Annual Conference on Mental Health and Aging
Hope and Healing:
Clinical and Spiritual Encounters with Older Adults
The Center for Mental Health and Aging, the
Institute for Clinical Health Psychology and the
Center for Psychotherapy and Spirituality at the
Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology;
Boston University School of Social Work;
Smith College School for Social Work and
Guy Maytal, MD, Erlene Rosowsky, PsyD, Susan Shulman Polit, PhD, Jane Marie Thibault, PhD, Robert J. Waldinger, MD, Robert L. Weber, PhD, presenters
This full-day conference will bring together experts in the fields of spirituality, mental health and gerontology. It will focus on the therapeutic impact of one's spiritual life when integrated with clinical work as this relates to the aging process and mental health and illness. Overarching questions to be addressed include:
- How might the experience of the frequent and expectable challenges in later life be shaped by one's spirituality or religious practice?
- How might this inform the existential issue of facing life's end, whether through a known life threatening illness or the experience of having reached advanced old age?
- How might the individual's unique spiritual history guide mental health clinicians in their work with older adults?
- When is spirituality an ally? When is it a core conflict?
In the morning this conference will elucidate an integration of clinical and spiritual perspectives on treatment through the following: a keynote presentation; a case presentation and discussion from clinical and spiritual perspectives; and a multi-disciplinary panel discussion. The afternoon workshop will address competence training to work with older adults and psycho-spiritual issues. Attendees will be encouraged to actively participate in this conference. There will be ample opportunity for creative interaction and group discussion.
Program Code: A697
6 CE Credits
Location: at MSPP, West Roxbury
Program Fee includes lunch
Guy Maytal, MD, is the Psychiatric Liaison to the Palliative Care Team at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Director of the MGH Psychiatry Urgent Care Clinic, and Associate Director of Ambulatory Psychiatry at MGH. He is also an Instructor at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Maytal graduated with high honors from Harvard College and then attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Afterwards he trained at the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program where he served as Chief Resident of the Consultation-Liaison Service.
During residency, Dr. Maytal developed a profound interest in the psychiatric care of patients at the end of life and began working with the Pallitative Care Team. He completed further training as the Psycho-Oncology fellow at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
Dr. Maytal has published articles on the psychiatric aspects of caring for cancer patients, psychololgical and existential concerns at the end of life, and on various topics in medical psychiatry. He has interests in the psychosocial aspects of cancer, the interface of spirituality and psychiatry, and mood disorders in the medically ill.
Erlene Rosowsky, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist and past-president of Needham Psychotherapy Associates, LLC. She specializes in the assessment and treatment of emotional problems at middle-age through later life. Specific interests are personality in older age, health and aging, and the older couple.
Dr. Rosowsky divides her time between clinical practice and professional and community education. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and is affiliated with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – Needham Campus. She is a member of the Core Faculty of the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and is Director of their Center for Mental Health and Aging. Dr. Rosowsky is a Fellow in the Gerontological Society of America.
She is well-published in the professional literature, and is a popular national speaker and workshop leader for both professional and lay groups. She wrote a regular column, Speaking of Aging, for the Journal of Retirement Planning and serves as Chair of the Generations editorial board.
Susan Shulman, Ph.D., is a clinical social worker with an almost forty year career in the profession. She currently has a private practice in Arlington where she sees adults, as individuals and couples.
She has done clinical work as well as supervised trainees and staff in hospitals, health centers, college health and private practice. She has also taught about clinical practice and research in local schools of social work, creating special courses about issues of aging and illness as they affect clinical work with individuals and families.
Her publications concern clinical work with older people and their familes, with a particular interest in the mother-daughter relationship in later life. Susan's work with elders and their families has been informed by her relationship with her 99 year old father-in-law and her late mother-in-law who lived to 86 and whose mother survived to 103.
Jane Marie Thibault, Ph.D., is a clinical gerontologist and a clinical professor in the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, KY and adjunct faculty in the School of Social Work. She has served at the University for thirty years, teaching geriatrics and gerontology to medical students, residents, geriatric fellows and social work students and counseling senior adults and their caregivers.
She helped to develop UofL’s Geriatric Evaluation and Treatment Program, which has been serving the community since 1984. Additionally, Dr. Thibault is adjunct professor at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where she teaches “Pastoral Responses to Aging.” In 2005 and 2006 she taught a course entitled “Successful Aging” at Oxford University, England.
Jane received her PhD in clinical gerontology from the University of Chicago, MSSW from University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work, M.A. in counseling psychology from Chapman University, and B.A. in English and psychology from Salve Regina University.
Because spiritual growth in later life is her personal and professional passion, Jane spends much of her research and community service time in the promotion of psycho-spiritual development. She is the author of numerous journal articles and several books including Understanding Religious and Spiritual Aspects of Human Service Practice; A Deepening Love Affair: The Gift of God in Later Life; 10 Gospel Promises for Later Life; and No Act of Love is Ever Wasted: The Spirituality of Caring for Persons with Dementia.
A trained spiritual director, she provides spiritual direction, workshops, and retreats for senior adults and their caregivers, with special emphasis on religious communities of men and women. She designed a restraint-free chair for elders – the Eld-A-Rondak Chair -- and holds its patent.
With expertise in the area of social/behavioral gerontology, Jane Thibault serves on the Medical Advisory Board as a clinical consultant to the Humana Active Outlook educational program, making recommendations for appropriate clinical learning goals and objectives, and providing oversight on curricula for the program.
Among her community service activities, she is an appointed member of the Kentucky Governor’s Council on Alzheimer’s Disease, a member of the KY Institute on Aging, and a member of the board of Mercy Sacred Heart Village, a teaching nursing home.
Robert J. Waldinger, M.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Director of the MGH Center for Psychodynamic Therapy and Research, and Director of the Study of Adult Development. He was the recipient of a Career Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health to study emotion regulation and health in intimate adult relationships.
In 2003 he became the 4th director of the Study of Adult Development, one of the longest longitudinal studies of adult life ever done. His current work focuses on the lifetime predictors of the quality of aging, studying 2 groups of men recruited as teenagers from Harvard College and from Boston inner city neighborhoods, and who have been part of the Study for 70 years. He is now extending the Study to incorporate neuroscience measures to better understand the ways that life experience and neurobiology interact to foster healthy aging.
Dr. Waldinger received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He is a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, he teaches MGH-McLean residents and Harvard Medical students, and he is on the faculty of the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute.
He is the author of numerous scientific papers as well as two books: Psychiatry for Medical Students (American Psychiatric Press, 1984, 1991, 1997), and Effective Psychotherapy with Borderline Patients: Case Studies (Macmillan, 1987). In addition to his research and teaching, he is in private practice in Newton, Massachusetts. He is also a Zen practitioner and a teacher in the Boundless Way Zen Community.
Dr. Weber is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He teaches, supervises and consults at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry and the Center for Group Therapy.
As part of the Advisory Board of the Center for Psychotherapy and Spirituality at Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Bob is collaborating to develop a curriculum and programs designed to introduce students and other mental health professionals to psycho-spiritual issues that emerge in psychological treatment. He is also on the Leadership Council of the Forum on Religion, Spirituality and Aging (FoRSA), a special interest group of the American Society on Aging.
Bob has a longstanding interest in and focus on the integration of psychology, spirituality and aging. As a Baby Boomer himself he has been developing a program called “ContemplAgeing,” a word he coined which describes an ongoing exploration of the unique challenges and opportunities we face as we age in the light of the sacred and the spiritual dimensions of our lives.