We are thrilled to announce our newest online community offering, YOPD Connections. Launching Tuesday, November 10th, this peer discussion group will met twice and month and be facilitated by Brian McElwain, PhD, a person living with Young Onset Parkinson Disease (YOPD). I sat down with Brian to learn more about him and his plans for the group.
Why are you beginning YOPD Connections?
For younger folks who are trying to manage careers, who are parenting children, and who have responsibilities for their own parents along with the many challenges of managing the widely varying effects of this disease, prioritizing the quality of their relationships can seem, well, self-indulgent. Many with YOPD will find themselves experiencing the loneliness of living with a disease that more typically strikes those of their parents’ or grandparents’ generation. The physical distancing and isolation that are necessary components of managing the current COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbate such loneliness.
What do you hope YOPD attendees experience?
What is your favorite quote and why?
What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday?
After way too many years in higher education, Brian McElwain earned a PhD in clinical psychology. By then, it was too late to leave, so he found work in university counseling centers. Over three decades, Brian developed expertise in the practice of individual and group psychotherapy, clinical supervision, relaxation skills, mindfulness, and the treatment of trauma and grief. Brian’s thinking about his work was guided by his interests in narrative therapy, existential phenomenology, racism, and interpersonal neurobiology.
At age 41, Brian was diagnosed with Parkinson disease and ten years later he decided to retire in order to devote his dwindling time and energy to pickleball and photography.