I'm Dr Patricia Hunter and I am a psychologist, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, and psychological consultant. I have a full time practice in New York City, where I see people of all ages. Although I work with a variety of psychological issues, I devote special attention to the treatment of the negative effects of trauma, and the treatment of the fear of aging. I call my approach to treating negative effects of trauma "Active Understanding.” Learn More
“While many of us work hard to earn the right to be comfortable and avoid challenge in later adulthood, this strategy runs the risk of sending our brains the message that they no longer need to keep growing-this is the worst message you can give to an organ of adaptation.”
My practice is devoted to helping people become aware of negative stereotypes about becoming older that then become activated with each approaching birthday. During psychotherapy sessions, individual as well as group, we work to uncover and replace those negative stereotypes with constructive and exciting (and factual) alternatives. Like with trauma, there is tremendous stigma in our culture that involves ignorance and prejudice. This ignorance and prejudice contributes to depression, anxiety, apathy and significant decline in healthy functioning that is absolutely unnecessary and a tremendous loss for our culture as a whole.
Studies of Chinese elderly, the deaf elderly in the US, -(a group that seems surprisingly immune to aging stereotypes,) and ‘normal’ people in the US, shows that Chinese people have the most positive view of becoming older, the U.S. people with deafness, the second most positive, and the ‘normal’ U.S. people the most negative stereotypes. These stereotypes have significant influence over how a person thinks and feels about themselves and their future and these stereotypes are dangerous to ones mental emotional and physical health (Levy 2002).