Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press
Sky Above Clouds: Finding Our Way through Creativity, Aging, and Illness

Sky Above Clouds: Finding Our Way through Creativity, Aging, and Illness

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Through their scientific research and clinical practice, husband and wife team Gene D. Cohen and Wendy L. Miller uncovered new clues about how the aging mind can build resilience and continue growth, even during times of grave illness, thus setting aside the traditional paradigm of aging as a time of decline. Cohen, considered one of the founding fathers of geriatric psychiatry, describes what happens to the brain as it ages and the potential that is often overlooked. Miller, an expressive arts therapist and educator, highlights stories of creative growth in the midst of illness and loss encountered through her clinical practice. Together, Cohen and Miller show that with the right tools, the uncharted territory of aging and illness can, in fact, be navigated. In this book, the reader finds the real story of not only Cohen's belief in potential, but also how he and his family creatively used it in facing his own serous health challenges. With Miller's insights and expressive psychological writing, Sky Above Clouds tells the inside story of how attitude, community, creativity, and love shape a life, with or without health, even to our dying. Cohen and Miller draw deeply on their own lessons learned as they struggle through aging, illness, and loss within their own family and eventually Cohen's own untimely death. What happens when the expert on aging begins to age? And what happens when the therapist who helps others cope with illness and loss is forced to confront her own responses to these experiences? The result is a richly informative and emotional journey of growth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199371419
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 04/29/2016
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Wendy L. Miller is the Co-founder of the Create Therapy Institute, an Integrative Arts Medicine Studio, and the Executive Director of Projects on Intergenerational Communication at the Washington, DC Center on Aging.
Gene D. Cohen was the founding director of the Center on Aging, Health and Humanities at George Washington University in Washington, DC where he held the positions of Professor of Health Sciences and Professor of Psychiatry.

Table of Contents

I. Discovery
1. Heartsong
2. Strategies, Tactics, and Counting
3. The Family Body

II. Parallel Universes of Time and Space
4. The Crucible of Time
5. Uncharted Territory
6. Portrait of Healing

III. New Landscapes
7. Creative Detective
8. Coals and Diamonds
9. Mirror Mirror

IV. Process of Uncertainty
10. Illness as Partner: Intimacy, Vulnerability, Love and Anger
11. Grand Rounds: Listening and Hearing as Healing Resources of Creativity
12. Elements of Style for Doctor/Patient Communication

V. Congruence
13. Heartsong to the Inexplicable: A Calendar of Days
14. Eating Fried Eggs
15. The Phoenix and the Fairy

VI. Epilogue

A Note on the Future of the Arts in Healthcare
Personal Acknowledgments
Professional Acknowledgments
Boomer Study Summary
What is a Lucid Moment?
Gene Cohen Bibliography
Further Reading
About the Authors

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