The Evolving Elder

Applying What Really Matters to Life

By David “Lucky” Goff
Eldership Academy Press (2017)
$18.95 USD Softcover, plus shipping

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Congratulations! Your curiosity has led you to stumble onto something extraordinary. Once in a while, a passionate and poignant description of something that is happening on a global and evolutionary scale occurs. The Evolving Elder captures a transition that is preparing the way for a new phase in humanity’s life. By focusing upon the changes that are occurring in the longer lives of some old people, the movement of evolution is being revealed.

Instead of dwelling on the prejudices that impede the old, this work describes elderhood in fresh terms, which reveal the many positive aspects of this important stage of human life. There are gains, which make the losses that accompany aging meaningful and essential to human well being. There are many surprises involved with aging —developments that enhance life, and expansions that change the assumptions about what the human experiment is about. It is way past time for a new look at the phenomenon of aging, an examination that reveals the ultimate dignity of human life.

Such a look also reveals the organic process that is going on. It shows natural forces at work, pushing growth and especially integration. The latter stage of life has its own developmental tasks, its own challenges, its own urges, which demonstrate that human existence is embedded in the larger processes of Life itself.

Human nature is stretching out, via a prolonged life, and gaining a bigger relevance to what is going on. This enlarged viewpoint alters the view of the human place in Life! Reading this book will clue you in to a fundamental shift in the way humankind, especially in the elder stage, is occurring. It will also reveal the profound change that is altering the connection between humanity and evolution.

Surprising discoveries accompany aging. There is an elder awakening happening – older people are vital like they have never been before. Greying turns out to be ripening into something special!!

Providing a necessary corrective for the wide-spread prejudice that demise corresponds to the latter stages of life, The Evolving Elder describes in rich and inspiring prose how evolution has created a period of life that reveals the true dignity of human existence.

What Experts are Saying

“If you want to look forward to what lies ahead for you on reaching 50, 60, 70 and 80, The Evolving Elder is the book for you. Goff not only has brilliant insights into later life, but he writes beautifully as well. I’ll enter my 80th year in 2017 and this is the most inspiring and useful guide for Elderhood I’ve found.”
William Idol, Founding Member, Center for Third Age

“Goff provides a bold and refreshing look at aging, drawing from his deeply moving, personal experiences of becoming an elder. He also put the process into a larger context- the evolutionary significance of elders for humanity: no other species has such a long post-reproductive life, underscoring the crucial role elders play in human survival. It is a resource we need to foster more than ever in these perilous times.”
Allan Chinnen, MD, Author of In the Ever After, Once Upon a Midlife, and Beyond the Hero

“If you hope to become an elder, this guide to the power and wisdom of elderhood is for you! It’s a realistic appraisal of both the challenges (cultural, mental, and physical) and the unexpected joys and rewards of aging. Read it: laugh and weep, celebrate and grieve, and embrace the journey towards the inevitable end of life that we all must make, Goff’s affirmation of life in The Evolving Elder is movingly written, a pleasure to read, and uplifting for individuals and communities alike.”
Dr Susanne Cook-Grueter, Int’l authority on Mature Adult Development

“Goff takes us on an inner journey into our own unknow lands of aging and elderhood. Each journey is unique with its travails and triumphs, losses and gains, but something stirring inside impels us to ripen. Taking this journey in community, learning to surrender, and accepting what is are challenges that can lead us to the boons. Lucky’s message is that there is much to gain by ripening into elderhood, and that personal fulfillment is available if we will welcome it.”
John Sorensen, Coordinating Director, Conscious Elders Network

The Evolving Elder
By David “Lucky” Goff
Eldership Academy Press (2017)
$18.95 USD Softcover, plus shipping

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Applying Deep Democracy in Human Services

Diversity, Inclusion and Innate Powers


By Julia Wolfson, Ph.D.
Eldership Academy Press (2017)
$18.95 USD Softcover, plus shipping;
Australia/Oceania Softcover $35 AUD (includes postage)

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One billion people across the globe of all ages – one eighth of our human community – are dependent on health, disability and/or care and protective systems and providers. For millions of people, everyday survival depends on caregivers, supporters, care programs and funding. The need may be temporary, longer term or lifelong. Many people in care systems and assisted living settings are lonely, isolated and long to feel at home in a community with meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute.

Mistreatment, exploitation and neglect in protective environments and institutions, has come to light in a sweep of shocking revelations and inquiries worldwide. Applying Deep Democracy in Human Services is relevant for caregivers, educators and direct support professionals, and people who rely on support and care. This book is also important for family members, policy makers and community developers, facilitators, leaders and administrators involved in this ever-growing and expanding field of human services.

The nine innate powers explained, are a concrete way to address one of the core questions people in care institutions, educators and helping professions are grappling with: How best to respond to people who require assistance and care in a strengths-based, individualized and respectful way. Applying Deep Democracy in Human Services is a humanising and pragmatic response to addressing and preventing abuse and awakening inner resources for a self-directed life, rich with meaning, friendship and contribution.

From the Foreword

“This is an important text for the future. On a global scale we are discovering that relationships and connections with other people, opportunities, and resources provide the best guarantee of health, safety, and growth and development. We are also discovering that we can no longer afford to continually enlarge the disability bubble. We will need to master the material that Wolfson provides us if we intend to explore sustainable lives and relationships beyond that bubble. This book will help people reframe the key issues in human services around the themes of self-direction, relationships, and social capital.”

– James F. Gardner, PhD, President, J Gardner & Associates, LLC, and Past President and CEO, Council on Quality and Leadership, 1989–2012

What Leaders in the Field are Saying About the Book

“Dr. Wolfson’s book Applying Deep Democracy in Human Services shows how certain skills and metaskills using ‘deep democracy’, can help those in need, caregivers and whole organizations thrive!”

— Drs. Amy and Arnold Mindell, Founders of Process Work, deep democracy and worldwork

“A refreshing and thought provoking must read if you or your friends or a family member is in a care environment.”

— Drs. Ellen and Max Schupbach, Founders of the Deep Democracy Institute International

“Finally, after working for over 40 years with people with challenging behaviors, predominantly in the field of Intellectual Disability, I am awed and heartened by this book. Rich with insight derived through direct practice and capable of being extrapolated to all nature of oppression and abuse of power, Dr. Julia Wolfson uses her own rich life and work experiences to expose the painful abuses and misguided power-over in interpersonal relationships that often commingles with well-meaning care-taking intentions for people with different abilities. Through her powerful storytelling she simultaneously exposes us to pain and suffering, as well as the hopefulness of the healing path when truth is heard in a facilitated environment. This book is very important for us all to read, especially if we hope to help humanity develop to its fullest potential. I will assign it to my students in our MSW program as well as to our clinic interns as a strategic guide to transformative leadership, and recommend it to everyone I come across who is trying to help change the world.”

Dr. Beth Barol, Associate Dean and Director of Social Work, Widener University, Pennsylvania, USA.

“For more than a decade the author has worked with our organisation in a village in Africa, for children, youth and young adults with different abilities, bringing us together to discover at progressively deeper levels what the core of our work is. In this book she shares the treasures and insight of many decades of work supporting organisations to bring out the strengths of vulnerable people. It is a remarkable book that should be required reading for all who work in this field.”

— Agas Groth, CEO Camphill Communities, Botswana.

“This masterpiece promises to make a significant contribution to the most difficult existential questions of our time. In a fascinating weave of experiences from her professional life and deep, personal accounts, Julia provides a roadmap for a journey of a universal kind. The inquiry is both confronting and comforting. The authenticity of the voice in this narrative demands of us as readers that we, too, ask ourselves: how can I be safe and free? What does it mean to be alive? Can I become an agent of change? Can I grow my own power or must I wait for this to be authorized by another? This book should be on any reading list that aims to educate people within the social sciences. It applies not only to the education and care sectors but in any context within which our aim is to serve others. With its refined approach to inclusion, this book applies to any culture or nation where there are individuals who put their work in service of their fellow human beings. Courage and love in equal measures has made this book what it is. Read it and be changed.”

Charlotte von Bülow, founder and CEO, Crossfields Institute, Awarding Organisation for specialist qualifications, Stroud, United Kingdom.

“Bringing in her personal and professional experiences with people of diverse ages, backgrounds, abilities, sexual orientations, political and spiritual beliefs, Julia discusses ‘nine innate deep powers,’ giving concrete examples in her work and suggesting ‘on-the-spot practices’ that can be used to apply these powers. As a counselor, multi-cultural educator, and mother/grandmother of a family with varying abilities, I identify with and will continue to learn from Julia and the people and situations that she describes.”

Dr. Sally Gelardin, AgeSong Community Engagement Director, 
San Francisco, USA.

Applying Deep Democracy to Human Services
By Julia Wolfson, Ph.D.
Eldership Academy Press (2017)
$18.95 USD Softcover, plus shipping;
Australia/Oceania Softcover $35 AUD (includes postage)

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Encounters of the Real Kind Book 3

Encounters of the Real Kind: Musings, poetry, stories about elders, forgetfulness and life, Book 3Encounters_cover_front_only

Edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2015)
150 pages; $16.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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Elders Academy Press is excited to present the third volume in the Encounters of the Real Kind series; a shared tome of stories, poems and musings from the 2013/2014 participants in the Pacific Institute Gero-Wellness Program at AgeSong.

The Gero-Wellness Program interns at AgeSong come from a variety of schools and universities in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. The participants are interns and doctoral students with backgrounds in psychology, gerontology, counseling, grief and loss support, and human development. Through their practicum experience at AgeSong, they show an authentic interest and passion in their work with the aging population.

The Pacific Institute Gero-Wellness Program interns are part of an engaged movement that views aging with respect and awareness. All residents at AgeSong Eldercare Communities have an opportunity to connect with the interns who provide emotional and therapeutic support individually and/or in group settings.

A Note from the Editor about Encounters of the Real Kind

AgeSong programming for eldercare seeks to return meaning to aging and “Old Age.” In so doing, the hope is to return to the centrality of meaning in all of our lives.

Meaning is not to be found in either the pure philosophical contemplation of life or just the practical, everyday activities of earning a living. Rather, meaning must be grounded both in concepts and in experience. What makes the Gero-Wellness Program so unique is that students who are learning about the social sciences, such as social work and psychology, can combine these intellectual concepts with the depth of experience presented to them by elders. Residential care settings such as AgeSong provide such opportunities.

AgeSong and its partner Pacific Institute address the marginalization of the elderly in modern society; here, students and interns learn from elders, while in turn elders feel valued and respected for being the teachers they are.

In these stories and poems you can see how the AgeSong Elders are teaching the timeless qualities of being human: being in the moment, in the here and now, relating deeply with others and oneself, being kind and generous, giving and accepting, loving and caring. These ways of being are so very much needed in our modern-day societies, which are increasingly fast paced, materialistic, and cerebral.

“Elders show us what our heart needs, what it yearns for. As such, elders may be the solution to many of the problems we face today. All we need to do is listen, to spend time with them. Our lives may never be the same after such encounters of the real kind.”
—Nader Shabahangi, Editor, CEO AgeSong

“Days spent as an intern at AgeSong are unpredictable. Any given day may hold moments of joy, connection, challenge, affection, sadness, and delight — often in rapid succession. The experience of being there is collage-like, with many elements co-occurring simultaneously. My arts background gives me the freedom to look at things through my own lens, paralleling the creative freedom memory loss can give some of our forgetful elders. The collages reproduced in this book are visual anecdotes created to process my experience of a day’s worth of encounters with members of the AgeSong community.”
-Ivy Tiegel, MFTi Expressive Arts Therapy Intern

“So how can we come to understand and cherish, accept and love our frail and forgetful seniors? The answer: by appreciating who they are right now—not compared to days, weeks, or years ago. We need to meet and appreciate them as they are today and not worry about yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. We can deal with that as it comes. Most importantly, we need to celebrate who they are now, accept their limitations, and rejoice in what they still have—what Age Song calls “personhood.”
As the educational component of the AgeSong/Pacific Institute collaborative, Pacific Institute actively promotes the recognition of “personhood,” making the experience for residents of AgeSong-managed facilities full and enjoyable. Furthermore, Pacific Institute seeks to spread this philosophy of care to all who desire to connect more intimately with seniors. That philosophy is reflected in these stories, poems, and observations, contributed by our interns. Enjoy them!”

—Peter Szutu, President Pacific Institute

Encounters of the Real Kind: Musings, poetry, stories about elders, forgetfulness and life, Book 3
Edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2015)
150 pages; $16.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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Conversations with Ed – Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are We So Afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Conversations with Ed Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are We So Afraid of Alzheimer's Disease?Conversations with Ed – Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are We So Afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease?
by Ed Voris, Nader Shabahangi, and Patrick Fox,in collaboration with Sharon Mercer
Elders Academy Press (2009)

126 pages, $25.50 Hardcover, $19.50 Softcover, plus shipping; $9.95 eBook – ePub & Mobi

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How can we not be afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease? How can we not dread aging? By posing these questions we are invited alternate ways of seeing Alzheimer’s disease as well as aging. In so doing we do not want to minimize the suffering that people may experience watching a loved one become forgetful. Nor do we want to minimize that becoming forgetful and growing old can be pain processes. Rather, Conversations with Ed wants to create a positive cultural space for people with dementia, for those who accompany them on their journey and for those who fear being afflicted with it.

Read more about Conversations with Ed in this article, “Consensus Smiles” by Sally Gelardin, Ph.D. on the AgeSong Today blog.

