Home Concepts Adult Development VI. Generativity in Four Acts: Introducing the Cast of Characters

VI. Generativity in Four Acts: Introducing the Cast of Characters

9 min read

Gary Quehl and William Bergquist

Having outlined the roles to be engaged in this play about generativity, it is time to further set the stage by introducing the men and women to whom we turn for insights and narratives about generativity and deep caring.

Consulting with and Coaching Mid-Life Clients

Our first source of narratives and insights come from the men and women with whom we have interacted over the past 30 years in our work as consultants and coaches to individuals and organizations. Our clients have told us a great deal about their own lives and the challenges they face. While we hope to have been of use to these men and woman (who are usually in their 40s, 50s, and 60s), we have also learned much from them as gifted and insightful leaders, innovators, and creators. We have drawn extensively in this book from them. Some of these narratives are reported in three books and articles we have written: In Our Fifties (Bergquist, Klaum and Greenberg,), Men of Autum (Bergquist,2012) and The Social and Cultural Characteristics of Generational Age Groups (Quehl, 2012)

The Enduring Couples Project

Our second source of insights and narratives is a project conducted over a twenty-year period with men and women who have been together in an intimate relationship for many years (usually at least fifteen). While most studies about the keys to successful marriages (and more broadly, successful intimate relationships) have been conducted by marriage and family therapists who extract lessons from couples who are not successfully engaged in an enduring relationship, the project on which we base work in the present book focused on lessons learned from couples who have found ways to forge and sustain a long-term commitment. Sponsored by the Professional School of Psychology (in California), this project yielded interviews conducted with 80 couples and a series of essays on enduring intimate relationships that have been published in the Library of Professional Psychology. We make use of these interview data primarily with regard to the first generativity role: raising children and initiating projects.

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