AgeSong’s living room is abuzz with intergenerational conversations. Christine, Daniel, and Bethany from Great Britain listen to the wisdom of elders, while Katie and Mary, students from George Washington High School, share stories.
In Memorium: Mentor, Friend, “Father” Mark Stern
(Excerpted from eulogy delivered by Kirk Schneider at St. Paul’s of the Apostles Chapel, New York City)
There are so many things I could express about my dear friend, mentor, paternal inspiration, Mark. I could express to you my sentiments about his complex, beautiful mind that wove complex, beautiful, if wildly wonderful elliptical, prose. His wondrous stories of the early days of psychoanalysis and humanistic psychology—the wild people he and Virginia knew intimately, the life of being awake, alive, adventurous, of how we were instantly attracted to/appreciative of one another—the bond somewhat enigmatic at first yet quickly realized in each other’s shared skepticism/cynicism about our profession, the world of politics, and the world of Spirit—and yet equally, passionately I could convey our shared wonder, marvel, and indeed awe toward each of those and more, so much more. I could share with you my admiration of how deeply Mark cared for those whom he loved, such as his wife Virginia and his family. I can’t count the number of times he spoke so admiringly of you and how much he relished seeing Virginia blossom in the local and regional political scene. (He was SO proud of you, Virginia—and I saw how he so enjoyed those raucous party meetings and debates). And finally, I could share with you our delight on meeting at APA and the Div. 32 Conf some twenty plus years ago, the visits to Bare Farm (where Mark and Virginia lived)—the Hudson River painter Fredrick Church's Olana house, Bard college, Vasser College (and our radio gig on Awakening to Awe), the Rubin museum, Silvia’s Soul Food Restaurant in Harlem, Columbia, Mark’s keynote and last visit, including a wonderful accompaniment to the local SF play “Under the Lintel Tree” starring his friend and neighbor David Straithorn, being regaled by a flood of stories and memories of Mark’s kaleidoscopic past. But I think Mark’s vibrant, eloquent words say it all:
From an email to a close colleague on our Division listserve:
“I guess I was born to take the pathway of the darker soul of the night. Such seemed to be an almost basic requirement for the depth psychologists of the mid-20th century. My plight was to listen as much to the doleful and misty of my patients and myself. Dreams, symbols, metaphors, murky associations a sense of unconscious unity with all—these were foundational to a psychology of the soul.”
On his very personal and therapeutic experience of awe from our book Awakening to Awe:
“Awe is in one special sense, the excitement of participation. Translated into process, awe befriends depth psychotherapy—not by promising to remove all pain, rather by addressing (with reverence) the pained person; not by eradicating his conflict. Instead by paying attention to the role of friction and combat as the exile’s resolve to cross the desert; not by encouraging the positive, more by paying attention to who one is…”
~ Kirk Schneider, March 22, 2014, New York City
EHI warmly remembers Dr E Mark Stern and recognizes his extensive personal and professional contributions in advancing humanism in psychology and psychological therapies. He taught and touched many people in his career and life who shall go on to continue expanding the field of humanistic therapies. He will be greatly missed.
EHI was very honored to have the late Dr E Mark Stern as Opening Keynote Speaker for the EHI:7 Annual Conference this last November. His address is shared here as a PDF. Dr Stern also recently contributed the foreword to the 2nd Edition of The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology.
You can read a recent article by Dr Stern, Inflections, from the Society of Humanistic Psychology Newsletter (October 2009) where he "Examine(s) the vision of humanistic psychology with a brief history of Jan Smuts, Victor Frankl and Jacob Levi Moreno and their missions."
Also read about Dr Stern in the History of APA DIV 32 [PDF] by Christopher M. Aanstoos, Ilene Serlin, Thomas Greening.
In addition to many awards and achievements in his career E. Mark Stern was the most recent 2014 recipient of the Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to Humanistic Psychology given to an individual in recognition of distinguished lifetime contributions to humanistic psychology.
Related Posts on the Existential-Humanistic Institute’s Blog:
A Family Support Group will be held Sunday, April 13, 2014, from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm. The group will be facilitated by Jacob Engelskirger and Kyrie Cox, AgeSong gerowellness intern counselors. The group will meet in AgeSong’s Hayes Valley community, 601 Laguna Street. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The national theme for the May 2014 Older Americans Month celebration is Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.
AgeSong will celebrate Older Americans Month with the following events:
Friday, May 2. National University Stigma Symposium: Reducing Stigma. Nader Shabahangi, AgeSong Founder and CEO. 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Contace: Psychology Department in the National University College of Letters and Sciences, 858-642-8577, http://www.nu.edu/OurPrograms/CollegeOfLettersAndSciences/Psychology.html.
Monday, May 5, AgeSong Swings into Spring with SF Jazz Monday Night Band. AgeSong at Laguna Grove, 624 Laguna Street, SF. 6 pm to 9 pm. Contact: email@example.com.
Wednesday, May 7. [Re]Defining Age 2014 Annual Conference & Exposition. Monday, May 5 – Wednesday, May 7. “From Assisted Living Back to Living”. Presentation by AgeSong Living. Nader Shabahangi, CEO, President and Founder, Cristina Flores, Chief Program Officer, Janna O’Sullivan, Executive Director, Jim Johnson, Executive Director of Development and Public Relations, AgeSong 1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. ONLINE registration is closed. Registration is onsite only. Contact: Margaret Morneau at 916-469-3371 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, May 7, Elders Academy: The Humanistic Approach. Kyrie Cox, AgeSong Gerowellness Intern. 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm. AgeSong’s Forget-Me-Not Cafe, 601 Hayes Street. Contact: email@example.com.
Wednesday, May 14, Elders Academy: Elders in Society. Nader Shabahangi, AgeSong Founder & CEO, 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm. AgeSong’s Forget-Me-Not Cafe, 601 Hayes Street. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, May 17, 2014, Stanford University Alumni Association Walk and Picnic with AgeSong Community. 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. Donna Booher, Coordinator. If you are a Stanford alum and would like to volunteer for this project, you can go to http://alu.ms/1giqem8 to register. This volunteer opportunity is limited to alumni only.
Wednesday, May 21, Elders Academy: Creating Therapeutic Environments. Vincent Sienkiewicz, AgeSong Gerowellness Intern. 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm. AgeSong’s Forget-Me-Not Cafe, 601 Hayes Street. Contact: email@example.com.
Friday, May 23, 2014, “What Would You Like Them To Do with You After You’re Gone?” Suzette Sherman, Founder of Seven Ponds, Embracing the End-of-Life Experience. 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. AgeSong’s Forget-Me-Not Cafe, 601 Hayes Street. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, view: View: http://www.sevenponds.com.
Wednesday, May 28, Wednesday, Elders Academy: Mindfulness Practice. Zen Center. 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm. AgeSong’s Forget-Me-Not Cafe, 601 Hayes Street. Contact: email@example.com.
Saturday, May 31, 2014, Generations Jazz Quartet, John Frank and Noah Frank, AgeSong’s Forget-Me-Not Cafe, 601 Hayes Street, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
History of Older American’s Month
Older Americans Month is an annual event dating back to 1963, when President John F. Kennedy designated May as Senior Citizens Month. It was later renamed Older Americans Month, honoring older Americans and celebrating their contributions to our communities and our nation.
The federal Administration for Community Living provides logos, posters, and sample articles and proclamations for organizations that celebrate Older Americans Month. For more information, click here.
The Older Americans Month webpage provides theme-based ideas that will be posted in the near future. In the meantime, following are some ways you can get involved!
Members of the AgeSong community will tell how they share their power and life lessons. Guests are welcome to share how they might be passing down what they’ve learned and experienced.
City officials are welcome to “meet and greet” their constituents – the largest bloc of voters by age group!
Facts about Older Americans Month
The month of May is dedicated to seniors starting as Senior Citizen’s Month in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy. At that time, only 17 million Americans reached their 65th birthdays. Today 35 million Americans are age 65 or older.
In 1980 President Jimmy Carter changed the name from “Senior Citizens” to “Older Americans Month”.
Older Americans Month is a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our nation.
Older Americans Month is celebrated across the country through ceremonies, events, fairs and other such activities.
Older Americans Month: A Fantastic Marketing Opportunity
Posted on May 6, 2013 by Pam McDonald
Older Americans Month 2014 How will you celebrate? Seattle King County 2014 Celebration, http://www.agingkingcounty.org/olderamericansmonth/