Reflection Essay

For the purposes of this assignment, elderly is defined as individual who is 70 years of age or older. Ask the person to focus on their life and share perspectives, beliefs, and feelings about the following topics: life purpose(s); love, loneliness and aloneness; happiness and suffering; facing adversities; living authentically, and life obligations. You may want to ask if the individual has a philosophy about life. To facilitate the sharing, consider asking this person to share life lessons, greatest joys, deepest disappointments, regrets, what they still want to experience, etc…Listen for the givens of existence and any other existential concepts or themes.

Your paper should have 4 distinct parts:

1. Introduction: Include your relationship with this person, how you chose this particular person to interview, and a brief biographical sketch (age, significant family information, occupation, what the person does at this point in their life). Feel free to include anything else you deem unique or significant.

2. The Interview: Summarize the information that was shared relating to the topics noted above.

3. Identify the givens of existence that were present in the person’s stories. Present your analysis of the various ways that the givens manifest in the person’s life. Incorporate at least 3 scholarly references as you speak to the givens.

4. Reflections: Present a discussion of your experience of being with this person and what you learned. What was it like to be with this person as he/she/they shared significant information? What will you take away from this interview? What did you learn about the givens of existence? What wisdom did this elder provide you with either intentionally or unintentionally? What applications can you make to your own life? From the process of being with this person, are there applications or implications you can make about yourself as a therapist?

The length of this paper should be 7-10 pages excluding title and references pages. No abstract is needed.