I never knew I had a choice

Tags: Loneliness, climate change, the relationship, Hospice Movement Hospice, unprotected sex, Facing Loneliness, HIV transmission, Marianne Schneider Corey, social beings, humanistic psychology, Personality Types, Transmission of HIV, responsible choices, Meaningful Relationship, Barriers to Effective Communication, True love is selfless Love and anger, Meaningful Relationships, sexually transmitted infections, Human Growth, John Holland, experience, Natalie Rogers, Gerald Corey, intimate relationships, Martin Seligman, Cengage Learning, Abraham Maslow, Stages of Dying, eulogy, Self-actualization, Middle Childhood Erikson, Adolescence Erikson, Happiness, THE SERENITY PRAYER, Alfred Adler, Dalai Lama, Carl Rogers, Virginia Satir, Core Characteristics, Humanistic Movement, Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance
Content: I Never Knew I Had a Choice - 9th ed. by Gerald Corey & Marianne Schneider Corey Wadsworth A division of Cengage Learning, Inc.
Invitation to Personal Learning and Growth THE SERENITY PRAYER "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." What are your personal reactions to the Serenity Prayer?
Balancing Self-Esteem and Other-Esteem We are social beings and many of our relationships are affected by relationships with others Self-esteem and other-esteem should not be thought of as polar opposites Other-esteem involves respect, acceptance, caring, valuing, and promoting of others Strive to see the world anew by reexamining your present beliefs and values
Happiness A subjective matter: Our perceptions and feelings about what we have are crucial in bringing us happiness Ingredients considered very important for overall happiness: love and intimate relationships, work, genetics, and personality Largely a function of the choices we make 1
Happiness The Dalai Lama claimed real secrets to happiness are determination, effort, and time Positive psychology movement emphasizes what makes people happy Founder: Martin Seligman The study of positive emotions and positive character traits Shares common principles with humanistic psychology
Humanistic Approach to Human Growth Self-actualization is the core of a humanistic view of people Self-actualization is a process you work toward, rather than a final destination at which you arrive Striving for growth implies becoming all you are capable of becoming Abraham Maslow's model of the self-actualizing person offers a foundation for understanding growth
Key Figures of the Humanistic Movement Alfred Adler stressed self-determination and viewed people as creative, active, goal-oriented, and choice-making beings Carl Jung believed that humans are not merely shaped by past events, but strive for growth as well Carl Rogers stressed the importance of nonjudgmental listening and acceptance as a condition for people to feel free enough to change Abraham Maslow emphasized joy, creativity, and self-fulfillment
Key Figures of the Humanistic Movement Natalie Rogers believed the Creative Arts could be used to help clients express deep emotions often inaccessible through words Virginia Satir was highly intuitive and believed spontaneity, creativity, humor, self-disclosure, risk-taking, and personal touch were central to family therapy Zerka Moreno believed healing could occur by exploring past, present, and future concerns through enacting or role playing dramatic scenarios from one's life 2
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Once the lower need is satisfied, then the next higher need motivates us 5) Need for self-actualization 4) Esteem needs 3) Love needs 2) Safety needs 1) Physical and survival needs
Core Characteristics of SelfActualizing People Self-awareness Freedom Basic honesty and caring Trust and autonomy
multiple intelligences: What Kind of Learner are You?
Verbal-linguistic Musical-rhythmic Logical- mathematical Visual-spacial Bodily-kinesthetic
Intrapersonal Interpersonal Emotional Naturalist
How to Get the Most From the Course and Book Take time to prepare for class by reading and reflecting Be willing to take risks necessary for change Use the class as a way to explore your beliefs about personal topics Practice new behavior outside of the class Keep a personal journal 3
Reviewing Your Childhood and Adolescence INFANCY Core task: Develop sense of trust in self and others Erikson's core struggle: trust versus mistrust Critical importance of sense of being loved during infancy Infancy provides the foundation for later development
Early Childhood Erikson's core struggle: autonomy versus shame and doubt Central task is to begin the journey toward autonomy A time for learning what it means to be interdependent Importance of developing emotional competence
The Preschool Years Erikson's core struggle: Initiative versus Guilt A time for learning basic attitudes regarding sexuality A time for increasing the capacity to understand and use language Importance of learning to accept the full range of one's feelings
Typology of Parenting Styles Authoritarian parents: Extremely strict, high demands, control with threats of punishment Authoritative parents: Accepting, set high goals for children, encourage exploration Permissive parents: Few demands, indulge children's desires Neglectful parents: Neither accepting nor involved, may meet children's basic needs 4
Impact of Parenting Styles on Childhood Development Authoritarian parents-- produce children with fear, apprehension, passivity, vulnerability to stress, moodiness, and a lack of purpose Authoritative parents-- produce children with self-reliance, self-control, good coping skills, purposeful behavior, an achievement-orientation, a cooperative attitude, and a curiosity about life Permissive and neglectful parents-- produce children with characteristics of rebellion, low self-reliance and selfcontrol, impulsivity, aimlessness, and low achievement
Middle Childhood Erikson's core struggle: Industry versus Inferiority Increasing understanding of self --- gender, race, culture, abilities Relationships are a major focus during middle childhood A time for developing the self-concept
Ego-Defense Mechanisms Psychological strategies we use to protect our self-concept We use ego defenses at various stages of life to soften the blows of reality Ego defenses help us cope with anxiety These defenses have adaptive value if they are not excessively used to avoid facing reality
Adolescence Erikson's core struggle: Identity versus Role Confusion A critical period in the development of personal identity Implications for individuation or psychological separation from parents Psychological moratorium: a time for experimentation with different roles before making major commitments 5
Adulthood and Autonomy THE STRUGGLE TOWARD AUTONOMY Process of autonomy begins in early childhood and continues throughout life Ultimate goal is the development of a mature and interdependent self Autonomy means knowing yourself and having significant connections with others Cultural factors play a key role in determining the kind of relationships that govern one's life
Challenging Early Messages (or Parental Injunctions) Examples of parental injunctions that we incorporate into our lives: Don't make mistakes Don't be close Don't be a child Don't succeed Don't be you
Albert Ellis and Uprooting Irrational Beliefs Albert Ellis and Uprooting Irrational Beliefs Your faulty thinking is what leads to your emotional upsets You can best change your feelings and actions by changing your beliefs It is essential to identify and challenge self-defeating beliefs Become aware of your should's, ought's, and must's Learn ways of challenging your internal dialogue and your inner critic
Early Adulthood There are wide variations in the way people experience early adulthood Erikson's core struggle: Intimacy versus Isolation Emerging adulthood: a distinct period from both adolescence and young adulthood Emerging adulthood offers rich opportunities for exploring personal identity in the areas of love, work, and values 6
Middle Adulthood A time of going outside of ourselves This can be a time of great productivity Erikson's core struggle: Generativity versus Stagnation When we reach middle age, we come to a crossroads
Late Middle Age People often think of what they want to do with the rest of their lives There are many positive and creative dimensions of middle age A time to consider new sources of meaning in our lives A time to examine priorities and make new decisions
Late Adulthood Erikson's core struggle: Integrity versus Despair Prevalent themes often include loss, loneliness, dependency, regrets over past events and decisions It is essential to challenge the stereotypes of late adulthood The attitude an older person has about aging may be more important than chronological age
Your Body and Wellness HOLISTIC HEALTH versus traditional medicine Traditional medicine focuses on identifying symptoms of illness and curing disease Holistic health focuses on all facets of human functioning The holistic approach assumes the unity of body and mind 7
