Our culture glorifies youth while aging is often seen as a kind of illness. Psychology, too, has played a part in adoring youth and villainizing the elderly by suggesting that aging is “just inevitable decline.” A growing body of research, however, shows that while some capacities decline with age, others come “online” and increase as we age. This course considers the positive aspects of aging and offers a corrective to the idea that aging only brings decline. Wisdom, resilience, compassion, empathy and meaning are qualities that appear to grow with age. The course provides a review of the positive psychology of aging and shares practical steps to continue growing regardless of chronological age. Lecture, discussion, in-class and take-home exercises are used to understand the research and actively develop wisdom and other mature qualities.
Note: The intent of this course is to offer a general educational overview of the topics described. If you are seeking specific therapeutic guidance, please consult with the mental health professional of your choosing.