 

Conversations with Ed – Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are We So Afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease?
by Ed Voris, Nader Shabahangi, and Patrick Fox,in collaboration with Sharon Mercer
Elders Academy Press (2009)

126 pages, $25.50 Hardcover, $19.50 Softcover, plus shipping; $9.95 eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Elders Today: Opportunities of a Lifetime

Elders Today: Opportunities of a Lifetime book coverElders Today: Opportunities of a Lifetime
edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2011)
58 pages, $12.95 Softcover, plus shipping; $9.95 eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Elders remind us of the big questions of life: what really matters to me? What gives me a true sense of contentment, of feeling useful inside? What are the moments I cherish and how do I remember those as guideposts for living my life? How do my actions, thoughts, and behaviors further who I would like to become? What is the vision I have of myself, of the society within which I live, to which I would like to contribute? What are the values I hold dear and for which I want to stand? What would I like to leave behind when I part from this world? These questions are central, I believe, to living a life that is worth living. It is in joining with the elders of today that each one of us can be enriched and deepened, that our culture and societies can be reminded of what makes us essentially human. Elders Today poses these complex, quintessential questions, helping us not only learn to appreciate what it means to be an elder; we can’t help but actually look forward to becoming elders ourselves.

Elders Today: Opportunities of a Lifetime
edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2011)
58 pages, $12.95 Softcover, plus shipping; $9.95 eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Poems For and About Elders

Poems for and About EldersPoems For and About Elders
by Tom Greening, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2014)

34 pages, $4.95, eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Tom Greening is a wonderful role model of an elder, poet, philosopher and educator who shares personal, honest and lyrical contemplations on later life issues.

The poems in this collection grew out of his serving as a training director at Agesong, his psychotherapy practice, and his own aging. He and his dachshund are gradually getting used to being “elders.”

About the Author

Tom Greening studied at Yale University, the University of Vienna, and the University of Michigan. He has been a psychotherapist in private practice in the same office since 1958, and was Editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology for thirty years. His poems have been published in many places including The American Scholar, Los Angeles Times, and The Lyric, and translated into six languages. Collections of his poems include Tolstoy’s Lament and Words Against the Void, both available in Russian translation. He also published Nasreddin the Psychologist, a collection of stories about a famous Persian fool whom he turned into a modern psychotherapist.

Poems For and About Elders
by Tom Greening, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2014)
34 pages, $4.95, eBook – ePub & Mobi

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Gems of Wisdom: A Book of Elder Poetry and Prose

Gems of Wisdom: A Book of Elder Poetry and ProseGems of Wisdom:
A Book of Elder Poetry and Prose

edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2011)

132 pages, $11.95, plus shipping & handling

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Gems of Wisdom is a celebration of eldership and the wisdom that accompanies life experiences. Elders throughout California submitted prose and poetry to inspire readers to reflect and embrace their own creativity.

A portion of the proceeds from Gems of Wisdom will help AgeSong Institute fund its Expressive Arts Programs throughout the Bay Area. The goal of the Expressive Arts Programs is to combine creative expressions such as writing, painting, arts and crafts, dance, music, and sculpture with psychotherapy and life coaching.

“I think creativity is the key to the fountain of youth. Gems of Wisdom reflects the creative genius, and wisdom that comes with age. This anthology is a marvelous, brave book, a testimonial to the power of age, and to the spirit. The prose pieces in this book bring the reader into the dreams, hopes and insights of those who embrace age. As we live in an anti-age society, this anthology is important as it represents the age pride and the importance of the creative process. This is a masterpiece! And everyone at every age should read this book.”

-San Francisco Author of The Viagra Diaries and Founder/Age March

“We would like to acknowledge all of the offerings submitted for this publication. Though we could not include all pieces submitted, we the judges and editors were enchanted by the many memories and stories that we were privileged to share..”

-Kimberly Kinser – Poet, Writer, Amherst Artist and Writers Workshop Leader.

“The anthology by AgeSong abounds with playful poems of times well lived! It’s a fine thing to read the poem stories that sing of love songs along with hardship from people who are now in their seventies and eighties, even nineties. The humor will delight you. You may wonder what you’ll be saying at that age!!”

-Janell Moon, Poet Laureate of Emeryville for 2011-2012, Author of Salt and Paper: 65 Candles

Gems of Wisdom
edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2011)
132 pages, $11.95, plus shipping & handling

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Love Fills in the Blanks: Paradoxes for our Later Years

Love Fills in the Blanks: Paradoxes for our Later Years book coverLove Fills in the Blanks:
Paradoxes of our Final Years

by Elizabeth Bugental, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2008)

67 pages, $19.95, plus shipping

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Love Fills In the Blanks is an insightful heart-opening book that examines paradoxes of aging as they form from the direct experience of the author, Elizabeth Bugental, and of many of her students, each of whom is more than seventy years of age.

For Elizabeth, many things became apparent during the writing of this book. One is that we live in contradictions and paradoxes with the main ones being that as we grow old, we are more conscious of living than we are of dying and of finding than we are of losing. So it is natural that this book forms itself around paradoxes. In the pages within seven paradoxes are emphasized, although there could be hundreds. The book suggests that the right conditions for seeing and embracing the exquisite beauty that life offers us while at the same time experiencing difficulties that life presents us are all present once we approach old age consciously although at times it is difficult to stay aware of the possible hidden in the seemingly impossible.

The reality is that when we care for an ailing partner or adult child, contend with our own aches and pains, face unwanted surgeries, lose a spouse or sibling or friend, we get a rough shove into awareness. But with or without that shove, losses slowly mount and force us to wake up and deal with the inevitable. The paradoxes in this experience are a daunting and beautiful learning. As Elizabeth says, “I find myself seeing them everywhere now and I find that comforting. No need to decide, but to just acknowledge both sides of the seeming contradictions, and to live enjoyably with one in each hand for better balance and perspective.”

Reviews Shared from Amazon

At 87, I am the sort of reader who can be gratefully jolted and relaxed by Elizabeth Bugental s paradoxes. Speaking of giving and receiving, she says Saved and Savior. Which is which? Who cares? and one is shaken into a happier understanding of the matter. This is a touching, wise, and instructive little book.

-Richard Wilbur, Former US Poet Laureate and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Love Fills In the Blanks is a book to read again and again. Each reading will bring a new layer of understanding. We share with Elizabeth, the richness that is only possible as we age and our vision is stripped clear of the confi dent denial of our younger lives. Aging is, as she says, the journey of losing and finding. As Elizabeth teaches, paradoxes are to be embraced. We are all living them. Paradoxes not only express the fundamental ambiguity of our lives, embracing them also carves our capacity for being. As we hold with loving intensity one side of the paradox and acknowledge the other, our capacity to hold both increases.

-Alison Bonds Shapiro, MBA, Chair of the Board of Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center

Opening to paradox opens the door to wisdom, and this book helps open that door.

-Roger Walsh, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy and Anthropology, University of California, and author of Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices

Love Fills in the Blanks:
Paradoxes of our Final Years

by Elizabeth Bugental, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2008)
67 pages, $19.95, plus shipping

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Deeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Towards Forgetfulness Care

Deeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer's Towards Forgetfulness CareDeeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Towards Forgetfulness Care
by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D. & Bogna Szymkiewicz, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2008)
$9.95 eBook – Epub & Mobi

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“If you are a researcher, a hospital worker, a teacher, a caregiver, this book belongs on your desk or at your bedside. Deeper into the Soul will push you further than you meant to go, surprising you into a smile of pleasure, a buzz of new learning, a challenge to your usual interpretation of meaning. Best of all, it will engage and enlarge your heart.”

~Elizabeth Bugental, Psychotherapist and Author of AgeSong: Meditations for Later Years

This book is a practical guide for people who work and live with relatives or residents with symptoms of forgetfulness. The authors offer ideas and tips dealing with symptoms such as aggression and wandering, but they also explore a new way of understanding the people for whom we care. They ask the basic existential questions: What are the possible meanings of forgetfulness? What purpose does it serve for both caregiver and the one experiencing forgetfulness?

In Deeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Toward Forgetfulness Care, the authors invite us to shift our attitude toward dementia, or forgetfulness, as they call it. Accompanying us are four characters—a sage, a psychologist, a physician, and an intern—who each sees Forgetfulness from a different viewpoint. The goal is to develop a perspective which includes the basic ingredients of openness, curiosity and acceptance.

Deeper into the Soul reminds us that each stage of forgetfulness is a meaningful part of the life journey, during which people have important emotional and spiritual experiences. The authors remind us that with each effort to understand others, we expand our view of the world. Rather than simply a disease, forgetfulness has purpose and meaning; rather than simply being in need of our care, people with forgetfulness can teach us about life and living; rather than a burden, people with dementia offer us an opportunity to slow down, to be more open and caring, to get in touch with the essence of our human nature. In the process, we deepen ourselves, deepen our souls.

 

“Deeper into the Soul is a beacon of hope and understanding for victims of dementia, their caregivers and families. This remarkable book presents a comprehensive explanation of the challenges of life with Alzheimer’s, and encourages us regarding its possibilities for the future.”
— Edward Voris, Developer, Builder, Fundraiser; Recently diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimer’s

“In times when our society faces an increasing number of people suffering from dementia, an approach that goes beyond the neurological explanations and adventures into the emotional and spiritual experiences of those suffering and those caregiving brings a perspective that encourages support, understanding, and a very much needed new paradigm to face this challenge. Deeper into the Soul represents that paradigm in which dementia and forgetfulness represent a meaningful part of the life journey.”
— Gloria Cavanaugh, retired President & CEO American Society on Aging/Consultant Institute on Aging

“If you are a researcher, a hospital worker, a teacher, a caregiver, this book belongs on your desk or at your bedside. …Deeper into the Soul will push you further than you meant to go, surprising you into a smile of pleasure, a buzz of new learning, a challenge to your usual interpretation of meaning. Best of all, it will engage and enlarge your heart.”
— Elizabeth Bugental, PhD; Psychotherapist and Author of AgeSong: Mediations for Our Later Years.

 

Deeper into the Soul:
Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Towards Forgetfulness Care

by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D. & Bogna Szymkiewicz, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2008)
$9.95 eBook – Epub & Mobi

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The Softcover Edition is Being Reprinted!

Would you like to be notified when it is back in stock?
Please email Michelle at books@pacificinstitute.org and she will let you when we have Deeper into the Soul available again.

Caregiving from the Heart: Tales of Inspiration

Caregiving from the Heart: Tales of InspirationCaregiving from the Heart: Tales of Inspiration
by Roberta Cole and Riki Intner
Elders Academy Press (2006)

197 pages, $19.95, plus shipping

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In Caregiving from the Heart: Tales of Inspiration, Roberta Cole and Riki Intner take readers on what can be a life-altering odyssey of connection and caring.

At a time in our history when our population is living longer and longer, caregiving has become a national health issue as well as one of the greatest human challenges of our time. How do we respect, honor and attend to the needs of our elders? As well, how do we respect, honor and attend the needs of those facing life threatening health issues earlier in life.

How do we reconcile the seemingly huge gap between our own needs and theirs? And most of all, how do we create and sustain a dialogue that is meaningful for both?

Woven throughout Caregiving from the Heart: Tales of inspiration are the threads of true experience. We hear from children, friends, relatives and partners, long distance caregivers and many recipients of care. The shared stories help us to navigate the maze of emotion that can be at once tearful and ebullient, gut wrenching and heartwarming. The stories cover moments large and small and often address elder issues of pressing concern – from painful role reversal, driving, safety and depression to loss of mobility and even to last chance romance.

We learn that there is no right way to care and that caregiving opens windows on the full range of possibility available to us when we participate in one of the most profound adventures of our lives. The stories speak of agony and surprise – of joy and despair – but most of all – of discovery. Caregiving from the Heart: Tales of Inspiration is like having a support group in your own home. Keep it on your nightstand and use it whenever you have the need.

Caregiving from the Heart: Tales of Inspiration
by Roberta Cole and Riki Intner
Elders Academy Press (2006)
197 pages, $19.95, plus shipping

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Doing Sixty and Seventy

Doing Sixty and Seventy book coverDoing Sixty and Seventy
by Gloria Steinem
Elders Academy Press (2006)

72 pages, $13.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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Gloria Steinem became a spokesperson for issues about aging quite accidentally after declaring to a reporter on the occasion of her fortieth birthday, “This is what forty looks like. We’ve been lying for so long, who would know?” Because of this casual comment about her age and about the collective societal pressure to lie about our age she received an avalanche of thanks and support from other women facing age discrimination. This caused her to realize the far reaching dimensions of age oppression.

In her inspiring essay, Doing Sixty and Seventy, Steinem shares her views on age stereotyping, the unexpected liberation that comes with growing older, and defines what she perceives as the fact that women become more radical as they age. The essay also sheds light on the forces that shaped her life and for readers who have only heard bits and pieces about her the essay offers a primer on her bold and logical theories.

In the essay, Steinem describes turning fifty as “leaving a much-loved and familiar country” and turning sixty “as arriving at the border of a new one” in which she looked forward to “trading moderation for excess, defiance for openness, and planning for the unknown.” In the Preface — written when Steinem is just past seventy and twelve years after the essay was first published — Steinem explains the development of her precious sense of mortality and time.

Elders Academy Press is proud to publish Ms. Steinem’s enlightening and thought-provoking essay — thus allowing it to appear for the first time as an independent volume.

About the Author
Gloria Steinem remains the United States’ most influential, eloquent and revered feminist more than three decades after founding Ms. magazine. A devoted activist and writer, Steinem continues, as she has for more than thirty-five years, to travel nationally and internationally and speak with a calm voice of reason and articulation about gender, racial, and other civil inequity issues.