Wellness Wellness consists of all aspects of functioning: physical, psychological, social, intellectual, and spiritual Wellness involves the integration of body, mind, and spirit Wellness deals with positive health, not the absence of sickness Wellness is a lifestyle choice rather than a one-time decision Suggestions for Getting Better Sleep Establish a regular sleep routine Don't take your worries with you to bed Exercise regularly Engage in meditation or relaxation methods prior to going to bed Avoid eating heavy meals close to bedtime Maintain realistic self-talk about sleep
Sound Habits For Wellness Restore yourself through adequate sleep and rest (7-8 hours each night) Incorporate exercise into your daily routine Manage your weight and improve your health through proper nutrition and diet Find inner strength, calmness, and purpose in life through spirituality Some Benefits of exercise Increasing respiratory capacity Releasing pent-up emotions Increasing feelings of well-being and self-esteem Reducing the risk of illness Reducing body weight Increasing physical strength and endurance Providing you with a source of enjoyment 8
Eating Well for Optimum Health Dr. Andrew Weil, who teaches physicians at the University of Arizona's Program in Integrative Medicine, believes that: Eating for health and eating for pleasure are not incompatible What and how we eat is key to how we feel and how we age We can make choices about what to eat and what not to eat
Your Body Image A healthy body and a positive body image allows you to do what you want physically Your view of your body has much to do with choices in other areas of your life Early decisions you have made about your body will likely affect you now Weight is related to body image for many people
Managing Stress Stress - an event or series of events that lead to strain, often results in physical and psychological health problems Environmental and psychological sources of stress may include frustrations, conflicts, pressures, and change Learning to cope with stress is essential to maintain wellness Stress has both positive (eustress) and negative (distress) effects Either we control stress, or stress controls us
Effects Of Stress When stress is not handled constructively, it often produces adverse physical and psychological effects Under stress our bodies experience the "fight-or-flight" response Chronic stress causes bodily wear and tear resulting in psychophysiological disorders Negative emotional states of anxiety and depression are the result of prolonged stress 9
Stress and the Hardy Personality Some people seem to be especially resilient and are better able to cope with stress Distinguishing characteristics of hardy people are A liking for challenge A strong sense of commitment An internal locus of control Alcohol and drug addictions Addictions are a self-defeating reaction to stress Addicts often substitute using alcohol or drugs for meaningful connection with others Many people allow their addictions to become very advanced before admitting they have a problem An integral part of recovery for many addicts is turning their lives over to a Higher Power Excellent resources are available today for those who are ready to address their addictions, including 12-step programs
gg
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with Burnout Recognizing and
Dealing
with Burnout
Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual exhaustion
Striving for unrealistically high goals can lead to burnout
The key is to recognize subtle signs of burnout
Changing the way in which you approach school or work can prevent burnout
Prevention is better than remediation
Don't forget to take good care of yourself
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder PTSD is an anxiety disorder resulting from a traumatic event Symptoms often include: reexperiencing the trauma through flashbacks and nightmares, avoidance and numbing, hyperarousal, intrusive thoughts, insomnia, concentration problems, panic, disturbed interpersonal relationships, anger and irritability, depression, anxiety, shame, and guilt Surviving combat, natural disasters, serious accidents, and sexual assault are just a few causes of PTSD
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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Children are more vulnerable to PTSD than adults Women are diagnosed with PTSD more often than men Those who experienced multiple traumas may be more vulnerable to reexperiencing old PTSD symptoms when confronted with new trauma People suffering from PTSD may perceive the world as unfair, cruel, unsafe, and unpredictable
Recovering from PTSD Chances of developing PTSD are diminished if help is available within 24 to 72 hours after the precipitating incident Counselors must help connect a survivor's past pain and present reality since trauma may be reenacted in the person's present relationships For healing to occur, survivors need to tell their story and be heard and understood
Treatment Approaches for PTSD A holistic approach that involves focusing on body, mind, and spirit with the goal of restoration of health and well-being Individual psychotherapy, group therapy, and/or support groups Crisis intervention programs: Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Critical Incident Stress Management
