Alumni Group Round Table Discussion Series

March 05, 2021 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

Online - Presentation

Die in the Saddle or Dismount that Horse? Issues in the Analyst’s/Therapist’s Retirement from Clinical Practice

Martha Maer, LPC

This roundtable discussion will focus on the issues that propel analysts and therapists toward retirement from clinical practice—or prevent them from thinking much about it. There are few psychoanalytic articles on the topic, most published within the past decade. Nass (2015) attributed this scarcity to omnipotence within the psychoanalytic profession, which leads clinicians to avoid thoughts about ageing, retirement, and mortality. Allphin (2015) emphasized the significance of our professional identities, what happens as we become less in demand in comparison to younger colleagues, and the need to find continued sources of meaning in our lives. When Ingram and Stine (2016) conducted semi-structured interviews with senior psychodynamic psychiatrists, however, they found that the retirees’ sense of self-regard and personal satisfaction actually exceeded expectations of those psychiatrists still in active practice. McKamy (2015) suggested that when burnout is differentiated from longings and age-related challenges, older yet healthy therapists can approach retirement as a normal rite of passage. This reportedly allows for positive termination experiences, despite the inevitable ambivalence and countertransference conundrums and enactments that occur as the termination date approaches.

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