Institute-Wide Workshops & Events

Being in Time: The Problem of Hope in Older Adulthood

The Last Developmental Frontier

Elissa K. West, LCSW

Friday, October 6th, 2017 1pm—3pm

Approved for 2 NYS CE Units! 

Increased life expectancy is a well-documented new phenomenon in human history. Less well- documented is the fact that with longer life comes new potential for psychological development into our 80’s, 90’s and beyond. Yet many people, young and old, fear growing old. Death, looming and inevitable, can shroud the whole period of older adulthood with morbidity. In this workshop, starting with Elissa’s paper, we will sort out the fears, false beliefs, transferences, and realities of older adulthood that inveigh against hope. A psychotherapy session with a 91-year- old woman will be presented. And we will consider the special challenges and opportunities in continuing development in older adulthood–a new frontier in human existence.

This workshop will help participants learn to recognize their own ageism, projections and transferences about growing old. Our own relationship to, and ideas and beliefs about older aging will not only intimately affect the course of our own lives, but will influence how we treat our aging parents, and older patients. We will also discuss how the fact of death intrudes, forcing for many a crisis of hope: is it possible to be hopeful in the face of older aging, in the face of death? Since extended life into older adulthood is new in human history, we must be students of this new phenomenon. As Jung said: “…for the ageing person it is a duty and a necessity to devote serious attention to himself” because “the bill will now be presented for what [developmentally] was bypassed in the earlier years.” And because we can go on becoming!

Elissa K. West, LCSW, psychoanalyst, a 1991 graduate of ICP’s 4-year training program, has been in private practice for over 25 years with a special focus on treating older adults. She founded ICP’s Older Adult Treatment Service program (OATS) in 1996 and served as director for 7 years, serving on the Management Team. Since then she founded AHA! At Home Attention, Psychotherapy At Your Home–an online directory for homebound people in NYC to locate a home-visiting psychotherapist in their zip code (see ahahomepsychotherapy.com) — new therapists are welcome. Elissa’s “Being in Time: the Problem of Hope in Older Adulthood, the Last Developmental Frontier” paper was published in Issues in Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol. 37, 2015. She has since presented her paper at the Washington Square Institute’s Lecture Series, at the Senior Forum of the First Presbyterian Church (Fifth Avenue/12th Street), and at the William Alanson White Institute’s Extended Lifespan Program, and is delighted to be presenting at ICP, her home institute. She has also begun an analytic therapy group for women in their 70’s and 80’s. After the presentation of Elissa’s paper, there will be time for questions and discussion.

For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations please contact Emma Frank at 212-333-3444 ext 114 or at@icpnyc.org



Continuing Education Information

NYS Continuing Education Information

*The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.

*The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychoanalysts.

*The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy is recognized by the NYS Education Department State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education credit for licensed social workers.

*The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors.

*The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists.