Americans spend billions of dollars each year trying to escape the effects of aging. Mention the words “midlife crisis” and you will typically hear this distinct and growing population reduced to off-color jokes and tired stereotypes. Perhaps most disheartening is the tendency in our society to deny the simple fact of growing older. The result is an epidemic of psychological and spiritual dysfunction among older Americans.

Understanding and treating people facing the challenges of the midlife and senior years takes a unique set of skills, and a wide-ranging perspective. In his engaging presentation, Aging with Grace: How to Take the ‘Crisis’ Out of Mid-Life, Dr. Philip Scrofani, ABPP, explains why so many Americans perceive aging in a negative light, and counters with a Christian model that adds a positive, transcendent dimension to the aging process.

In his two-hour presentation, Dr. Scrofani compares the foundational world-views and value-systems of the five living generational groups, followed by a thought-provoking analysis of three anthropological viewpoints. The midlife and senior life stages are discussed from each perspective, and the therapeutic benefits of a Catholic vision of the human person are developed.

In the final part of his presentation, Dr. Scrofani explores some of the challenges ministers and Catholic psychologists face in dealing with the problems associated with aging, and offers a vision for how faith integration can give this growing population the hope of growing older with grace and dignity.