sexual exploitation Incest, rape, and sexual harassment are three forms of sexual exploitation that lead to trauma All three involve the misuse of power or betrayal of trust for the purpose of gaining control over the individual, for degrading, oppressing, coercing, or exploiting a person Victims tend to be reluctant to disclose the abuse and often feel responsible and guilty 11
Sexual Exploitation More women than men have experienced sexual assault and childhood Sexual Abuse Male victims frequently experience barriers in seeking help for the aftermath of sexual trauma Male and female victims often carry psychological scars from these experiences that affect the full range of their emotions, their ability to develop relationships, and many other aspects of their lives Facts About Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment is repeated and unwanted sexually oriented behavior in the form of comments, gestures, or physical contact Sexual harassment is abuse of the power differential between two people It diminishes choice and is not flattering If you are a recipient of harassment, realize you are not powerless and you have a right to break the pattern
Suggestions for Reducing Date Rape Recognize that date rape is a betrayal of trust Realize that using alcohol and drugs at parties can cloud your judgment Listen carefully to each other and respect each other's values and boundaries Clarify your values and attitudes about sex before you are in situations where you have to make decisions about sexual behavior Be prepared to act forcefully if assertive refusals don't stop unwanted sexual advances Some Constructive Paths to Managing Stress Time management Challenging self-defeating thinking and negative self-talk Developing a sense of humor Learning to relax Mindfulness and meditation Yoga Therapeutic massage 12
Suggestions for Managing Stress Think of ways to simplify your life Learn and practice a variety of relaxation exercises During the day ­ pause and remember to breathe Make the time each day to do what you really enjoy doing Keep your mind focused on what you are experiencing in the present Make the time to be alone on a regular basis Be kind to yourself --- and to others Ingredients of a Long-Term Love Relationship Self-acceptance Acceptance by one's partner Appreciation of one another effective communication Commitment Realistic expectations Common interests Collaborative decision making Ability to deal with conflict effectively
Some Hints on Time Management Time management can be a route to helping you set priorities and accomplish your goals. Here are some actions you can take: Establish clear and attainable goals Decide what you can accomplish in a given period of time Keep a schedule book and organize your time Before accepting a new project consider if you have a full plate Be comfortable with what you do accomplish Reward yourself appropriately Meanings of Authentic Love ­ A Personal Perspective LOVE MEANS Knowing the person Caring about the person Having a responsibility toward the person Having respect and dignity for the person Accepting imperfection Growth for both people in the relationship 13
Characteristics of Inauthentic Love Pseudo-love may look like authentic love, but it stifles growth One whose love is inauthentic Attaches strings to loving and loves conditionally Is possessive Depends on the other person to fill a void in life Needs to be in charge and make decisions for the other person Lacks commitment
Barriers to Loving and Being Loved MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT LOVE Love is eternal Love implies constant closeness We fall in and out of love Love is exclusive True love is selfless Love and anger are incompatible
Fears of Loving and Being Loved What are common fears associated with loving others and being loved? Fear of isolation Fear of being discovered Uncertainty of love There are NO guarantees
Meaningful Relationships Each person in the relationship has a separate identity Each is able to give and receive honest and respectful feedback Each person assumes responsibility for his or her own level of happiness Both people actively work at keeping the relationship alive Each person enjoys being with the other and they have fun together Both people are equals in the relationship 14
Meaningful Relationships Each person finds meaning and sources of nourishment outside the relationship Each person is growing and changing and moving in a direction in life that is personally meaningful Both people encourage each other to become all they are capable of becoming rather than trying to control the other person They do not expect the other to do for them what they are capable of doing for themselves Each has a commitment to the other Dealing Effectively with Conflict and Confrontation Conflict can be a healthy sign of individual differences. If conflict emerges, keep the following points in mind: If you confront a person, know why View confrontation as a caring act Accept responsibility for your own feelings Tell others how you are struggling with them Don't walk away from conflict Be open to forgiving others who have hurt you Be willing to forgive yourself
