Margriet DeLange is a Certified Professional Gerontologist and insightful educator and presenter. She holds a Masters degree in Gerontology from San Francisco State University and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from J.F. Kennedy University, where she was selected as Alumni of the Year in 2007.
Since Margriet founded StoriesUnfolding in 2006, she has facilitated Guided Autobiography (GAB) Groups for hundreds of participants throughout the Bay Area. She was also chosen to facilitate two Guided Autobiography groups of 70 – 90 year olds as part of a two-year Stanford Research Study on Aging and Cognitive Enhancement from 2010-2012. Participants consistently enjoy her enthusiasm and passion as she skillfully guides each person to reflect on the many aspects of their life story.
Margriet uses the Birren method, which involves personal reflection and writing on selected life themes to gain a perspective on one’s own life story, followed by reading and sharing in a group context. Through this process, participants gain a deeper understanding of the meaning and purpose of their accumulated experiences in life. This process also promotes successful adaptation to life transitions and assists positive choices at life’s crossroads.
Since 2006, Margriet has taught Gerontology courses at Foothill College in Los Altos, San Francisco State University and J.F.K. University. Her teaching portfolio includes courses such as Psychology and Aging, Health and Aging, Aging and Diversity, Death, Dying and Bereavement, Narrative Gerontology, and Continuum of Care.
Margriet’s experience also includes being a Community Organizer of the project Protecting Our Elders: an Interfaith Response to Elder Abuse and Neglect, funded by the Santa Clara County Mental Health Department. This project was designed to educate clergy and lay leaders of all faith traditions about the problem of elder abuse and how to successfully intervene.
Margriet continues to be a much appreciated presenter and keynote speaker throughout the larger Bay Area. In her presentations she covers topics such as Successful Aging, Aging and Spirituality, Aging and Mental Health, with a special focus on Life Review. She has presented for the Alameda County Mental Health Department, at the American Society on Aging national conference (2006, 2008, and 2010), an Institute on Aging symposium on Mind-Body health, PAMF, Mercy Center, and many more. On request, she will gladly provide a list of her presenting events.
Margriet’s own life experience of living in the Netherlands, Germany, Oregon and California add much to her understanding of cultural differences. Together with her husband of many years, she raised three adult daughters. “This,” she says, “has taught invaluable life lessons that prepared me for the work I am doing today.”