Adult children often approach the prospect of caring for their aging parents with a sense of dread. They worry they’ll be increasingly burdened both psychologically and financially as their parents decline and depend on them more. But research suggests that caregivers can derive positive rewards from caregiving, including an enhanced sense of purpose as well as spiritual and personal growth. In this workshop, we’ll explore ways therapists can help their caregiving clients cultivate experiences where perseverance and gratitude overcome helplessness and fear. You’ll learn how to:
- Help clients identify their caregiving “mission” and bring it into alignment with their most deeply held values
- Reduce guilt and normalize ambivalence about caregiving tasks
- Teach prospective introspection and other techniques for grounding self-judgment and savoring the meaning of their undertaking
- Frame caring for one’s parents as an opportunity for improving difficult relationships
Barry Jacobs, PsyD, is a Principal for Health Management Associates and the author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers. Julia Mayer, PsyD, cowrote AARP Meditations for Caregivers with Jacobs and has a private practice in Media, PA.