skip to main content

Sky Above Clouds: Finding our Way though Creativity, Aging and Illness Time

A conversational reading from the forthcoming Oxford University Press book

Wendy L. Miller Ph.D. and Gene Cohen,M.D.;Ph.D

Sunday, January 10, 2016 12:30PM-4:00PM

Fees and CE/CME Award

3 CE/CME credit hours

Regular $60

WSP Current Members $40

No CE's, general admission $15

Washington School of Psychiatry 5028 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Suite #400
Washington D.C 20016


12:30-1 Check-in or registration
1-4 Program

In her new book "Sky Above Clouds: Finding Our Way Through Creativity, Aging and Illness" art therapist and counselor Wendy Miller writes of her life as the wife and collaborator of the late Gene Cohen, reflecting upon his groundbreaking work on aging, their work together, and his struggle with terminal illness even as he continued his life's work. Dr. Miller writes about her life with Gene and how creative aging was able to enliven their work even as his own monumental life force ebbed.

Gene Cohen was undeniably one of the founding fathers and great luminaries of the fields of both geriatric psychiatry and creative aging -- in addition to having been acting director in the early 90’s of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH);  he was a founder of the National Center for Creative Aging; the founding director of the Center on Aging, Health and Humanities at the George Washington University; and the founding director of the Washington DC Center on Aging. His groundbreaking work to develop the concept of creative aging has provided a blueprint for the future of aging where growth and development play as important a role as decline and disability. 

Wendy Millerdescribes their life and work together as it culminated in several final projects, now unveiled in her new book "Sky Above Clouds: Finding Our Way Through Creativity, Aging and Illness." In a work that is both manual and memoir, Dr. Miller incorporates Gene Cohen's voice and thinking into her own and describes how creative aging can enable individuals to grow beyond the limitations imposed by both illness and aging. 


  1. Review the overall concept of creative aging as developed by Gene Cohen
  2. Review key concepts of developmental intelligence, human potential phases, and the social portfolio
  3. Discuss the role of the creative arts in making aging a more meaningful and positive experience
  4. Discuss the work of Gene Cohen and Wendy Miller as outlined in the book "Sky Above Clouds"


  1. Individuals working with the elderly will gain an understanding of key concepts of creative aging, developmental intelligence and the role of the arts in promoting healthy and meaningful aging all promoted in the work of Gene Cohen.
  2. They will obtain a critical understanding of the positive potential of aging, and how it enables a more enlightened and less ageist perspective on aging that is critical to all clinical work with aged individuals.
  3. Finally, the participants will see firsthand how the creator of creative aging himself used his own principles, in concert with the love, support and partnership of his wife Wendy Miller, to cope with illness and impending death.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is intended for mental health professionals as usual. It is also intended for members of the wider community engaged in in these issues in their professional and personal lives. Elder care professionals, children of aging parents and individuals interested in this topic are welcome.


Wendy Miller,Ph.D., ATR-BC, LCPAT is a writer, sculptor, educator and expressive arts therapist. She has taught for over fifteen years in various universities throughout the country including John F Kennedy University, San Francisco State, Southwestern College, Lesley College, California Institute of Integral Studies and George Washington University. She is a founding member and past executive co-chair of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association. Dr. Miller is the co-founder of Create Therapy Institute which offers clinical services in arts-based psychotherapy and training in the expressive arts. Her current work is evolving as she continues the legacy of her late husband’s work in creative aging.


Cancellations and Refunds

Refunds will be made for cancellations received at the School office in writing at least 10 days before the seminar date and are subject to a non-refundable administrative fee of $50.

Who should attend?

The workshop is intended for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, physicians, medical students, and other graduate students.


The Washington School of Psychiatry is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Washington School of Psychiatry maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The School is approved by the Social Work Board of the State of Maryland as a provider of continuing education for social workers in DC, MD, VA and WV.

The Washington School of Psychiatry has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6388. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Washington School of Psychiatry is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

The School is accredited by MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The School designates each session for a maximum of _ of AMA PRA Category I Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Disclosure of Commercial Support and the Unlabeled use of a commercial product. No member of the planning committee and no member of the faculty for this event have a financial interest or other relationship with any commercial product.