Growing Old : A Journey of Self-Discovery book cover
1st Edition

Growing Old
A Journey of Self-Discovery

ISBN 9780415545662
Published August 12, 2009 by Routledge
232 Pages

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Book Description

People react very differently to the process of ageing. Some people shy away from old age for as long as they can and eventually spend it reflecting on times when they were physically and mentally stronger and more independent. For others old age is embraced as a new adventure and something to look forward to.

In this book psychoanalyst Danielle Quinodoz highlights the value of old age and the fact that although many elderly people have suffered losses, either of their own good health or through bereavement, most have managed to retain the most important thing – their sense of self. Quinodoz argues that growing old provides us with the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and instead of facing it with dread, it should be celebrated. Divided into accessible chapters this book covers topics including:

  • the internal life-history
  • remembering
  • phases of life
  • anxiety about death
  • being a psychoanalyst and growing old.

Throughout Growing Old the author draws on both her clinical experience of working with the elderly, and her own personal experience of growing old. This makes it an interesting read for both practising psychoanalysts, and those who wish to gain a greater insight of the natural progression into later life.

Table of Contents

Prologue. Reconstructing One's Own Internal Life-history. One Small Second of Eternity. The Work of Remembering. The Phases of Life. Anxiety about Death. What Lies Behind the Decline of Very Old People? Losing Everything Without Losing Oneself. The Resources of Old Age. Strait is the Gate. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Older People. Psychoanalysis and Elderly People. Being a Psychoanalyst and Growing Old. Grandparents and the Difference Between Generations. The Blue Note and the Discovery of Loving.

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Danielle Quinodoz is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Geneva, a full member and training analyst of the Swiss Psychoanalytical Society and a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association.


"...if you only have time to read one book this quarter consider this one" – Heather Dale, Journal of Child Psychotherapy , Vol. 37, Iss 1, April 2011

"Danielle Quinodoz's books is a comprehensive analysis of what is involved in the process of growing old and moving towards the end of life... psychoanalysis is lengthy and costly, making it unavailable to most elderly people. However Growing Old offers so much knowledge, insight and understanding, with a good reference section. I think it would be helpful and informative for all those in the helping professions who are in the helping professions who are in contact with older people, including psychiatrists, psychotherapists, counsellors, doctors, nurses, geriatricians, as well as affirming for those growing older themselves." - Joy Courtney, Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal, July 2010

"Quinodoz writes about a difficult but universal topic in a manner that stresses the importance of positively engaging with chronological time as we get older and will appeal to a wide range of readers."Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol. 55, 2010