Aging in Context SIG

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Aging in Context Special Interest Group

Affiliated 2017

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Go here to join the Aging in Context SIG listserv and get connected
(Must be logged in as an ACBS member to join. Note: indicating your interest in a SIG on the ACBS Annual Membership Renewal form does NOT automatically join you to any listservs.)

Contact Information

Susan McCurry
University of Washington
Research Professor
Seattle, WA, USA

SIG Leaders

Susan McCurry
Lynn Northrop

Description of Interest Area

Assessment, treatment, and advocacy for older adults in a whole person context.

SIG Mission

Our mission is to foster the use of contextual behavioral science to alleviate human suffering and promote wellbeing among older adults, including:

• Critically evaluating and challenging myths and stereotypes about aging and late life issues;

• Promoting whole-person assessments to understand aging in its historical, physiological, cognitive, and psychosocial context;

• Developing interventions and training tools linked to these assessments, grounded in scientific methodology and empirical evidence; and

• Encouraging social/political advocacy to stimulate consideration of geriatric issues in psychological research, training, and contextual science.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to) study of successful/resilient aging, diversity and cultural influences on aging outcomes, efficacy of psychological treatments for elderly populations, the role of mindfulness and compassion in care and treatment of older adults, issues related to age-related psychological changes along the cognitive continuum, family and professional caregiving for older adults, late-life residential care transitions and adjustments, aging and homelessness, health equity for older persons, aging and spirituality, and death and dying. We acknowledge the broad and complex contextual factors that influence the aging process and welcome interdisciplinary perspectives and participation.

Description of SIG membership

Consistent with the interdisciplinary nature of work with older adults, we hope to attract a mix of colleagues from diverse clinical backgrounds including psychology, family counseling, nursing, and medicine. We also anticipate interest not only from persons directly working with older adults currently, but also from individuals who have aging friends and family members, who have experience with caregiving or late-life bereavement, who are concerned about social/political marginalization of older persons, or who are themselves not getting any younger and want to know more!

SIG Activities

We have a listserv and facebook page for communication with potentially interested members. Activities that have been discussed to date as being of interest for future SIG activities include: planning aging-focused presentations or symposia; facilitating aging-related workshops; participating in suggesting speakers for the annual meeting; coordinating grant efforts to sponsor a student award to reinforce interest in aging; developing on-line trainings; promoting research collaborations; sharing innovations related to assessment, training, care, or advocacy for older persons, and maintaining a webpage for research/publications.


ACT with loneliness

Dear all,

I am in the early stages of thinking through exercises that may be workable with experiences of loneliness in later life (although this can occur at any point in the lifespan) to use individually, in a group context... or even in training with other clinicians. I can think of real plays that work around secondary emotions such as shame that people may experience in relation to this, possibly leading to under reporting, and also the noticing, making space for and towards/away moves family of experiential exercises etc but I think it would be great if I could draw on the expertise of this group to see what others have tried out and chew the fat on this..
Advance thanks for your thoughts,

OA Symposium for ACBS Dublin conference

Hi all,

Many of you will be aware that the ACBS 2019 world conference in taking place in Dublin in late June. I was thinking of submitting to present on our outpatient group work using ACT with OA (as discussed in a previous thread). I've been in touch with David Gillanders about it, as he's one of the official points of contact for shaping submissions. David thought (as do I) that it would be great if we could put together a symposium for ACT with OA. Symposia require a chairperson, 3 papers and a discussant (see

My work would obviously be one paper (Lizzy Dewey's D.Clin.Psy thesis, currently being written up for submission to journal). I'd plan to talk briefly through some of our practical experiences in applying ACT with OA, before describing quantitative and qualitative outcomes of the groups to date.

If any of you (I imagine/hope there will be many!) would like to collaborate on putting together a proposal for a symposium, please get in touch. We would obviously need 2 more papers, a chairperson, and a discussant. Deadline for submissions is 15th Feb.... rather fast approaching! You can either reply to this thread, or email me directly (



Dr Clive Ferenbach
Senior Clinical Psychologist

Psychological Therapies for Older People
Airbles Road Centre
Airbles Road
tel. 01698 210021

Aging in Context SIG listserv

Hi, everyone,
When SIG members met in Montreal, it was pointed out that some interested members have not been getting emails from this listserv. That may be because actually the listserv is pretty underutilized and not many emails have been sent!

In other cases, however, some people who wanted to be on the listserv had missed the fact that they had to take the extra step to sign up on their own. Rather than contact each of you individually and ask your permission, I think that I have today added all current Aging in Context SIG members to the listserv. If you do NOT want to be there, just email me at and I will take you off. Please tell me your ACBS username when you request to opt-out since that will make easier for me to find you on the member list for removal. It appears that you can also just take yourself off the listserv, but since I got you there in the first place, I'm happy to remove you if you ask.

In the future I'll automatically add all new people to the listserv with the option of opting out.

If you want to post to the listserv, go to and then click on “create post” in the upper left of the screen. (Thanks Lynn Northrop for helping me figure this out!)

It was a pleasure meeting many of you for the first time last week. I was reminded today that the call for submissions for WorldCon 2019 will be coming out in just a few months! So start thinking about what you'd like to do and how our SIG might help!

Sue McCurry