not talking to strangers.  Rarely, though, do parents speak to their kids about staying safe with people they know.

The FBI recommends that families choose a codeword known only by immediate family.  Teach children even caregivers and relatives must know the codeword or the child should not leave with them.  If the adult does not know it, the young person should run away, calling loudly, “This is not my parent.  Call the police!”  Demonstrate at home, at a park, shopping center, or after-school activity what to do if Aunt Betty, a teacher or a stranger told them that you were in an accident and they had come to take your child home.  Younger kids need more practice.

  • Teach children lures used by predators, i.e. “My puppy jumped out of my car -can you help me?”
  • For non-custodial parent:  “Mom said I could take you for pizza!”
  • Teach children about internet safety (to be covered later this summer)
  • Ensure that kids know their name, address, phone number and how to dial 911.
  • Teach your child that they can talk to you about anyone that person makes them uncomfortable, even a relative or friend. Teach them to trust their gut, often a life-saving practice.

What Parents Can Do to Guard Against or Respond To an Abduction

  • Take new pictures of your child every six months and keep them handy.
  • Have fingerprints, foot prints, and mouth swabs (for DNA sample) in a safe place
  • Talk to your kids about internet safety.  (to be covered in July)
  • Make sure custody documents are handy and in order.
  • Do not have your child’s name visible on clothing.
  • Carefully check the references of nannies, babysitters or au pairs.
  • Insist on meeting the parents of your children’s friends if they visit friends’ home or seek a ride.

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 SUMMER SAFETY SERIES #3 of 8
HOME ALONE:  Safety When Kids Are Home Alone

It’s a great milestone when a child can stay home alone. 

When is it okay?  Maturity, confidence, and capability are more important guidelines

  • Does your child usually follow rules?
  • Is child a good problem solver?
  • How would child handle an emergency?
  • Does child want to stay home alone sometimes?
  • Does child know how to call 911?
  • Does child know their address, phone number, relevant cell numbers?

The setting counts too:  Are neighbors usually available when your child will be alone?

Start slow:  Begin by leaving child alone for short periods and work up to longer periods if they do well, eventually including night hours.

Set the rules:  Go over rules each time you leave.  Try some role-playing.

  • Younger children to stay indoors; older children should lock the doors leaving the house.
  • Younger children should not have friends over when alone.
  • Establish a list of acceptable guests for older children.
  • Keep all doors and windows locked.
  • Do not answer the door unless person is on the guest list or if they know the codeword. (see Article #2).
  • Child should not reveal to any phone caller that they are home alone.
  • Have an emergency plan in case of fire or sudden illness or accident.
  • Practice the plan.Set age appropriate rules for using kitchen appliances, grills, knives, etc.

Preparations:

  • Leave note or text regarding where you’ll be and how to get in contact.
  • Have a back up contact if you cannot be reached.
  • Prepare list of important numbers; cell numbers, 911, poison hotline, other trusted adults
  • Establish location of a First-Aid kit

Review the experience: 

  • Practice solving any problems that came up.
  • Check how they feel about staying home alone.

Staying home alone is another step towards independence and freedom for both parents and kids.  It can be a confidence builder for the child and makes life a little easier to mom and dad.  Following these suggestions can help staying home alone be a success for the whole family.

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SUMMER SAFETY SERIES #4 of 8:
Social Media Challenges: Teaching Youth to be Responsible Users

Today’s children are growing up in a new world of social media with unprecedented dangers.  The news stories can be shocking:
– Online predators lure youth to run away and sexually assault them
– Teens are tormented by cyber-bullying, leading to increased risk of depression, anxiety and suicide
– Extreme blog communities encourage teen suicide or other dangerous behaviors
– Increased internet access to dangerous drugs or cocktails

Since the proliferation of cell phone use among tweens on up, childhood has forever changed.  Instead of communicating with peers within more limited time frames – verbally or in person – youth have increased access to information and to each other.  Cell phones often creep into bedrooms, keeping a child from fully disconnecting from their social network and resting their minds and bodies.  Further, social media allows youth to access a larger and more diverse social network.  At a time in development where one yearns to connect and fit in, it becomes increasingly difficult to teach youth about healthy boundaries, relationships and communication.

One can certainly name numerous benefits to increased internet access, including the availability of current events, resources and communication with supportive peers.  However, the relative anonymity of the internet and lack of accountability make youth at risk for victimization, feelings of isolation or negative influences.

