About Dr. Mary
Mary L. Flett, PhD is a keen observer of what it means to age well. . .
. . . and offers her unique perspective on embracing the shift that aging brings. She is a passionate and engaging speaker on all things related to aging, and is known for her unique ability to bring humor and compassion to complex and emotionally challenging topics.
“Confront the difficult while it is still easy” Lao Tzu
Thank you for inspiring faith, hope, and love . . .
You have stretched me and helped me fill in so many other spaces. I feel a better person for your shaking me up and helping me fill in some cracks and holes . . .
Mary L. Flett, PhD
Mary L. Flett, PhD is a keen observer of what it means to be an aging adult and offers her unique perspective on embracing the shift that aging brings to everything she does. She is a passionate and engaging speaker on all things related to aging, and is known for her unique ability to bring humor and compassion to complex and emotionally challenging topics.
After 20 years of working with aging adults as a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Mary retired from clinical work, with plans to celebrate this transition by taking a ‘bucket-list’ trip to Australia and New Zealand. She had undergone two hip replacements and was eager to get back in shape through walking and enjoying travel.
Unfortunately, the pandemic fundamentally changed not only her plans but her life! She was diagnosed in the very beginning of the pandemic (March, 2020) and although her symptoms were mild, she now is learning to adapt to the physical and psychological challenges of long-covid.
Not one to be cowed by such a challenge, Dr. Mary has continued to write a weekly blog (since 2018), sits on the Editorial Advisory Board of the American Society on Aging’s “Generations” publication, and offers her expertise as a member of the Advisory Council to her local Area Agency on Aging.
She continues to develop workshops for aging adults, using her unique perspective of having been a provider and now as a consumer, on all things that are important to aging adults: confronting ageism, addressing equity and accessibility, educating professionals on how to work with aging adults, and coaching us all on the importance of staying engaged, and investing in self-worth.
Originally from the Chicago area, Dr. Mary went to college in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State (Eisenhower College, class of 1975). She briefly returned to the midwest, but then headed to California in 1979, where she has resided ever since.
Always a performer, Dr. Mary studied improv at the Second City in Chicago and spent three years speaking nationally to professionals on clinical issues related to the diagnosing and treatment of aging adults. She continues to present workshops on a variety of topics pertinent to elders at CCRCs and Senior Centers, as well as online. She is also been a favored guest on a number of podcasts.
She was awarded her PhD from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University) in 1998, and has published articles based on her dissertation work on aging and values. She has worked for local, county, state and federal programs providing direct client care as well as quality improvement and program evaluation in California and Oregon. While no longer maintaining her status as a licensed psychologist, she keeps her skills sharp providing coaching.
Since 2018, she has written over 300 blogs addressing spiritual, clinical, and personal challenges faced in growing older in our culture. Her three-book series, “Aging with Finesse” collected some of these blogs and was published in 2021.
Dr. Mary and her husband, Hank Parker, retired to Sonoma Valley, California in 1996. Widowed since 2009, Dr. Mary continues to live in the Valley with her two cats, Max and Bela.