Author(s): Peter O'Connor
Between youth and old age lies the uncharted territory of the 50s; a decade of often dramatic change. The author of this text explores the experience of living through your 50s, offering interviews with men and women who share their sense of loss and confusion, as well as their hopes. The 50s are shown as a rite of passage involving a cycle of separation, initiation and return, on which the first task is separation from mourning the loss of youthfulness. The author aims to redefine the experience of growing older, allowing both mourning and a celebration of new possibilities. He shows how a successful transition can lead to a vital sense of physical and mental well-being and a life-affirming mature age.
Dr Peter O'Connor was born in Melbourne in 1942 and is the middle son of an Australian-Irish Catholic family of five children. He was educated at Melbourne University and the University of Southern California. He has held various professional psychology positions both in Australia and the United Kingdom and has also lectured at the University of Melbourne. Since 1980 he has been in full-time private practice as a psychologist and psychotherapist and specialises in dream analysis groups. In addition to his practice he has written several books covering such areas as Jungian psychology, dreams and the psychology of men. He is best known for his book 'Understanding the Mid-Life Crisis'. 'Beyond the Mist' a book on Irish mythology is being published by Allen & Unwin in February 2001.
1. Ageing or old?2. The life and death forces: eros and thanatos3. Rite of passageSeparation and mourningWomen and the loss of youthMen and the loss of youthFifty or fifteen?4. Marriage, the empty nest and the true self5. Androgyny in the fifties6. The grandparenting phase: renewal or decay?7. Work and the fiftiesDoing rather than being8.Betwixt and between: liminality and initiationMythology as a guide to the rite of passageDeath and liminality8. The return: the late fiftiesIndex