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Aging is often perceived by people as a terrible thing that only involves illness, loss of functioning, loss of loved ones, financial struggle, abandonment, and ultimately death. Certainly these can occur and such changes are difficult to face and cope with. What does aging mean to you? Is it a progressive and inevitable decline full of misery, loss, and suffering? Is graceful aging possible? Having models of graceful aging and people who can inspire you is very important in coping with the struggles that come with aging. Healthy aging is possible and it involves allowing yourself to feel the associated sadness and fears but also working to be healthy and vibrant as long as possible. You can continue to love, play, learn, and enjoy at every stage of life.

When you are facing a big transition in your life, you can feel a messy mix of emotions. You may be excited to be getting married, and unsure about your ability to be content in your new life. You may be surprised to find yourself going through a divorce, and confused about starting over at this age. You may be looking forward to retirement, and sad to give up a role that may have been part of your life for years and years. Major life transitions can become times of deep re-evaluation: Who am I now? What is important to me in this new phase? What parts of me remain the same? What parts need to grow? How can I accept the past and move forward? How can I point my life in the direction of my deepest dreams and values from here forward? It is immeasurably helpful to have a space in which to slow down and explore your feelings and ideas about the changes occurring in your life, get support without judgment, and (re)connect with whatever gives you a sense of aliveness within yourself, and meaning in your daily life. I look forward to having those conversations with you.

Having your first child may be one of the most dramatic life-changing events a person can experience, and not surprisingly, this joyful (and stressful) transition can also lead to changes in your relationship with your partner. I have a background in helping couples navigate the transition to parenthood more smoothly, both by anticipating and preparing for some of the possible challenges, and by focusing on how to work together to keep your relationship strong as you bring a new life into your family. I work with couples pre-conception, during pregnancy, or at any point after having your child (or children), in order to make sense of and cope with the ways this change impacts your relationship.

Irina Banfi-Mare, Psy.D.
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Elizabeth Nelson, Ph.D.
Kristen Morrison, Ph.D.
The Colorado Center
for Clinical Excellence