The Last Frontier

When planning a journey, I think it’s always a good idea to know where you’re starting from, where you’re going, who your traveling companions will be, and most importantly, who you are. Retirement is a journey. 


I recently retired from my clinical practice, so I’m a newbie at being retired. Still, I prepared for retirement as a personal project and worked hard to get my practice and patients ready. One critical takeaway I’m learning from people I’ve talked to about retirement is: that despite common factors, everyone’s retirement is unique and personal. As psychologists, we focus on self-awareness, regardless of our professional activities or theoretical orientation. The question, ‘who am I’ is an existential must for psychologists to answer, first about ourselves and the patient, client, group, organization, etc., we are serving.  

Peter LiBero is a retired clinical psychologist. He continues to work as an executive coach and psychological consultant to management.

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Older Adults with ADHD (Part 2)

Katherine Quinn, Ph.D. interviewed Dr. Kathleen Nadeau on May 3, 2022 as a tease prior to the release of her book in September, “Still Distracted After All These Years,” where she reported the results of interviews of older adult individuals with ADHD and their functioning in later life.  Dr. Quinn’s interview questions presented below were based on Dr. Nadeau’s presentations and writings as well as highlights of her findings from her interviews for her book. 

The first of two parts of Dr. Quinn’s interview of Dr. Nadeau was presented in the July issue of Age in Action. The second is presented below.

Katherine Quinn, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice. She is a Past President and Fellow of SDPA. She was also previously Editor of the San Diego Psychologist.

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Tragedy: An Opportunity for Growth

We live in a culture that values youth, spending millions of dollars promoting anti-aging products. Most of us live with a fantasy that we should and will live a long, happy, healthy life. When illness or aging comes to our door, it can feel like an unwanted enemy barreling down upon us. Aging and disease can enter our awareness and lives often sooner than expected.


Staring into the heart of emotional and physical pain unflinchingly is a problematic part of our work that can arouse fear and worry in the mind and hearts of us therapists. We want and often consciously or unconsciously need to see progress in our patients’ eyes (I use patient because it is derived from the word sufferer).

Michelle Lalouche-Kadden, Ph.D. is a psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Solana Beach. She works with adults of all ages.

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Designing a Retirement Plan that Works

Retirement presents many challenges. It is an ending but also a beginning. Many are relieved that working life is over: others are anxious about what they will do. There are some universal issues around retirement, but the process varies from person to person.


Everyone has to design their own retirement plan. For some of us, this is easy, but for others, not so much. Here are some issues to think about as retirement approaches.

1. Think hard about what you like to do. Retirement doesn’t work well if you do what you think you should do. Sometimes, it is not easy to figure out and may take trial and error.

2. Work at retirement. Create structure. Don’t waste time.

3. Try to get good at things. Whether cooking, golfing, traveling, or gardening, study and improve. Being competent makes any endeavor more fun.

4. If you value relationships, get social. Take the initiative. Time is limited, and you have an opportunity. Don’t wait for your phone to ring. Reach out!

5. Retirement brings freedom. Don’t worry about what others think. The canvas is empty. Paint away.

6. If you want to try new things, do it now. Learn and grow.

7. Take some time to assess your past life and put it in perspective. Acceptance that you did the best you could brings peace and makes it easier to move on. Think of your working life as an athletic contest. The game was played. It is over, and you are free to move on to other endeavors.

8. Try to stay as healthy as possible. Illness compromises retirement.

9. As aging makes one activity difficult or impossible, move on to another activity. Find things that are fun and do them. If you can’t play tennis, play pickleball.

10. Remember that we can all keep growing and learning. You really can teach old dogs new tricks.

Older Adults with ADHD

I felt fortunate to have had the chance to interview Dr. Kathleen Nadeau on May 3, 2022 as a tease prior to the release of her book in September, “Still Distracted After All These Years,” where she reported the results of interviews of older adult individuals with ADHD and their functioning in later life.  My interview questions presented below were based on Dr. Nadeau’s presentations and writings as well as highlights of her findings from her interviews for her book. 

Dr. Quinn’s interview of Dr. Nadeau is presented in two parts over the next two issues of Age in Action.

Katherine Quinn, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice. She is a Past President and Fellow of SDPA. She was also previously Editor of the San Diego Psychologist.

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May 2022

Sabbaticalized

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Annie Lamott

The idea of taking a “sabbatical” had been rattling around in my brain for many years but took root as COVID began to impact the big world and my small private practice in it. There were multiple challenging adaptations and pivots, so many of us experienced during these last few years, including shifting to telehealth, pandemic anxiety, the intensity of cultural fear and anger, and managing the increasing surge of new and former patients requesting therapy. Managing an already full private practice, waiting list, and fielding calls from new and former patients was overwhelming. Finding referrals was challenging. Saying “no” to former patients I had worked with at various times during their lifecycle was painful and unexpected. The sheer amounts of calls, emails, and texts were a bit much for my pre-digital-age brain. My eyes and neck were Zoom fatigued.  

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Remorse

For the past 25 years as a psychologist, I have had the privilege and opportunity to be in consultation with individuals at various stages of the aging process.  My patients ranged in age from the early ’50s to the early ’90s.  I visited individuals in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, their homes, and in my office.  My interventions were often focused on the following problem…remorse.


A significant number of my patients lived with the emotional burden of remorse.  They felt guilt mostly about family situations.  They felt remorse about being overly busy with several activities in life and not spending more quality time with their spouses, partners, and children.  

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