Saturday-Sunday, Mar. 14-15, 2020, postponed

(Registration and continental breakfast, 8:30-9)


Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Aging & Clinical Applications

Chair: Tybe Diamond, M.S.W

CE/CME continuing education

12 credit hours, includes 3 ethics credits


Flat Fee $375


Lunch will be included on Sunday. Indicate “vegetarian or other” in the "note to the WSP" on the registration form.

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

For your comfort, remember to bring a sweater or to dress with layers. A code will be posted on the door to enter the building using the entry phone system.  



The best way to achieve a peaceful death is by planning ahead and enlisting the help of loved ones. According to a 2017 Kaiser Foundation study, seven in 10 Americans hope to die at home. However, half die in nursing homes and hospitals, and more than a tenth are shuttled from one to the other in their final three days. Pain is a major barrier to a peaceful death, and nearly half of dying Americans suffer from uncontrolled pain. More than a quarter of Medicare members cycle through an Intensive Care Unit, and a fifth of Americans die in an ICU. Very often death and dying are more chaotic and painful than it needs to be.

Some doctors assume that everyone wants to extend life until there is no joy left in the living of it. They’re mistaken. In most studies, most people cared much more about not having their families financially burdened by their care or distressed by difficult medical decisions; having their medical preferences honored; and dying in peace spiritually, with their loved ones around them. Living as long as possible was at the very bottom of most people’s lists.

Advanced medicine is replete with treatments (ventilators, dialysis, defibrillators, feeding tubes, etc.) that postpone death and prolong misery without restoring health. This conference will help you get clear on what comprises a “good death” when you can no longer enjoy life and what medical treatments you would refuse. Nobody can answer this for you. We vary widely in how much suffering we’re willing to endure for more time on earth.

This conference will help you imagine what it would take to die in peace and work back from there. Planning ahead is possible if you face death while still enjoying life and recognize the pitfalls of modern medicine. Those who contemplate their aging, vulnerability and mortality often live better lives and experience better deaths than those who don’t.


Participants will be able to:

1. Appreciate why making an aging plan is vital to a “good death”

2. Describe how physical and spiritual well-being are connected

3. Describe how patients with advanced illness define spiritual distress as it relates to their own experience 

4. Describe how clinicians can understand, assess for and treat their 

   patients’ spiritual distress

5. Describe why end-of-life ethical care decisions carry paramount importance due to  the advancements in medical sciences 

6. Describe 3 potential negative results of countertransference when doing  psychotherapy with a patient near death



Saturday, March 14, 2020

8:30 - 9:00       Registration 

9:00 - 9:10       Introductions: Tybe Diamond, M.S.W.

                        Program & Conference Chair

9:10 -10:30      Making An Aging Plan: Miriam Kelty, Ph.D. 

10:30 -10:45    Break

10:45 - 12:15   Spirituality & Health: Christina Puchalski, M.D.

12:15 - 1:40     Lunch

1:45 - 3:45       Psychodrama: Margo Silberstein, Ph.D.

3:45 - 4:00       Break

4:00 - 5:15       Small Group Discussion – Tybe Diamond, M.S.W., Joseph

                        Izzo, M.S.W, Annemarie Russell, M.S.W.             

5:15 – 5:30      Wrap Up – Lenore Pomerance, M.S.W.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

9:00 - 10:30      Ethical Issues at the End-of-Life: Miriam Kelty, Ph.D. 

10:30 - 10: 45   Break

10:45 -12:15     NIH Heals; Palliative Care & Hospice: Ann Berger, MSN, MD

                         & Ryan Tourtellot, MBS, DO

12:15 - 12:20    Break

12:20 - 1:50      Small Group (box lunch during the groups)

1:50 - 2:00        Break

2:00 - 3:30        Choice: Lenore Pomerance, M.S.W

3:30 - 3:45        Break

3:45 - 4:45        Countertransference in Psychotherapy with a Dying Patient:

                         Tybe Diamond, M.S.W.

4:45 – 5::00      Poems: Registrants are invited to bring a poem to read.


The language of emotion is often manifested in the words of poetry. It can be a  natural resource for healing and, historically, its medicinal qualities have been used in every country and in every language.




