July 17, 2024 Donate

Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Saline

Insights from A2 Psychologist Rob Pasick on Aging with Purpose

The old saying “You’re as young now as you’ll ever be” carries much weight. It reminds the listener of the fleeting nature of time and diminishing opportunity as one ages.

Focusing on the idea that “time is running out” as we get older is a depressive thought leading to afflictions of the mind and body. Ann Arbor Psychologist Robert Pasick has been pushing back against the depressive elements of aging for decades, particularly for men. In his latest book, “Men: A Guide to Healthy Aging,” Dr. Pasick has created a resource for men navigating the complexities of mental health in aging, giving practical guidance for achieving emotional well-being.

“This book is kind of a guide to help men figure out what they might do that would make them happy and make those around them happy,” explains Pasick.

Pasick, commonly known as Dr. Rob, is a Harvard-trained corporate psychologist and executive coach with over 40 years of experience in the field. Specializing in working clinically with men in group settings, Dr. Rob has developed a highly structured coaching methodology that integrates the principles of Emotional Intelligence and Positive Psychology. As a trailblazer in coaching, he has provided individual, group, and team-based coaching to hundreds of individuals and numerous organizations and corporations.

“It’s been my journey to write about and help men for a long time,” he reflects. Dr. Rob’s first book, “Men in Therapy,” published in 1989, was aimed not only at men but also at therapists working with men. He observed that many therapists are women, and their approaches often don’t resonate with men. “Men like more practical kinds of things,” he explains.

Throughout his career, Dr. Rob has written several books addressing the unique challenges men face, especially as they age. He notes, “I’ve got to the point where I’m working with a lot of senior men, and I’m seeing that there are special problems with men over 60.”

These challenges range from health issues to the consequences of not taking good care of themselves, compounded by sports injuries, substance abuse, and the stress of life events like divorce and military service. “The 60s and 70s are really a lot harder on men,” Dr. Rob states, emphasizing the need to address these issues in a manner accessible to men who may not typically engage in extensive reading.

A significant theme in Dr. Rob’s work is the importance of social connections. “The number one predictor of happiness for men is connectedness to other people,” he asserts. Drawing on a longitudinal study tracking men for 50-60 years, he found that those with strong social ties are healthier and happier, while those who are isolated often face poor outcomes. “I’m trying to get people who are isolated to do more. It can be as easy as hanging out at your coffee shop,” he suggests.

Pasick also acknowledges the difficulty as men tend not to join groups or share their struggles. He shares a poignant example: “One guy was going through a really bad divorce at around 50 and had been with the same group of guys playing baseball for 25 years. He said, ‘Nobody knows I’m going through a divorce.'”

Another area Dr. Rob emphasizes is the importance of men establishing a good relationship with their doctors. He points out that men are less familiar with their bodies compared to women. “Men get sicker, and when they do go to the doctor, it’s usually because they’re pretty sick,” he explains. Encouraging men to see their doctors regularly is a crucial message in his work. Dr. Rob also highlights the need for physical activity, not necessarily heavy-duty exercise but staying active to avoid the sedentary lifestyle that leads to various health problems.

Reflecting on his own experiences, Pasick acknowledges that his journey as a psychologist and author has often been intertwined with his personal life. “It’s always been my own journey that I’ve been writing about,” he admits. His early work was influenced by his experiences as a young father, dealing with the pressures of family life and career. This led to his book “Awakening from the Deep Sleep,” addressing the detachment many men feel from their emotions and relationships.

Pasick’s recent focus has been on men approaching or experiencing retirement, helping them find purpose and satisfaction in this stage of life. “Many of them are thriving, but there’s many who are struggling with what they’re going to do at this age,” he says. His latest book offers guidance on retirement options, emphasizing that men in their later years have three choices: retire, continue working, or try something new. He aims to provide practical advice to help men figure out what will make them happy and fulfilled.

Dr. Rob is also the founder and president of Leaders Connect, an initiative that facilitates monthly networking events and leadership round tables for the community. He is a respected lecturer at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the Center for Entrepreneurship. He has guided students from various stages in their careers, from undergraduates to established professionals, by leveraging his expertise in emotional intelligence and balanced leadership approaches. His insights and knowledge have made him a frequent guest on prominent radio and television programs, including Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, and PBS. Additionally, he serves as a consultant to the University of Michigan football team.

Dr. Rob’s books can be found on Amazon. For more information about his services, visit RobPasick.com or contact him at rob@robpasick.com.