I'm a writer and clinical psychologist with specialties in aging and cancer, as well as a cancer survivor myself (and, hopefully, someone lucky enough to continue aging for a very long time!). I'm particularly interested in how people cope with the many kinds of crisis life throws at them, including the existential question of how we find meaning in life despite—and sometimes because of—suffering. My motto is, "You can't spell joy without the oy." In May, 2018, I was deeply honored to be the inaugural recipient of the TJ Martell Foundation's Dr. Jimmie Holland Pioneer Award, named for my beloved late friend and co-author, as well as the founder of my field.
In addition to my professional papers, I've written personal essays for The New York Times, Washington Post, Self, Mr. Beller's Neighborhood, and other publications. I also have had the honor of performing on The Moth as part of their collaboration with the World Science Festival. My first book, the essay/memoir THE HOUSE ON CRASH CORNER (Greenpoint Press, 2011, with Foreword by NY Times columnist David Brooks) was selected by O: The Oprah Magazine as one of their "Riveting Reads." My second book, LIGHTER AS WE GO: Virtues, Character Strengths, and Aging (Oxford University Press, coauthored by Jimmie Holland, M.D.), explores the ways we learn to "travel light" over the years. It was selected by The Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of the year on making the most of life after 50. A list of my publications can be found, not surprisingly, in the "Published Work" section.