Peter Lichtenberg

Peter A. Lichtenberg, Ph.D., ABPP is the Director of The Institute of Gerontology and the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute. He is also a Professor of Psychology at Wayne State University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis, and his Master’s and doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University. After his internship he completed a post doctoral fellowship in geriatric neuropsychology at the University of Virginia Medical School where he also became a faculty member. A clinician and researcher throughout his career Dr. Lichtenberg, one of the first board certified Clinical Geropsychologists in the nation, has made contributions to the practice of psychology across a variety of areas including in Alzheimer’s disease, medical rehabilitation and with those suffering from late life depression. He is particularly interested in the area of intersection between financial capacity and financial exploitation; finding ways to balance autonomy and protection for older adults. He recently completed the creation of the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Making Rating Scale, and the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Screening Scale: tools to be used to assess major financial decisions and/or transactions of older adults. He has authored 7 books and over 160 scientific articles in Geropsychology including being the senior editor for the American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology. On November 14, 1984 at the age of 25 Peter was widowed when his wife, Becky died while jogging of a cardiac arrhythmia. His grief was intense and complicated but he emerged and was happily married again in 1999. In 2010, his wife Susan was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and although she functioned at a high level throughout she died of heart failure in February 2014. Peter began a writing class in May 2014 and in the fall of 2015 decided to write his story of grief and healing in a piece titled Twice in a Lifetime. His personal and professional experiences give him a unique perspective on grief and healing. He lives in Detroit, Michigan with his children Thomas age 14 and Sophie age 11.


Grief and Healing: Against the Odds

This is my story of being widowed at 25 and again at 55, and the deaths of my beloved wives—the first in November 1984 and the second in February 2014.  […]

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