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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Nader Shabahangi, EHI President and Contributing Author to The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology

The Handbook of Humanistic Pyschology 2nd Edition Cover

EHI and The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology - EHI Contributor Profiles

This blog series highlights an EHI faculty member and/or an EHI affiliated contributing author to The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology. This week's post features Nader Shabahangi and his chapter on Humanistic Elder Care.

Why Humanistic Eldercare? Read this excerpt from Nader's contributed piece to get a preview of Ch.16 Humanistic Eldercare: Toward a New Conceptual Framework for Aging.
"The present conceptual framework used in the way we look at aging and the way we care for our elders is demeaning and harmful to our elders and to the well-being of our societies at large. Yet, from large to small eldercare corporations and businesses, this outdated framework and understanding continues to disgrace and devalue our elders. In contrast to this outdated and harmful attitude stands an existential-humanistic, process-oriented approach. Such an attitude regards aging and old age as purposeful. It understands caring – whether it is receiving or giving care – as essential to our humanity; and it regards the many symptoms of aging and old age as meaningful guideposts to be understood rather than made into problems and/or pathologies.

This attitude opposes the present mainstream idea of aging, old age and care for elders where aging is understood as a disease, old age as a phase to be avoided and basically useless, and the many symptoms associated with aging and old age as meaningless problems in need of treatments and cures. Even recently added concepts such as successful and healthy aging use longevity and physical health as basic measures of what are deemed successful and healthy. These concepts of aging and care are most often based on biologically quantitative and normative measures of human life. This means that measurements and standards to which those measurements are compared form the basis of evaluating a human being’s life, that is whether a person, for example, is performing, declining, successful, smart, healthy, or diseased."

What is Humanism in Elder Care? Watch this video of Nader Shabahangi speaking with AgeSong Interns where he discusses "The New Theory of Eldercare" and the focuses, methods and practices of a humanistic eldercare community.

The New Theory of Eldercare with Nader Shabahangi Part 2

 See both Part 1 & 2 of the New Theory of Eldercare here in the AgeSong Video Library >>

Nader R. Shabahangi, PhD, received his doctorate from Stanford University and is a licensed psychotherapist. His multicultural background has made him an advocate for different marginalized groups of society throughout his adult life.

In the 1980's he worked with abused children and teenagers and led anticipatory bereavement groups for Coming Home Hospice. In 1992 he founded the non-profit organization Pacific Institute with the purpose of training psychotherapists in a multicultural, humanistic approach to counseling and to provide affordable therapy services to the many diverse groups living in San Francisco. In 1994, noticing the often inhumane treatment of the elderly living in institutions, he started to develop an innovative Gerontological Wellness Program in order to provide emotional support and mental health care services for the elderly. In 1997, together with his two brothers, Nader opened a residential care home for the elderly in San Francisco called Hayes Valley Care, where he could along with the Pacific Institute Internship team implement the Gerontological Wellness Program.

View Nader's EHI Biography >>

See Nader's Work with AgeSong  >>

View Nader's Work With Pacific Institute  >>

Read Nader's Blog, Nader's Musings >>

Find Nader's Next Speaking Event here on the AgeSong Calendar >>

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Check back for more upcoming posts on "EHI and The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology."

Thursday, April 17, 2014 Interview Series with Dr Kirk Schneider

Dr Lisa Firestone Interviews Dr Kirk Schneider About Awe Inspired Parenting

Awe Inspired Parenting

Developing a Sense of Awe and Mystery in Our Children.">

Over Parenting and the Value of Anxiety">Over Parenting and the Value of Anxiety

See More Videos in this PsychAlive Interview Series with Dr Kirk Schneider here

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

E Mark Stern Remembered

In Memorium:  Mentor, Friend, “Father” Mark Stern

(Excerpted from eulogy delivered by Kirk Schneider at St. Paul’s of the Apostles Chapel, New York City)

There are so many things I could express about my dear friend, mentor, paternal inspiration, Mark.  I could express to you my sentiments about his complex, beautiful mind that wove complex, beautiful, if wildly wonderful elliptical, prose. His wondrous stories of the early days of psychoanalysis and humanistic psychology—the wild people he and Virginia knew intimately, the life of being awake, alive, adventurous,  of how we were instantly attracted to/appreciative of one another—the bond somewhat enigmatic at first yet quickly realized in each other’s shared skepticism/cynicism about our profession, the world of politics, and the world of Spirit—and yet equally, passionately I could convey our shared wonder, marvel, and indeed awe toward each of those and more, so much more.  I could share with you my admiration of how deeply Mark cared for those whom he loved,  such as his wife Virginia and his family.  I can’t count the number of times he spoke so admiringly of you and how much he relished seeing Virginia blossom in the local and regional political scene.  (He was SO proud of you, Virginia—and I saw how he so enjoyed those raucous party meetings and debates). And finally, I could share with you our delight on meeting at APA and the Div. 32 Conf some twenty plus years ago, the visits to Bare Farm (where Mark and Virginia lived)—the Hudson River painter Fredrick Church's Olana house, Bard college, Vasser College (and our radio gig on Awakening to Awe), the Rubin museum, Silvia’s Soul Food Restaurant in Harlem, Columbia, Mark’s keynote and last visit, including a wonderful accompaniment to the local SF play “Under the Lintel Tree” starring his friend and neighbor David Straithorn, being regaled by a flood of stories and memories of Mark’s kaleidoscopic  past.  But I think Mark’s vibrant, eloquent words say it all:
From an email to a close colleague on our Division listserve: 
“I guess I was born to take the pathway of the darker soul of the night.  Such seemed to be an almost basic requirement for the depth psychologists of the mid-20th century.  My plight was to listen as much to the doleful and misty of my patients and myself.  Dreams, symbols, metaphors, murky associations a sense of unconscious unity with all—these were foundational to a psychology of the soul.”
On his very personal and therapeutic experience of awe from our book Awakening to Awe:  
“Awe is in one special sense, the excitement of participation.  Translated into process, awe befriends depth psychotherapy—not by promising to remove all pain, rather by addressing (with reverence) the pained person; not by eradicating his conflict.  Instead by paying attention to the role of friction and combat as the exile’s resolve to cross the desert;  not by encouraging the positive, more by paying attention to who one is…”
~ Kirk Schneider, March 22, 2014, New York City

EHI warmly remembers Dr E Mark Stern and recognizes his extensive personal and professional contributions in advancing humanism in psychology and psychological therapies. He taught and touched many people in his career and life who shall go on to continue expanding the field of humanistic therapies. He will be greatly missed.

EHI was very honored to have the late Dr E Mark Stern as Opening Keynote Speaker for the EHI:7 Annual Conference this last November. His address is shared here as a PDF. Dr Stern also recently contributed the foreword to the 2nd Edition of The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology.

You can read a recent article by Dr Stern, Inflections, from the Society of Humanistic Psychology Newsletter (October 2009) where he "Examine(s) the vision of humanistic psychology with a brief history of Jan Smuts, Victor Frankl and Jacob Levi Moreno and their missions."

Also read about Dr Stern in the History of APA DIV 32 [PDF] by Christopher M. Aanstoos, Ilene Serlin, Thomas Greening.

E. Mark Stern was 2014 recipient for Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to Humanistic Psychology given to an individual in recognition of distinguished lifetime contributions to humanistic psychology.