While research into the above risks of social media is in its infancy, we can offer the following guidelines to protect children:

  1. Develop a foundation for open discussions about the challenges youth face.  Try to temper your reactions; listen so your child will feel comfortable talking.
  2. Educate children about the risks associated with social media use, and develop a plan for them to communicate concerns to you.  Remind youth ANYTHING they post online is PERMANENT – if they are not willing to have their parent, teacher or future employer read their post, they should not put it out there.
  3. Teach boundaries: limit time spent on social media, do not allow electronics in the bedroom, and inform children you will randomly check their electronic use to ensure they are using the privilege responsibly.

Modern technology certainly poses new risks for parents.  However, by increasing awareness, engaging in open dialogue and reaching out for help when needed, we can empower our children to stay safe.

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PPS has a Child and Development team offering counseling, testing,
assessments, and other psychological services.
For more information see our website or contact us, 704-554-9900.

It Takes a Village
By Amanda W. Jamison Psy.D.

You may know the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This adage refers to the significance of community support in a developing child’s life. It reflects the belief that children benefit from having multiple relationships with caring others, that each person has something different and valuable to offer, and that a child’s development is enriched through a sense of belonging to something greater than oneself. I would argue that the value of “village” does not end in childhood. Given the demands in adulthood, wouldn’t our chances of thriving grow if we, too, felt connected to supportive others, if we did not feel we must “go it alone”? Below is a sample from a vast body of literature that reflects the importance of community and social connectedness among adults.

  • “People feel more secure when they know that they have others around them who share their goals and care about their progress” (Markman, 2012).

  • Connection to community and other social relationships are positively correlated with motivation, felt relational warmth (Markman, 2012), and self-esteem (Greenway et al., 2015).

  • Group belonging strengthens our psychological resources, helping us navigate through adversity (Greenaway et al., 2015).

  • A sense of belonging in a group can help alleviate symptoms of depression (Cruwys et al., 2014); whereas, social isolation and loneliness are strongly correlated with depression and alcoholism (Cacioppo et al. 2006; Marano, 2003).

  • People who feel isolated and lonely report increased stress levels (Marano, 2003).

  • Social disconnection and loneliness are correlated with a higher release of stress hormones and elevated blood pressure (Hawkley, Thisted, Masi, & Cacioppo, 2010; Marano, 2003).

  • Loneliness is correlated with less restful and restorative sleep (Cacioppo, 2002; Marano, 2003).

Community can be found or made nearly anywhere. It is simply a group of people who join together, sharing something in common or embracing their differences. So, what are your interests? What do you feel passionate about? How might you wish to make a difference in society? And, where do you need support in your own life?

You might consider getting to know the people in your neighborhood, or joining your local neighborhood association. If you are a parent, consider getting more involved at your child’s school, which puts you in contact with others who are in a similar stage of life. If you are spiritual or religious, your church or spiritual community may offer smaller discussion groups, in addition to their larger services. Helping your local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or political party allows you to connect with others while giving back. And for those experiencing emotional or addiction related concerns, have you considered the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, or therapy and support groups?

Now that you have some ideas of where to look for community, I wish you luck on your journey and hope you feel enriched through greater connection to your own “village”.

References:

Cacioppo, J. T., Hawkley, L. C., Berntson, G. G., Ernst, J. M., Gibbs, A. C., Stickgold, R., & Hobson, J. A. (2002). Do lonely days invade the nights? Potential social modulation of sleep efficiency. Psychological Science, 13, 384–387. doi:10.1111/j.0956-7976.2002.00469.x

Cacioppo, J. T., Hughes, M. E., Waite, L. J., Hawkley, L. C., & Thisted, R. A. (2006). Loneliness as a specific risk factor for depressive symptoms: Cross sectional and longitudinal analyses. Psychology and Aging, 21, 140–151. doi:10.1037/0882-7974.21.1.140

Cruwys, T., Haslam, S. A., Dingle, G. A., Jetten, J, Hornsey, M. J., Chong, E. M., Oei, T. (2014). Feeling connected again: Interventions that increase social identification reduce depression symptoms in community and clinical settings. Journal of Affective Disorders, 159, 139-156.

Greenaway, K., Haslam, S., Cruwys, T., Branscombe, N., Ysseldyk, R., & Heldreth, C. (2015).

From “We” to “Me”: Group Identification Enhances Perceived Personal Control With Consequences for Health and Well-Being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology DOI:10.1037/pspi0000019

Hawkley, L. C., Thisted, R. A., Masi, C. M., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2010). Loneliness predicts increased blood pressure: 5-year cross-lagged analyses in middle-aged and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 25, 132– 141. doi:10.1037/a0017805

Marano, H. E. (2003, July 1). The Dangers of Loneliness [Article]. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200307/the-dangers-loneliness

Markman, A. (2012, March 8). It is motivating to belong to a group [Article]. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201203/it-is-motivating-belong-group

Gratitude

By Catherine Carstarphen, M.A., M.Div., D.Min
Chair, Integrative Health Treatment Team

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them ~ John F. Kennedy

Psychologists have discovered what the world’s religions have always known, that gratitude, a feeling or attitude of thankfulness, can change your life.

