Author Archives: bobritzema

About bobritzema

I am a fourth-generation American of Dutch ancestry and am trained as a clinical psychologist. In 2012, I retired from Methodist University in North Carolina to return to my parents' home and provide them with assistance. I maintain part-time therapy practices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Fayetteville, North Carolina. I currently worship at Square Inch Community Church in Grand Rapids. I can be reached at bobritzema@hotmail.com.

Among the Stones (Far from the Madding Crowd)

It’s been a contemplative summer. I read a book on Centering Prayer, a contemplative form of Christian prayer, and have tried to incorporate aspects of it into my spiritual practice. I’ve been slowly working my way through New Seeds of … Continue reading

Posted in Spirit | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Older I Get, The More Versions Of Me There Are

Rachel McAlpine, who blogs at Write Into Life, recently posted about the challenge of adjusting her identity as she ages. She writes, “I’ve been searching for an inherent personal coherence, consonance, or harmony. But this is not straightforward, because right … Continue reading

Posted in Psyche | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Touch Me”

There’s an interesting incident near the end of David Foster Wallace’s magnum opus Infinite Jest that says a lot about how humans treat each other. It’s the story of Barry Loach, the head trainer at Enfield Tennis Academy. Earlier, Barry’s … Continue reading

Posted in caregiving, Culture | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“You Don’t Really Start Getting Old Until You Stop Learning”

In the June 5 issue of Time magazine, Bill Gates was interviewed about the books that have influenced him. I was struck by one of his comments: “You don’t really start getting old until you stop learning.” Is that true? … Continue reading

Posted in Psyche | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Effects of Childhood Trauma

  A 2016 article by Emily Guron, Health and Caregiving Editor for Next Avenue, described the longstanding effects of childhood trauma. As Gurnon summarized, these effects range from physical problems to emotional problems, substance abuse, and risky behaviors: “Research has shown … Continue reading

Posted in Psyche | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Finding Immortality

How long do you want to live? It’s not that we can determine how many years we will be on this earth, not exactly. We do have something to do with it, though. Most obviously, we can take care of … Continue reading

Posted in Death, Spirit | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Healthcare Decisions for Our Parents and Us

In a recent New York Times article, Dr. Mikkael A. Sekeres, a cancer specialist. told of his first meeting with a 97 year-old patient. The elderly man had recently moved into an assisted living facility in Cleveland in order to … Continue reading

Posted in Body, caregiving, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Relocating to a Retirement Community: A New Life

I wrote recently about the first part of Richard L. Morgan’s book Settling In: My First Year in a Retirement Community. Morgan was initially enthusiastic about moving to a retirement community near his daughter, but after a month or so … Continue reading

Posted in Psyche, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Relocating to a Retirement Community: “Settling In”

I recently read Richard Morgan’s 2006 book Settling In: My First Year in a Retirement Community. At age 74, Morgan, a retired Presbyterian minister, moved from Morgantown, North Carolina to a retirement community in Western Pennsylvania. He and his wife … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Relationships, Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Silver Lining While Waiting for Healing

I’ve had a difficult time of it recently. Though the surgery I had in February was successful, I was rehospitalized a couple weeks later with complications. Urine was leaking into my abdomen, causing severe pain. The doctors fitted me with … Continue reading

Posted in Body, Spirit | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment