Therapy for Women over 50

In my life, I have been blessed to have relationships with many women over 50.  I was raised primarily by my grandmother, a woman who embodied the definition of resilience and grace.  Beyond her immense influence, I have been honored to learn at the feet of several female mentors of distinguished accomplishment.  If not for these women, I would not be the man I am today.  We live in a society that is often dismissive of “old” women, and if marketing campaigns are to be believed, they’d have women thinking they are past their prime at 30 now.  Of course, women know this isn’t true.  In fact, as the women I’ve been closest to in my life have shared with me, the older they get, the more they come to know themselves, and the more comfortable they tend to be with who they are.  As women age, they often become less accommodating, less complicit and, in a society that would prefer women stay young, pretty, and above all, compliant – these independent traits are not celebrated as they should be.  It is refreshing to be around powerful feminine energy, unrestrained by the inhibition of youth, and enriched by the wisdom of life experience. 

At this stage in your life, you may find that you are seeking therapy for different reasons than a younger person might, and your treatment needs may vary greatly.  By the time a woman reaches 50, she is likely to have weathered some serious storms in her life.  As a result, she often comes to the table already possessing a vast array of coping skills.  Self-care, on the other hand, is an important area that is often neglected among women as a whole.  Our society puts much of the burden of care-taking onto women, and female socialization teaches girls from a young age to put themselves last.  After years of this, it can become an ingrained habit, which is difficult to break.  You CAN learn to put yourself first – and to do so without guilt or apology!  And in fact, it is important to recognize that this is an important part of caring for others.  We cannot pour from an empty cup.

Also of concern to many women, is the current state of the world.  Having lived through a lot of major societal changes, it can be difficult to accept the world as it currently is.  In many ways, it feels we are going backwards as we watch human rights fall to the backburner, climate change accelerate, and political strife increase.  At the same time, witnessing a youth culture that is so plugged-in and digital can feel quite foreign and scary to a generation that grew up riding bikes until the streetlights came on, and hanging out with friends live and in-person.  Therapy is a great way to process all of this.  With Expressive Arts practice, we can examine our experiences through the lens of our personal values, our spiritual beliefs, our cultural and ethnic backgrounds, our connection with our ancestors, and our own understanding of reality.  We can also grapple with recognition of those places where we possess personal power to effect change – versus those that we don’t.  If we can focus our energy in the areas where we actually do possess power, we will find that we feel more at ease, more in tune with our values, and more effective in our efforts to make this place a little bit better. 

Finally, there are a number of important issues facing women over 50 that do sometimes warrant a need for professional help.  Some of these include managing chronic illness and/or pain, grieving loss of loved ones, transitioning into an empty nest or into retirement, supporting a spouse or partner through any of the above, navigating family relational struggles, experiencing divorce, anxiety around important end-of-life decision making, and coping with anxiety about aging and/or health.  If you are struggling with any of these issues or something not mentioned here, please reach out.  Therapy is an effective way to get help carrying the load so you don’t have to bear it alone.

Women are living longer and healthier lives than ever.  Our society is finally beginning to move past outdated norms of matronly grandmothers who stay home and bake cookies. There is so much more to do and experience.  As women reach their golden years, they are much more knowledgeable and capable than their younger selves.  As you reach this life stage, you don’t need more status symbols or knick-knacks on the shelf, rather, this is a time for trying new things, deepening your connection to your passions, and developing new skills utilizing the foundation you already possess.  You have paid your dues to others, now is the time in life to focus on you.  Contact me to learn how you can use Expressive Arts practice to reconnect with your creative flow and direct your life path to ever more interesting landscapes.  

Therapy for Women over 50

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