Studies have shown (Emmons and McCullough, 2003) that engaging in short gratitude exercises, like writing letters of thanks and keeping a gratitude diary can facilitate a range of benefits. Increased well-being and reduced depression often remain long after exercises or tasks are finished.

A brain-scanning study in the medical journal NeuroImage explains why months after these tasks, people’s brains are still wired to feel thankful. Gratitude tasks have a self-perpetuating nature: the more one practices gratitude, the more attuned you become to it’s benefits for wholeness and well-being.

Another example of “active” gratitude are the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous where gratitude is practiced throughout the stages of the program resulting in the significant final step where the participant has a spiritual awakening and has the opportunity to give back to others.

The virtues of gratitude are also reflected in many cultures. For instance, ON is a Japanese word that expresses a sense of gratitude combined with a desire to give back to the community. This desire arises from us when we recognize how we have been supported and cared for by others.

Gratitude not only elicits a sense of thankfulness, but a feeling to return the kindness. Gratitude is inspired by feelings of thankfulness towards another person, nature or God. Someone who is grateful tends to be observant and is aware of what has been given. This awareness may invoke a reciprocal gesture.

In conclusion, grateful people are more likely to acknowledge a belief in the interconnectedness of all life and a commitment to and responsibility to others. Practicing gratitude, beginning in childhood, may result in positive attitudes, greater compassion, resilience and well-being.

FORGIVENESS
Tammie Lesesne, MA, LPC

Many of us were raised with messages like “To err is human, to forgive divine” (Alexander Pope); “Forgiveness is the final form of love” (Reinhold Neibuhr); “Forgiveness is God’s command” (Martin Luther); Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong” (Gandhi).

When forgiveness was extended to Dylann Roof by some family members of those murdered at Mother Emmanuel AME Zion Church, the world was incredulous at their depth of faith, especially as that forgiveness wasn’t requested.

I’ve come to believe that real forgiveness isn’t an act or even a process, it is a body-mind-spirit state of being. Achieving that state isn’t facile work when the hurt is profound – especially if the transgressor denies responsibility and escapes consequences. So I believe the real task is about our own healing, which may lead to forgiveness.

I’m often asked if I think we must forgive those who caused profound suffering. That, to me, is a very individual journey. Here are two stories of betrayal trauma (wounding at the hands of someone who is supposed to love and protect) – which is perhaps the hardest to heal and forgive.

One amazing client, “Sally,” was molested by her bullying, shaming stepfather when she was 8-14 years old. Her mother couldn’t face the truth of her husband’s cruel betrayal. Sally’s core spirit even then was kind, as she focused on protecting her younger sister.

Through therapy, guided meditation, prayer, and understanding the somatic response to trauma, she learned to handle her physiological and emotional triggers, came to believe in hers rights, grew spiritually, and found her suppressed voice. One day she phoned her step father. With firmness, clarity and even compassion, she said, “I’m going to tell you what you did to me, and you are going to listen.” She described what she had endured, how it had affected her, then declared, “I am giving this back to you to figure out how to heal yourself.” Her stepfather broke down, and actually asked for forgiveness.

This amazing woman entered a body-mind-spirit state of being in which she held her wounds with tenderness, yet freed from living in victimhood. When she had truly entered that state, “Sally” moved naturally into forgiveness.

Some wounds are so shattering that forgiveness is an oppressive goal. “James” was molested from ages 4-6 by a priest who had ingratiated himself into his family. Secondary traumas such as being bullied in school flowed from his resultant “weird” behaviors. This smart, sensitive man now in his 40s is still plagued by nightmares, self-loathing and other persistent PTSD symptoms.

Reintegrating his fractured ego is a slow, challenging process, with many stumbling blocks (marginal work performance due to focus issues, relationship triggers, etc). For now, he can ask that a higher power be in charge of the question of forgiveness

Resources:

Belleruth Naparstek, HealthJourneys.com: A Meditation to Help With Anger and Forgiveness.Steven Levine, Anchor Books: Guided Meditations, Explorations and Healings Peter Levine, SoundsTrue.com: Healing Trauma

Mourning Beyond the Loss

By Mary Gail Frawley-­‐O’Dea, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Counseling Center
Senior Licensed Psychologist, Psychoanalyst & Trauma Specialist

Mourning is an essential aspect of psychological and spiritual growth. A good mourning includes elements of reminiscence, sadness, anger, and denial. It readies us to go on after loss. Failure to mourn, or substituting nostalgia for mourning, often leaves us stuck between a past we cannot relinquish and a future we are not prepared to embrace.

A good mourning includes:

Sadness: The griever experience sometimes searing sadness over the finality of loss.

Reminiscence: As we grieve, we relive our time with the lost, remembering moments of joy, triumph, pleasure, anger, jealousy, disappointment in ourselves and in the loss.

Anger: A healthy mourning always includes anger and anger does not have to be rational. “Why didn’t he stop smoking earlier?” “I was a great employee – how could she fire me?” Some amount of anger is healthy and cleanses us during the mourning process.

Regret: In reminiscing about the loss person, thing, or experience, we remember moments when we could have been better in a relationship, or more preserving of an experience.

Denial: In grief, we go through periods of denying the loss, insisting that the lost will be returned to us in some way.

When we refuse to embrace mourning, we can get stuck in a number of ways:

Persistent Anger: When anger dominates the mourning process, we become bitter, refusing to engage in life lest we lose once more.

Nostalgia: When reminiscence becomes nostalgia, the lost is unrealistically cast as better than was the case in before the loss. Remembering what never really was and insisting that it/s/he can somehow be restored becomes a defense against loss and prevents investment in going on.

Mourning hurts like almost nothing else does; it throws us to the floor, tears at our limbs, empties our tear ducts, and exhausts our soul. When we mourn well, however, we are indeed sadder but wiser. “Things” may not be better, but we are better and ready to go on. There is no timing that is “right” to this process; it takes what it takes and that is different for every person.

Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy and the Search for the Sacred
By Catherine Carstarphen, M.A., M.Div., D.Min.

Spirituality is “hard-wired” into our nature as human beings. The Latin word for spirituality is “breath,” meaning life force and connects us to each other and to God. In the 21st century, the paradigm of medical care is shifting to an integrative and holistic healthcare model. The mind, body, soul and spirit are beginning to be taken in to account in treating medical patients. Clients expect that their religious and spiritual concerns will be incorporated into treatment (Post & Wade, 2009). Many individuals, to foster their spiritual as well as psychological development, are seeking out psychotherapists. Recent research shows that spiritually integrated psychotherapy is now one of the five major forces in the field of psychology ( Standard, Sandhu & Painter, 2000).

Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy is an approach that addresses the spirituality of the client, the spirituality of the therapist and the process of change. Spirituality is defined by author Kenneth Pargament, as “the search for the sacred.” Spirituality is not a congealed or frozen set of beliefs, it is fluid and constantly seeking. Nor is it restricted to an individual’s relationship with the sacred understood traditionally as God or a higher power. Secular activities like the psychological, social and physical can also be imbued with sacred. I agree with his statement that that “the yearning for the sacred is a primary, irreducible aspect of human nature.” (Pargament, 2007)

The search for the sacred involves discovery, conservation and transformation. When one discovers something sacred (a manifestation of God or the Divine) in her life,whether it be in religion, nature, human virtues (forgiveness, justice, courage ) or a relationship, she embarks on a spiritual pathway (church involvement, meditation) to save or guard it. As life progresses, we face changes that threaten what is sacred and we struggle to conserve what we cherish. In times of grief, trauma and disappointment, spiritual disengagement may occur and a person may experience a separation from God or the Divine. However, in some lives, spiritual struggles lead to transformation that deepens one’s understanding of the sacred.

Through spiritually integrated psychotherapy people can draw from psychological, religious and spiritual perspectives to create and sustain a meaningful purpose in life. There is also space to examine spiritual disconnection and isolation to make meaning out of difficult life events. By facilitating a spiritual meaning making process, a therapist helps those suffering from chronic spiritual and emotional struggles. A client may choose to use music, art, poetry church, ritual, prayer, mediation and mindfulness to express their spiritual emotions.

Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy draws on the resources of a variety of traditions, depending on the needs of the particular client. The coping methods learned have been linked to create a greater resilience and well-being (Ano, G.A. 2005).

I believe that spirituality is a self-transcending process that leads to the development of one’s true self and the shedding of the false self that one develops to cope with emotional trauma. Spirituality is the animating force that moves us to love, meaning and connectedness.

Catherine Carstarphen- July 14, 2015

Resources:

Standard, R., Sandhu & Painter, L. (2000). Assessment of Spirituality in Counseling. Journal of Counseling and Development, 78, 204-210

Pargament, K. (2007). Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy. New York: Guilford Press.

