Week 1: Introduction to resilience: Springing forward (not back!) from adversity
What, exactly, is resilience? How do some of the pervasive cultural myths of aging impede our capacity for resilience? How does current research refute some of these myths? Models of resilience, resilient attitudes, and adaptation.
Week 2: Resilience as a function of identity: Becoming the whole of who we really are
How do we negotiate the transition beyond mid-life toward greater authenticity? Models of identity development, particularly those of Erikson and Jung, offer us insights into this critical and rich question.
Week 3: Resilience as a function of meaning: Why meaning matters
How have the meanings that shaped our lives transformed over time? What is the relationship between our beliefs and values and what we perceive as meaningful to us now? How does meaning, particularly Frankl’s conception of meaning, contribute to resilience?
Week 4: Resilience as a function of belonging: The power of (inter)connection
What is the role of endorphins and other well-being hormones in connection? And conversely, what is the relationship between loneliness and the stress response? What unique challenges do we face as we age in a wired world? Connection and belonging as sources of resilience.
Week 5: Grief as adaptation
How does grief create the conditions for resilience? How does the grief cycle as conceptualized by Therese Rando mirror the resiliency cycle? What is the current research on aging and grief? Comparative models of grief, the relationship between grief and resilience, complicated grief.
Week 6: Wisdom as the heart of resiliency
What, exactly, is wisdom? How do wisdom and its corollaries, insight, contentment, and acceptance, contribute to resilience? What does the current research on tell us about wisdom and its functions, particularly in aging? Can we cultivate wisdom? If so, how?