Anger in Relationships A FEW TIPS IN DEALING WITH ANGER: Value the recognition and expression of anger Express anger in a way that does not assassinate another's character Don't hold on to anger or nurse grudges Recognize danger signs when anger gets in the way of relationships Talk more about yourself than about what is wrong with the other person Decide when it is better not to express anger Barriers to Effective Communication Recognizing communication blocks is the first step toward opening the channels to dialogue Some barriers are: Hearing only what you want to hear Being overly concerned about getting your point across Silently rehearsing what you will say as you are "listening" Becoming overly defensive Making assumptions about the other person without checking them out 15
Gay and Lesbian Relationships Many people in same-sex relationships experience discrimination and oppression Homophobia, the irrational fear of homosexual people and strong negative attitudes about homosexuality, sometimes leads to hate crimes Cross-cultural attitudes toward homosexuality range from condemnation to acceptance Gay-affirmative therapy helps individuals accept their sexual identity and learn strategies to deal with those in society who harbor prejudice toward them Becoming the Woman or Man You Want to Be When reflecting on your gender-role identity: Examine the experiences you have had that influence the way you view gender roles Identify role models who have influenced your views of what it means to be a woman or a man Be patient with yourself in challenging and changing your attitudes Decide for yourself what kind of person you want to be, based on what you truly value
Coping with the Termination of a Meaningful Relationship Allow yourself the time to grieve Express your anger without violence Take responsibility for your own part in the relationship Find a support network Take care of other aspects of your life Make use of writing in your journal Be willing to forgive -- both yourself and the other person Seek closure and learn from the experience The Value of Men's Groups TOPICS OFTEN EXPLORED What it means to trust other men How relationships with family members affect current relationships What it means to be a father Hiding from oneself and others in work environments Dealing with loss, depression, and existential anxiety, which accompany aging 16
The Value of Men's Groups How one carries the weight of unexpressed emotions and desires How one's inner judge prevents satisfaction with life How the fear of abandonment prevents risk-taking Healthy ways to deal with frustration and anger Deciding what it means to be a man Portrait of Traditional Female Roles Some stereotypes associated with the traditional female role include a woman's Warmth, expressiveness, and nurturance Dependence Tendency to be emotional and intuitive Passivity and submissiveness Tendency to be more interested in relationships than in professional accomplishments
Portrait of Traditional Male Roles Some stereotypes associated with the traditional male role include a man's Emotional unavailability Power and aggressiveness Denial of fears Protection of his inner self Denial of "feminine" qualities Being driven to succeed Remoteness with other men Lack of bodily awareness Challenging Traditional Gender-Role Expectations Both women and men often pay a price for staying within the limited boundaries defined for them by their culture Becoming aware of the process of genderrole socialization is the first step toward making choices about assuming expected role behavior Men and women are challenging the societal conditioning that results in rigid role behavior 17
Alternatives to Rigid Gender-Role Expectations The challenge is for women and men to work together in deciding how they want to be Androgyny is the flexible integration of both feminine and masculine traits Androgynous people can adjust their behavior to what the situation requires in integrated and flexible ways Gender-role transcendence involves moving beyond gender roles
Developing Sexual Values Sexual behavior should be consistent with one's value system Sexual abstinence is an option and means different things to different people, cultures, and religious groups Sexually responsible decisions involve considering the possible consequences of sexual behavior, both for oneself and one's partner Learning to establish boundaries is of major importance in being true to one's own values
Misconceptions about Sexuality Women are not as sexually desirable when they initiate sex As people get older, they are bound to lose interest in sex By their very nature, men are sexually aggressive The more physically attractive a person is, the more sexually exciting he or she is Being attracted to someone of the same gender is abnormal
Some Concerns About Sexuality Concerns that many people have about sexuality include Worrying about performance standards Contracting sexually transmitted infections Being preoccupied with one's body Feeling responsible for a partner's dissatisfaction Experiencing guilt over sexual feelings or behavior Worrying if one is normal 18
Guidelines on Making Responsible Choices In making responsible, inner-directed choices about whether to act on sexual feelings, you might consider these questions: Will my actions hurt another person or myself? Will my actions limit another's freedom? Will my actions exploit another's rights? Are my actions consistent with my values and commitments?
