Category Archives: Identity

Defining “The Self”

A couple of days ago, off duty and minding my own business, I was asked a really good question, “as a psychologist”. Luckily, I had the foresight to ask for a little time to think about the answer.   The question: How would I describe a “self”?   The answer came, as answers sometimes do, in a dream. This one woke me up this morning, before dawn. I sat down at the computer and wrote out a fairly passable answer. This is what I came up with:   1)         Generally, each of us struggles with a limited number of “front burner” issues. Cognitive psychologists put the number at 8: plus […]

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Retiring Retirement

The current economic climate serves as a catalyst for a shift in the normative developmental tasks of middle age. The popular twentieth century pattern of career leading to retirement has ended. Partly obscured within the spiraling numbers of unemployed workers of all ages, is the high incidence of professional knowledge workers, freed through the economic imperatives of corporate fiscal panic to pursue other interests. Unfortunately, the shock of the real is what most encounter, as carefully crafted cover letters and resume submissions multiply; with the dawning recognition, often in deep emotional distress, that conventional job-seeking has become ineffective. My clinical and consulting experiences suggest that this realization heralds a period […]

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