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Friday, August 26, 2011

More About Ourselves As We Age

        First I would like to apologize for my relatively thoughtless announcement about changes in my blog entry content.
         Twenty years ago, for several years I left the academic world and practiced clinical psychology in the context of;  1. Helping companies find the right employee and 2. Helping individuals find work environments that met their psychological needs and characteristics.
         I can now translate my skills into exploration of retirement satisfaction in non-clinical environment casual conversations through exchanges of ideas with those who are interested in my previous blog entries and some of the questions that I will be asking.  My goal is to help people understand and adjust satisfactorily to retirement life.
         Just so you understand the framework within which I ask questions I will share more about my clinical background.
While practicing as an “industrial clinical psychologist” I was trained within the framework of Alfred Adler, one of the founders of clinical psychology.
         The primary aspect of this approach is to help people understand themselves including their personal identity and goals.  I always began by asking a set of questions associated with the core ideas of Adler’s approach. These questions are simple but can also trigger extended self-thought. 
         Here are the statements we need to ask themselves by completing the following phrases:
         I Am…  Deep answers to this question go way beyond gender and occupation and reach into things like your birth order and early relationships with your parents and siblings
        The world isYou might examine this in relation to our world’s current economic problems.  Are you pessimistic or optimistic about the worlds' current economic situation? But more than that, how do you see the everyday world around you?
         Other people are…  One of the key ingredients of Adler’s thinking was to explore our social relationships with other people, which begin in early life.
         Finally “In order to have a place I must…   It is assumed that the strategies we use as adults are continuations and elaborations of ideas we developed while we were growing up as children.
         During the next few blog entries I will ask questions which can be answered through your understanding of who you are and how you respond to challenges.
          My basic assumption is that our “Style of life”, as Adlerians frame it, is well established long before the time we retire. During our adult lives we respond, and make decisions without analyzing them. They seem obvious! But it may be that this major transition off life requires some serious thinking about the ways we have preceded and choices we encounter during our Third Age.
          Over the next several posts I will present various situations regarding old age and retirement.  If you have taken some time to build an idea of who you are, you can then examine the situations further.

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