Basic Facts About AIDS AIDS affects a wide population and continues to be a major health problem There is much ignorance and fear of AIDS AIDS weakens the body's immune system and that allows other diseases to prey on the body AIDS is considered an "equal opportunity disease" because it is found among people of all ages, genders, races, and sexual orientations
Basic Facts About AIDS HIV-positive individuals can live long and relatively symptom-free lives New medications are now available to treat the opportunistic infections that often killed people with AIDS in the past
Transmission of HIV Much is known about the transmission of HIV and how it can be avoided Most people with HIV infection will eventually develop AIDS With early treatment HIV can be retarded and the onset of AIDS can be delayed Common forms of HIV transmission are unprotected sex with, or sharing intravenous needles with, a person infected with the virus 19
Prevention of HIV/AIDS and STI's Educate yourself about HIV/AIDS and about sexually transmitted infections (STI's) Engaging in sex with multiple partners is highrisk behavior Effective and consistent use of safer sex methods is a key to prevention Consider abstinence as an alternative and make responsible choices John Holland's Six Worker Personality Types Realistic Investigative Artistic Social Enterprising Conventional
Work and Recreation FACTORS IN VOCATIONAL DECISION MAKING Motivation and achievement Attitudes about occupations Abilities Interests Values Self-concept The Process of Deciding on a Career STEPS TO TAKE Begin by focusing on yourself Generate alternative solutions Gather and assess information Weigh and prioritize your alternatives Make the decision and formulate a plan Carry out the decision Get feedback 20
Choices at Work If you experience discontent in your work, focus on those factors within your job that you can change Identify ways you can create meaning in your work If you must remain at an unsatisfying job, find something outside your job that fulfills your need for recognition, significance, productivity, and excitement Assess whether your attitudes about work help or hinder you in achieving career success
Changing Careers in Midlife Being aware of career options is a great asset at midlife Attitudes and fears about changing careers that are left unquestioned and unexamined make change much harder Both men and women may experience the desire to change career paths in midlife People who feel stuck in their jobs should ask themselves whether their personal dissatisfaction outweighs the financial rewards
Life After Retirement Some retirees may experience a void, feelings of deprivation, and dissatisfaction Others may become actively involved in recreation, community affairs, volunteer work, or new ventures Retirees may feel a loss of status over no longer having a professional role
Life After Retirement By keeping themselves vital as physical, psychological, spiritual, and social beings, people can view retirement as a new beginning The five retirement paths are: 1. Continuers 2. Adventurers 3. Searchers 4. Easy gliders 5. Retreaters 21
Balancing Work and Recreation Work alone does not generally lead to a rich existence Recreation involves creating ourselves anew and is a path to vitality; It requires the ability to let go and experience life The appropriate balance between work and recreation depends on the needs of the individual Pursuit of leisure activities is associated with improved physical and cognitive functioning, increased happiness, and greater longevity
Solitude Solitude is typically something we choose for ourselves In solitude, we make time to be with ourselves and to discover who we are Solitude provides an opportunity for renewal Through solitude we are able to examine our lives and gain a sense of perspective
Loneliness Often results from certain events in life such as: Death of someone we love The decision to leave a secure job for an unknown one Moving to a new city A long stay in a hospital An experience of feeling set apart from others Can indicate that we've failed to listen to our inner voice
Types of Loneliness Transient loneliness Brief feelings of loneliness when there is a disruption in one's social network Chronic loneliness When people are unable to establish meaningful interpersonal relationships over a long period of time 22
Types of Loneliness Everyday loneliness The pain of being isolated from other people, which may be related to fears of intimacy, rejection, or shame Existential loneliness A profound sense of an unbridgeable gap that separates us from others, which is related to our awareness that each of us inhabits a world fully known only to ourselves
Ways People Attempt to Escape from Facing Loneliness Living an overscheduled life Striving for perfect control of the environment Surrounding ourselves with people Becoming a slave to routine Numbing ourselves with alcohol or drugs Eating for emotional reasons Spending many hours on the computer, watching T.V., playing video games
Some Consequences of Shyness Can make it difficult to communicate effectively and express oneself Often holds people back from meeting new people May result in feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness Can hold people back in the progression of their educations or careers Leads some individuals to develop a dependency on alcohol as a way to feel more relaxed and sociable
