The Washington School of Psychiatry’s the Center for the Study of Psychotherapy for Older Adults and Clinical Applications offers a series of 6 weekend conferences to help professionals stay current in their work with aging adults and their families. These conferences will provide important knowledge and skills to better serve the aging adult population in a wide range of settings. This longest life stage and its phases requires specialized training.

Six weekend conferences offer interactive, didactic and experiential learning based on theory and research. Content areas include clinical person-centered approaches such as individual, couples, family and expressive therapy; medical; legal and ethical considerations; cognitive impairment; gender and sexuality; cultural competence; diversity and spirituality. Strategies for communicating effectively in difficult situations are woven throughout the conferences. Participation in the conferences is open to professionals who are interested in increasing their knowledge and skills in working with aging adults. Previous work serving aging adults is not a pre-requisite.

There are two options for participation:

  1. The Certificate Program wherein participants attend the entire cycle of six conferences and  belong to the same small group throughout all six conferences. In addition, monthly individual or small group supervision from September - March is required during each year. Supervision fees are additional to tuition and are $75.00 for an individual session of 45 min. and $50.00 for a 3 person, small group session of 90 min. Individuals choosing the Certificate Program option will be given a list of faculty members who provide supervision. A participant can choose whomever they wish.
  2. Single conferences wherein participants attend on a per conference basis and are assigned to a small group formed only for that particular conference.

It  is  possible to register  for  multiple  conferences. All  participants  receive  continuing  education  credits for each  conference.  Participants who  attend  all  six conferences and supervision receive a Program Certificate at the end of six conferences. Conference content includes didactic, experiential, expressive components and case discussion. 

All conferences take place at the Washington School of Psychiatry, 5028 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Ste. 400, Washington, DC 200016; Tel: 202. 237. 2700. The conferences are held on Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am - 5:30 pm, unless stated otherwise on the brochure for each conference. 


Eligibility & Selection

The Program is open to gerontologists, psychiatrists, medical residents, psychologists, geriatric care managers, social workers, nurses, counselors, geriatric administrators and other health care professionals interested in working with older adults.

Please apply. Applicants are invited to submit a CV and application. An interview with the Program Chair or a member of the Steering Committee will be conducted prior to acceptance into the Program.

CE/CME Award

 1 credit will awarded for each conference hour. There may be some schedule variation in the weekends. Generally, there are 12 credit hours in the two day program.


Participants in the two year certificate program: $2000 total, $1000 due each year.

Fees for individual conferences will be $360 per weekend.

Scholarship Support

Contact the Chair for more information and scholarship information. See:  Scholarship Application


Tybe Diamond, MSW, Chair
Kathryn Chefetz, MSW

Estelle Berley, MSW
Joan Medway, MSW, Ph.D

Joseph Izzo, MSW
George Saiger, MD

Yara Moustafa, Ph.D., MD
Margo Silberstein, Ed.D

Tova Rubin, Ph.D
Anne Marie Russell, MSW, MPH, Ph.D. (abd)

Advisory Board

Martha Ozer, Ph.D
Miriam Kelty, Ph.D
Robert Crosby, Ph.D
Irene Jackson Brown, Ph.D., CSA, CMC, CDP
Reginald Nettles, Ph.D. 

Guest Lecturers

Each weekend will have a brochure. Guest lecturers who are experts in their area of study will be identified in the brochure that will be posted on the Events web page 2.5 months in advance of the conference.


September 14 & 15, 2019

"Medical And Psychiatric Challenges To Successful Aging."

Chair: George Max Saiger, MD, CGP, FAGPA

The eminent physician, Sir William Osler, observed at the close of the 19th century that the later decades present numerous medical challenges, some of them unique this phase of life.  This conference will describe a variety of these conditions, examine their impact on the lives of seniors, and consider intervention strategies. Participants are encouraged to bring case materials to the meeting.  The conference will conclude with an experiential learning component.

December 14 & 15, 2019 

"Factors Influencing The Aging Process"

Chair: Anya Parpura, MD, Ph.D

A variety of factors that can affect how we age, including acculturation issues among older immigrants, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, sexuality, and loneliness are explored.
This conference is designed to help you:

  • Recognize the influence of immigration on the social status and the role of older immigrants within the family.
  • Summarize barriers that have an impact on the effective use of mental health services by older immigrants.
  • Identify the effects race and ethnicity can have on older adults, especially African Americans and Latinos.
  • Explain the challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender older adults.
  • Describe issues of sexuality as they relate to aging.
  • Enhance your comfort level about sexual issues of the aging population.
  • Discuss the impact of loneliness on one’s mental health, and become familiar with techniques and supports to address loneliness.
  • Analyze your own experience of loneliness

March 14 & 15, 2020

"Overview of Ethics, End of Life, Legal Issues & Spirituality"

Chair: Tybe Diamond, M.S.W

As people approach the end of their lives, they and their families commonly face tasks and decisions that include a broad array of choices ranging from simple to extremely complex. The focus regarding these tasks will be on individuals who are 55 plus.  The tasks can be practical, psychosocial, ethical,  spiritual, legal, existential, or medical in nature. For example, dying persons and their families are faced with choices about what kind of caregiver help they want or need and whether to receive care at home or in an institutional treatment setting. Dying persons may have to make choices about the desired degree of family involvement in caregiving and decision-making. They frequently make legal decisions about wills, advanced directives, and durable powers of attorney. They may make choices about how to expend their limited time and energy. Some may want to reflect on the meaning of life, and some may decide to do a final life review or to deal with psychologically unfinished business. Some may want to participate in planning rituals before or after death. In some religious traditions, confession of sins, preparation to "meet one's maker," or asking forgiveness from those who may have been wronged can be part of end-of-life concerns. All end-of-life choices and medical decisions have complex psychosocial components, ramifications, and consequences that have a significant impact on suffering and the quality of living and dying.

The Washington School of Psychiatry

5028 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20016-4118

Call us at 202-237-2700 or 202-537-6050

Celebrating its 84th year, the School is an accredited provider of post-graduate continuing education.

The Washington School of Psychiatry is an independent non-profit organization. It is not affiliated with the government of the District of Columbia or the government of the United States.

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