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Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Psychotherapy for Older Adults and Clinical Applications

Vulnerability And Decline;
Creativity And Resiliency:
From Just Age-ing to Joyful Sage-ing

Saturday-Sunday, Mar. 16-17, 2019 9-5:30PM

 (Registration, check-in, continental breakfast, 8:30-9:00)


George Saiger, M.D. and Joseph Izzo, M.A., M.S.W, James Gordon, M.D., Vanessa Landau, M.P.H .and Margo Silberstein, Ed.D.

CE/CME Award:

12 CE/CME credit hours


$360 flat fee

At the Washington School of Psychiatry, 5028 Wisconsin Ave NW #400, Washington DC 20016


This third conference of the six weekend series in the certificate program of the Center for the Study of Aging, focuses on the interface between the bio-psycho-social, cognitive diminishments of aging and the resiliency, creativity and wisdom of the later adult years.
       On Saturday, our primary speakers, George Saiger, M.D. and Joseph Izzo, M.A., M.S.W. will address the cognitive,physical and emotional losses and vulnerabilities of aging. In the afternoon, Margo Silberstein,Ed.D. will facilitate participants in a series of group exercises or psychodramas to stimulate learning on how the vulnerabilities and diminishments of life are often our best teachers and lead to resiliency.  
       On Sunday, James Gordon, M.D., Vanessa Landau,M.P.H.and Margo Silberstein, Ed.D. will address the issues of Sage-ing in the later years of life. They will explore the potential of tapping into one's life experiences / wisdom and the resiliency that older people have developed and how creativity and spirituality can bring both joy and vitality to our later years.
       Woven into both days will be an exploration, by the participants, of the many barriers or obstacles that block movement and progress from vulnerability and decline to creativity and resiliency. In small group discussions, the participants will share clinical strategies that enable older clients to move from just age-ing to joyful sage-ing.


James Gordon, MD is an American author and Harvard-educated psychiatrist, and a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression, anxiety, and psychological trauma. In 1991, he became Founder and Director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization.Through CMBM, Gordon has created training programs of comprehensive mind-body healing for physicians, medical students, and other health professionals to integrate into their practices; for people with cancer and their doctors, friends and family members, for people with depression and other chronic illnesses and conditions; for traumatized children and families in Bosnia, Kosovo, Israel, and Gaza as well as in post-9/11 New York and post-Katrina southern Louisiana; and with U.S. military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. He has become a major proponent for integrative medicine, especially in using preventive and self-care measures as a remedy to chronic illness. His latest book is Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression (Penguin Press, 2008)

Joseph A. Izzo, MA, MSW  is the Chair of the conference. They are a recently retired, licensed clinical social worker / psychotherapist who majored in Geriatric Social Work at Howard University's School of Social Work in the mid-1980's and had a 32 year career in Behavioral Health at the Whitman-Walker Health Center where they practiced with survivors of HIV/AIDS; LGBTQ survivors of life traumas and facilitated therapy groups for older LGBTQ people -- "LGBTQ at 60 Plus" which allowed participants to share coping skills as they aged in often homophobic and transphobic environments, and "Healing from Life Losses for LGBTQ Clients" who suffered from unresolved grief, bereavement and depression due to significant personal losses of loved ones, careers, pet companions or personal health crises.

Vanessa Jean Landau,MPH. is the Director of HEROES, facilitates resiliency fitness through educational workshops and individual coaching.  For more than two decades Ms. Landau worked with both mainstream and vulnerable populations—mental health consumers, homeless persons, substance use disordered collegians.  Academic pursuits involved a Bachelor of Individualized Study in Health and Human Potential from George Mason University and a Master of Public Health in Community Health Education from the University of Maryland.  She defended a thesis entitled The Resiliency Fitness Paradigm: The Challenge and The Promise, an innovative, research-substantiated framework that makes HEROES distinctive. Empowered Women International provided training that supported HEROES as a coaching business venture. Ms. Landau also has significant lived experience with illness, trauma, and recovery that makes her uniquely qualified to offer resiliency fitness training.

George Max Saiger, MD, CGP, FAGPA has been certified by the National Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as a geriatric psychiatrist and his private practice tilts heavily in that direction.  He has treated older adults in emergency room, inpatient hospital, day hospital, adult day care, nursing home, and office settings.  For several decades he was on the faculty of the Group Psychotherapy Training Program/National Group Therapy Institute.  He was a founding chair of the Washington School of Psychiatry Center on Aging and remains an enthusiastic member of its faculty.

Margo Silberstein, Ed.D is a Psychologist and Psychodramatist practicing in Washington, D.C. Trained in  the 1970’s at St. Elizabeth's  Hospital, she has directed services with community members  across the life span. She is a faculty member of the Center for the Study of Aging and of the ISTDP Programs at the Washington School of Psychiatry. 


  1. Identify at least three bio-psycho-social and cognitive challenges that often accompany the aging process.
  2. Describe the developmental tasks of the later stages of life and the resources that the older person brings to those tasks that promote a positive outcome.
  3. Identify three bio-psycho-social and cognitive blocks or obstacles that need to be worked through in the clinical setting to help the client move to greater resiliency and creativity.
  4. Identify at least two clinical strategies that can be used to assist the client in moving from vulnerability and decline to greater resiliency and creativity.
  5. Describe the role that spirituality, i.e. finding purpose and meaning in one's life, has, in learning to cope with the bio-psycho-social and cognitive diminishments of aging and foster greater resiliency and creativity. 



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 12_ 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.