Loneliness and the Life Stages CHILDHOOD Loneliness is an inevitable part of life beginning in childhood Reliving childhood experiences of loneliness can help adults come to grips with their present fears about being alone or lonely ADOLESCENCE Bodily changes, one's search for identity, and the need to be accepted and liked may compound an adolescent's feelings of loneliness The price of nonconformity may be steep; Adolescents may feel all alone in the world 23
Loneliness and the Life Stages YOUNG ADULTHOOD How young adults come to terms with their own aloneness effects the choices they make--choices that, in turn, may determine the course of their lives Life circumstances and cultural factors also pave the way to a lonely existence MIDDLE AGE Changes at midlife such as children leaving the nest can lead to feelings of emptiness and loss Feeling dissatisfied with one's career or life choices can exacerbate loneliness
Loneliness and the Life Stages THE LATER YEARS In a society that prizes productivity, youth, beauty, power, and vitality, older adults may feel they are not needed or valued anymore Loneliness of the later years can be accentuated by the losses that come with age: Loss of bodily functions Loss of career or jobs Loss of certain hobbies Loss of friends and loved ones
Death and Loss FEARS OF DEATH AND DYING Some of the aspects of death we may fear are --- Ceasing to be Leaving behind those we love Losing ourselves Encountering the unknown Coping with the indignity of a painful and long dying process Growing distant in the memories of others
Death and the Meaning of Life Life and death are two facets of the same reality Realization of death can revitalize our goals Acceptance of death can lead to discovery of meaning and purpose in life Because time on earth is limited, there is an urgency about living Ancient Greek dictum -- "Contemplate death if you would learn how to live." 24
Some Common Myths About Suicide There are no warning signs People who are suicidal want to die People who talk about suicide will not do it Suicide is genetic Young people are more likely than old people to commit suicide Some Warning Signs Indicating Suicidal Potential Increased substance use Extreme changes of behavior and sudden personality shifts Isolation and withdrawal from friends and family Getting one's life in order
Some Warning Signs Indicating Suicidal Potential Previous suicidal threats or comments Giving away prized possessions Talking about specific ways and a time plan for committing suicide Absence of a sense of purpose in life Chronic depression and feelings of hopelessness The Hospice Movement Hospice is a philosophy with the main focus on end-oflife care; It affirms life, not death Hospice services are provided in the dying person's home and replace more expensive and impersonal treatment options Hospice is a form of palliative or symptom-oriented care with the goal of maximizing the present quality of living and minimizing discomfort The hospice approach offers care to the patient-andfamily unit 25
The Hospice Movement Hospice programs offer formal and informal support services for volunteers and staff members Hospice is holistic care The hospice approach combines professional skills and human presence through interdisciplinary teamwork Hospices typically offer continuing care and counseling services for those who survive the death of a loved one Task-Based Model for Coping with Dying Physical tasks: Coping with pain, nausea, and other physical conditions and minimizing physical distress Psychological tasks: Maintaining autonomy, security, richness in living, and personal dignity Social tasks: Sustaining and enhancing the interpersonal attachments valued by the dying person Spiritual tasks: Searching for the meaning of life and suffering, connectedness, transcendence, and fostering hope
Stages of Dying Dr. Elisabeth Kьbler-Ross, a pioneer in the study of death and dying, delineated five stages of dying. They are: Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance Ten Touchstones Used to Navigate the Bereavement Process 1. Opening to the presence of loss 2. Dispelling misconceptions about grief 3. Embracing the uniqueness of grief 4. Exploring the feelings of loss 5. Recognizing one is not crazy 6. Understanding the needs of mourning 7. Nurturing oneself 8. Reaching out to others 9. Seeking reconciliation 10. Coming to appreciate one's process of transformation 26
A Relational Model of Death and Grieving People are born into networks of relationships and remain woven into those networks long after they die Those who lose a loved one can find comfort in developing a new relationship with the person who died The lives of the deceased continue on in stories that are told about them long after their physical bodies perish The emphasis of this alternative model is not on detaching and moving on
Being "Dead" Psychologically and Socially Are you caught up in deadening roles? Are you alive to your senses and your body? Can you be spontaneous and playful? Are you alive to your feelings? Are your relationships alive? Are you alive intellectually? Are you alive spiritually?
How Well Are You Living Life? Consider writing three eulogies for yourself Write an actual eulogy -- one you would give at your own funeral Write a feared eulogy -- one that you fear someone might say Write the eulogy you would hope for
Meaning and Values THREE EXISTENTIAL QUESTIONS Who am I? Where am I going? Why?