Doing Sixty and Seventy
by Gloria Steinem
Elders Academy Press (2006)
72 pages, $13.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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Faces of Aging

Faces of Aging Faces of Aging by Nader Shabahangi book cover
by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2002)

80 pages, $19.95, plus shipping

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Faces of Aging is a collection of essays and photographic images that address the challenge of aging in a society that is not sympathetic to older people. The result of this negativity deprives us all from interaction with a very valuable segment of the population.

Older people can provide us with experience, knowledge and affection if we change our attitude toward them and begin to see them as a resource rather than a liability. History and the humanistic tradition have shown us that when respected and valued, older citizens can continue to be productive and creative and can contribute to the quality of life.

Faces of Aging is a tribute to elders and is dedicated to removing the veil from the subject of aging. The book invites us to ask how we can remain conscious of the ways in which we impose our own fears of aging, of death, of the changes that invariably occur as we age, onto the elderly themselves: If we ask ourselves to face our own fears of aging and dying, maybe we can begin to understand how these fears express themselves in our work with and attitudes toward the elderly. How, in our interactions with the elderly, can we remain open to what they have to offer us, not only because they have more life experience than we do, but also because they are entrusted in our care? How does our contact with the elderly inform our awareness of our own inner elders? How is the whole topic of the elderly important to those of us in the younger generations?

Why do we age and what for? Of what are we afraid when we think about aging? How did it happen that we humans came to treat today’s elderly in such a disrespectful fashion? How would we like to be seen when we are old? This book is an invitation to look at aging and old age differently, to question our common cultural and personal assumptions about aging and old age. The writing, photos and poems presented will invite the reader to meet with the many images of aging and look anew for meaning in aging and old age, for the maturity and wisdom the Old Wise Guide, inside of us all, offers us.

About the Author
Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D., 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.

Faces of Aging
by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2002)
80 pages, $19.95, plus shipping

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Ambiguity of Suffering

Ambiguity of SufferingAmbiguity of Suffering book cover
by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2015)
230 pages, $24.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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Suffering holds one of the deeper meanings of life: the ability to connect with your soul, your deep humanity. This connection with suffering pushes us to become ever more aware. Rather than trying to eliminate suffering, we can celebrate it as an opportunity to deepen who we are. This book is my effort to re-introduce a love of philosophy to psychology. As Suzuki Roshi states, we’re beginning to look again at the world from a place of not knowing rather than knowing — a world full of possibility and probability, as opposed to fact and clarity.

From the Preface

The legacy of this book – lived through Nader’s teaching, his numerous elder-focused writings, his groundbreaking work in elder care, and ever rippling into new realms of possibility – is evidence of the vibrancy and passion that reside between its pages. This is not surprising, considering that the ideas put forth in this book are essentially a preface to the decades of Nader’s service to elders. Just as Freud’s Project became an underlying treatise for his later intellectual contributions to psychology,parallels abound between this writing and Nader’s later contributions to existential and process-oriented psychology, as well as his revolutionary impact on elder care.

Nader is acknowledged in the field for his promotion of a new language for what is traditionally known as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Beyond simply reframing these phenomena as experiences of “forgetfulness,” this new language is infused with an appreciation of the utter mystery and depth of the forgetting experience, rather than focusing solely on what is tragic.

 

“A clarion call for those of us privileged to call ourselves awareness workers, psychologists, counselors, social workers, process workers and psychiatrists alike. Nader Shabahangi’s words invite us into a challenging dialogue with Freud and Heidegger, two thinkers whose ideas forever changed our way of understanding the inner and outer world. Above all, Ambiguity of Suffering alarms us to awaken from the prevailing narrative of positivism, and to enter a world rich with ambiguity, mystery, and meaning.”
— Troy Piwowarski, Psy.D., LLP, Licensed Psychotherapist

“In this inspired re-contextualization of psychological epistemology, Dr. Shabahangi problematizes the very grounds upon which mechanistic influences of human behavior are predicated. Categorical diagnoses of the many forms of human suffering reflect an effort to eradicate pathological mental conditions, and yet, as Dr. Shabahangi demonstrates, the experience of making meaning as a human in the world compels suffering — just as the ambiguity of suffering, and all that accompanies its existential significance, nourishes the meaningfulness of being. From the orientation of Heidegerrian philosophy, Ambiguity outlines historical and present-day mechanistic conceptualizations of the human experience, problematizes a reductive understanding of the human mind and spirit, and advocates for a more holistic conceptualization and treatment of the “problem” of psychopathology.”
— Stephanie Rothman, Ph.D.