Ann Berger, MSN, MD, completed her undergraduate degree with a B.S. in nursing from New York University, which was then followed by receiving a MSN in Oncology Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania.  After working as an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist for several years, Dr. Berger completed her medical training at Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, Ohio.  Following medical school, Dr. Berger completed an internship and residency at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and a Fellowship in medical oncology and pain/palliative care at Yale University in Connecticut. 

Dr. Berger has had over 25 years of experience in pain and palliative care. Currently, she is chief of pain and palliative care at National Institutes of Health, the clinical center where she has patient care, education, administrative, and research responsibilities. Dr. Berger has lectured nationally and internationally. Dr. Berger’s research involves developing ways to measure psychosocial spiritual healing. Dr. Berger has received many awards.  She has also published extensively in the field of pain and palliative care.

Miriam Kelty, PhD, is the Past Associate Director of the National Institute on Aging and Director of the Institute's Extramural Activities Programs; Advisor to the Washington School of Psychiatry’s Aging Certification Program; presently, after a career in academia, a scientific/professional association and government, Dr. Kelty is a consultant in bioethics, responsible conduct in science, research strategy and aging. She provides consultation to national and international organizations and mentors professionals who pursue science-related careers.

Christina Puchalski, MD, MS, FACP, FAAHPM, is a pioneer and international leader in the movement to integrate spirituality into healthcare in clinical settings and medical education. As founder and director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish) and Professor of Medicine at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, she continues to break new ground in the understanding and integration of spiritual care in a healthcare setting. Dr. Puchalski is Professor of Medicine and Health Science;  Director, The George Washington University Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish), Co-Director, MFA-GWU Supportive and Palliative Outpatient Clinic at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Tybe Diamond, MSW is the Director of the Washington School of Psychiatry's Center for the Study of Aging and is the Chair of the aging training program. She is a faculty member of the Couples Training Program at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis. Ms. Diamond is also President of Tybe Diamond and Associates, an organizational development consulting group. She has been in private practice in Washington, DC for 40 plus years and she sees patients who are 17 – elderly in individual, couples, family and group modalities and provides consultation to multidisciplinary psychotherapists. 

Joseph Izzo, MSW, MA, LICSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice with a specialization in LGBTQ geriatric mental health. They currently serve on the Steering Committee of the WSP Center for the Study of Aging & Clinical Applications; the LGBTQ Aging Services Network of IONA / Whitman-Walker Health Center and is assisting in the formation of the Greater Brookland (N.E., DC) Intergenerational Village. Prior to their retirement, they were a psychotherapist in the Behavioral Health Department of the Whitman-Walker Health Center for 32 years.

Lenore Pomerance, MSW, has been a psychotherapist in Washington DC with individuals, couples and groups for 27 years. From 1987 - 2004 she worked as a volunteer at Whitman Walker Clinic for the speakers’ bureau, test result counseling, and co-leading HIV/AIDS support groups. She has led many workshops concerning menopause, aging, aging and sexuality, caregivers for those who are dying, and bucket list requests for the American Academy of Psychotherapists. (AAP). Included among her publications is “Aging Baby Boomers: Denying Death and Menopause,” for Voices, the AAP journal, Winter 2003. She is a past president of the Mid-Atlantic Group Psychotherapy Society (MAGPS) and chairs its Cinema Series.

Annemarie Russell, LCSW, MPH, CASFT, CAGS (Gerontology), ABD, is a psychotherapist, family therapist and clinical social work supervisor in private practice in Alexandria, Virginia and a faculty member at the Washington School of Psychiatry, Clinical Aging Certificate Training Program. She has instructed social work and public health at several universities domestically and abroad and is an experienced international social welfare, health and human rights program manager and advisor. Her current gerontology research interests include community aging in place initiatives. 

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

Ryan Tourtellot, MBS, DO, completed his BS in biology and psychology at Ramapo College of New Jersey. Dr. Tourtellot worked at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University as a genomic data analyst before completing a Master in Biomedical Science at The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Afterwards he obtained his doctorate in osteopathic medicine from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where he also completed a traditional rotating internship followed by residency training in family medicine at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, New York. He is currently one of the hospice and palliative care fellows at The National Institutes of Health. 



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 13.75_ 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.


Registration is now closed. Ther program is postponed. Please check back  for a rescheduled date.