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Our Quest for Identity Identifying core values is a part of the quest for identity An identity is not achieved once and for all We need to listen to our inner selves and trust what we hear We may decide to go against our cultural upbringing to create an identity that is congruent with our values Developing a Philosophy of Life According to The Four Agreements Companion Book (Ruiz, 2000), to heal important relationships and improve your life, follow the tenants of these four agreements: 1. Be impeccable with your word 2. Don't take anything personally 3. Don't make assumptions 4. Always do your best
Our Search for Meaning and Purpose Creating our own meaning is precisely our challenge as human beings Viktor Frankl believed our search for purpose is what distinguishes us as humans Nietzsche claimed "He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how" The decisions we make or fail to make shape the meaning of our lives Many of us find meaning by striving to make a difference in the world Religion/Spirituality and Meaning Spirituality: a set of beliefs and practices that gives greater meaning, purpose, and fulfillment to a person's life often viewed as a journey, an odyssey, quest, pilgrimage, process, a wandering or movement, an expedition into the meaning of life The Dalai Lama believes the ultimate goal of all religions is to produce better human beings who will demonstrate caring and acceptance of others The various sacred texts (e.g., Bible, Torah, Qur'an) share a message of hope 28
Examining Your Values Where did I develop my values? Are my values open to challenge and modification? How do my values affect my behavior? Am I able to accept others -- even if they think, feel, or act in different ways from me? Ways of Breaking Down Barriers and Building Connections Acknowledge and challenge your biases and prejudices Avoid judging differences -- view diversity as a strength Be respectful of those who differ from you Learn about cultures that differ from your own Be willing to test, adapt, and change your perceptions
Embracing Diversity Meaning in life can be found by paying attention to the common ground we are sharing and by becoming aware of universal themes that unite us Create a philosophy of life that embraces understanding and acceptance of diverse world views Prejudice and discrimination are paths toward an empty existence Becoming aware of our own subtle prejudice is the first step toward change Protecting Our Planet Planet Earth is in crisis; key threats include climate change; air, water, and noise pollution; changes in the atmosphere; and chemical risks Each of us can and must assume personal responsibility to bring about changes It is a myth to think that we are helpless in the face of a monumental crisis such as global warming 29
Dangers Associated with global climate change The spread of tropical diseases in areas usually not effected The rise of sea levels due to melting ice, resulting in the loss of low lying continental areas and islands The threat to water supplies due to melting glaciers in Africa, South America, and elsewhere The release of large quantities of carbon dioxide and methane gas (greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere
Dangers Associated with Global Climate Change An increase in drought and the rate of desertification leading to crop failure, famine, and starvation An increase in the loss of life and crop failure as a direct result of more severe weather conditions An increase in species extinction due to climate change and deforestation
Actions We Can Take to Protect Our Planet Reduce emissions from your home Reduce emissions from your car Buy intelligently, consume less, and conserve more Protect and conserve forests worldwide Buy locally grown and produced foods and purchase fresh and organic foods instead of frozen foods
Actions We Can Take to Protect Our Planet Convert to green power Be a catalyst for change. Learn more about climate change and let others know about it Write your state or federal representatives on legislation that protects the environment 30
Where to Go From Here: Pathways to Growth Where to Go From Here: Pathways to Growth PATHWAYS FOR CONTINUED SELFEXPLORATION Develop a reading program Continue your Writing Program Practice ongoing self-assessment Engage in self-directed behavior change Get involved in a support group
Counseling as a Way to Understand Yourself You might consider seeking counseling when-- You feel out of control of your life You are stuck You are involved in an unsatisfying relationship You are experiencing a spiritual crisis You are experiencing a significant loss You are the victim of discrimination or oppression You fear using your potential
Understanding Your Dreams The messages we receive in dreams are related to our hopes, fears, concerns of daily life Dreams can reveal significant clues to events that have meaning for us Dreams are messages that deserve to be listened to and respected Dreams can provide a pathway to better understanding of yourself 31

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