 

 

Ambiguity of Suffering
by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
230 pages, $24.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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AgeSong: Meditations for Our Later Years

AgeSong: Meditations for Our Later YearsAgeSong: Meditations for our Later Years
by Elizabeth Bugental, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2005)
83 pages, $20.00, plus shipping

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AgeSong: Meditations for Our Later Years is a heartening, insightful companion for reflecting on the journey of aging.

Growing old is not an option. But how we age is a choice. At least we like to think so. AgeSong gives us a pleasurable nudge and a little inspiration to take charge of our aging. None of us knows how many years this final life-phase will last, but it’s a pretty good bet that it will last at least as long as our adolescence.

If we can remember back that far, unlike this life-phase, those teens and early twenties seemed to go on forever and we sure didn’t have a plan. Now we’re old enough and maybe even wise enough to decide how we’d like to live before we die. And maybe we even have the guts to make the choices we need to make to do it in style.

The style, of course, needs to be our own, not one planned out for us by society, our children, our peers, or even our personal habitual mind-sets. We’re finally old enough to consult our deeper selves and do it our way.

AgeSong can be taken in small doses to direct our thinking toward the possibilities ahead of us rather than the life we’ve left behind. It offers us a look into a world that, for many of us, has always been available, but which we may not have had the physical or mental luxury of enjoying. It provides us a simple, yet profound, breathing space to take in the richness within our reach that could fill our last days with wonder and gratitude.

About the Author

Elizabeth Bugental spent her 20’s and 30’s as a Catholic nun in Los Angeles. She taught on all levels and was, for over a decade, Chairperson of the Department of Theatre Arts at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. Her second career, lasting into her sixties, was as a psychotherapist in the San Francisco Bay Area, in private practice and working jointly with her husband of thirty-six years, James Bugental, noted Psychologist and author. She held a doctorate in Speech and Drama from Stanford University, a Masters Degree from Catholic University of America and practiced as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

AgeSong: Meditations for Our Later Years
by Elizabeth Bugental, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press, 2005
83 pages, $20.00, plus shipping

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Encounters of the Real Kind, Book 2

Encounters of the Real Kind: Musings, poetry, stories about elders, forgetfulness and life, Book 2Encounters of the Real Kind Book 2 cover
Edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2014)
240 pages; $16.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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This is the second volume in the series of Encounters of the Real Kind. These stories, poems and musings are shared by the 2012/2013 participants in the AgeSong Gero-Wellness training program. The Gero-Wellness Internship program emphasizes that we need to ‘see’ and care for the whole human being, that we learn from our elders about what really matters in life.

With backgrounds in psychology, gerontology, counseling, grief and loss support, and human development, interns come from a variety of schools and universities in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. These interns show an authentic interest and passion in their work with the aging population. They are part of a movement that views aging with respect and awareness, a necessity to become a mature and wise human being. This is a view that looks at the gifts aging afford us.

Pacific Institute teaches a humanistic-existential, process-oriented approach to working with individuals in general and elders specifically. This approach refrains from pathologizing and labeling and tries to understand the appearance of symptoms as important messages to be explored and understood. In such a phenomenological approach, symptoms are understood as solutions to whatever ails or burdens a resident rather than a problem to be eliminated.

All residents at AgeSong Communities have an opportunity to connect with interns who provide emotional and therapeutic support individually and/or in group settings.

Interns spend two or more days a week in an AgeSong community and may accompany residents to group programs, share stories while on walks, connect in a painting class, listen to music, and read poetry together. They also plan trips to the opera or share in a quiet moment. Groups focus on meditation, expressive arts, movement, humor, national and international news, literature, travel and much more. Our interns follow the lead of elders; they show us what is important to them.

An elder once told me “We will all die. Why? Because we can’t take care of each other.”

~ Jacob Engelskirger, Doctoral Intern at AgeSong

I have seen amazing transformation of GeroWellness interns over the past year. When they started AgeSong’s Gerowellness Program, interns thought they were helping members of the community. Upon completion of the program, they came to the realization that they were learning more from members of the community than members of the community were learning from them. The stories in Encounters of the Real Kind (Book 2) document their learning.

~ Sally D. Gelardin, Ed.D., Engagement Director, AgeSong

“I bring the wood and the AgeSong Elders start the fire with their wisdom.”

~ Chaplain Rick, Ministry of Presence

 

Encounters of the Real Kind: Musings, poetry, stories about elders, forgetfulness and life, Book 2
Edited by Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press (2014)
240 pages; $16.95 Softcover, plus shipping

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