Ano, G.A. (2005). Spiritual struggles between vice and virtue: A brief psychospiritual intervention. Unpublished Ph.D dissertation, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH.

Career Counseling
by Tammie Lesesne, M.A., M.A.T., L.P.C.

Over several decades of involvement in personnel issues and career counseling, I have some key observations and recommendations to share.

Doing v. Being: Some people have a strong focus from childhood that morphs into a career, such as the kid who loves fossils becoming a paleontologist. Others have no single focus, and may wonder what is “wrong” with them. But, it is valid to start your career discernment with how you want to “be” in the world of work instead of what you want to “do.” You might benefit from discerning your personality attributes, values, range of interests and natural talents. Explore how these elements are your “motivators” that you can apply in the world of work. A superb resource is “Do What You Are” by Paul Tieger: http://personalitytype.com.

What is “out there”?Finding information about potential careers involves digging below assumptions and stereotypes. Use resources such asthe US Dept of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (www.bls.gov/oco/), conduct informational interviews, and access the library’s references.

Giving “permission”: We might have voices in our ears that tell us what we can’t do because of our age, gender, background, family script, etc. Examine your various messages and how valid they are for you!

“Triggers”: Workplace satisfaction can be impacted positively and negatively by those around us who remind us of peopleor situations from our childhood. You may be fully aware of those reminders, or they can play out at less conscious levels. One client spent her childhood staying off her alcoholic father’s radar screen, and learned through career counseling that she had recreated invisibility in her workplace. That, rather than the wrong job, was the source of her career distress. Connect the dots in your life.

Ages and stages—it’s a changing world: Traditionally, 20-­‐somethings are learning many lessons about the world of work, including what they don’t want! 30 & 40-­‐somethings usually are in career growth mode and assuming partnerships, mortgages, growing a family. 50s are often parlaying experience, 60s considering retirement. Yet, these patterns are increasingly falling by the wayside with tectonic societal shifts. Cultivate resilience in your expectations and experience of change.

Handling job loss: Grief, loss, shame, anxiety, despair, and even relief can accompany job loss. Utilize support groups (St. Johns Episcopal Church on Carmel Rd has a venerable Job Seekers Support Group on Tuesday nights, 7-­‐9 pm). Check out CPCC’s Job Seekers Skills class, ProNetCharlotte or JobLinks. Update your LinkedIn profile. Use project management skills in your re-­‐employment efforts. Get help for the emotional side of your experience. One key caution: don’t isolate!!

Conscious Aging

By Catherine Carstarphen, M.A, M.Div., D.Min. Candidate

Div., D.Min. Candidate
A 70-year-old friend showed me a picture of herself 20 years ago and one taken the week before.  Pointing to the newer photo, she said, “I want to know who she is now.”  It’s a question millions of baby boomers may soon be asking of themselves.  As the AARP states about baby boomers, “Their mass alone has had an enormous impact on the national psyche. From the youth culture created in the 1960’s and 1970’s to the dual-income households of the 1980’s and 1990’s, this generation has reinterpreted each successive stage of life.”  As they age now, baby boomers may just institute a more conscious approach to the psychological, spiritual and physical transformations of aging, providing rich and varied answers to the question my friend asked.

Psychologist Erik Erickson posed an eight-stage developmental schema of central tasks encountered by individuals from birth through old age.  The middle aged and elder stages are Generativity vs. Stagnation (40-65) and Integrity vs. Despair (66>). The Generative adult moves beyond herself to guide and mentor consciously the next generation.  Similarly, the elder who has achieved Integrity has reviewed and reflected on life, mourning losses and regrets, celebrating triumphs and joys, finding meaning, and accepting their shortening future.  This is a process that embraces the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of a person’s past, present and future.  It is best done in conversation with another, for loneliness is one of the dreads of old age.  Family, friends, and caretakers who listen to and share in an elderly person’s life review will gain wisdom and perspective while gifting the older one with an interested and compassionate presence that facilitates movement towards integrity.

“By 2040, there will be more 85 year-olds than 5-year olds,” writes Dr. Stephen Sapp of the University of Miami, a former chair of the Council for the Forum on Religion, Spirituality and Aging.  In a culture now obsessed with youth and staying young, the baby boomers have an opportunity to shift the national paradigm to one that honors the wisdom, spirituality, and wealth of information embodied in the elderly.  Will the generation that so successfully “reinterpreted each stage of life” re-present aging as a process that, like all others, is replete with possibility as it is also marked by loss?  Will those who are younger engage with their elders to the benefit of both age groups?