The Third Age Project: Baby Boomer Women and the Meaningful Life

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Esler, Sharon
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Baby boomer women in the Third Age may have a deep desire to live meaningful lives. This desire will possibly be rooted in the ideals of the Third Age, the increased desire for meaning as people age, the expectation of personal freedom that many baby boomer women have been socialized to expect, and perhaps the influence of Oprah Winfrey with her message of female empowerment in the pursuit of meaning. However, this large cohort of women must also navigate the constraints of a patriarchal system, and the confusing and conflicting identities made available to them. If the goal of creating meaning is not realized, an existential vacuum can result, which may lead to emotional distress, and potential psychological devastation. The aim of this capstone is to review the literature on the Third Age in baby boomer women and to propose therapy that facilitates deep self-reflection, the identification of personal values, and the creation of meaningful lives that reflect those values. The proposed therapy, The Third Age Project, incorporates aspects of Jungian depth psychology, existential therapy, feminist therapy, internal family systems therapy, and brain music therapy. It attends to this type of deep reflective work for the purpose of supporting women on the journey to meaning in which their lives are aligned with personal values.
baby boomer , third age , meaning , personal values , third age project
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