Introducing Barry Cohen
I am so happy to be offered this opportunity to introduce myself to the CPPNJ community as a new faculty member, and I look forward to getting to know as many candidates and other faculty members as possible.
I was trained in the Interpersonal Tradition of Psychoanalysis, and as such, I view the work I do with each patient and/or supervisee as unique. In my own training, I was strongly influenced by the writings and work of Sullivan, Ferenczi, Levenson, and Wolstein. In general, I believe that character develops as a unique interaction between our constitutional endowment and the significant relationships with which we engage over the course of our lifetime.
Through the use of "selective inattention," we foreclose our awareness of anxiety provoking, conflictual and/or disturbing aspects of our interpersonal world. "Problems in living" emerge when this mechanism becomes fixed or rigid, so that what proved adaptive in the context of previous experience with others cannot be flexibly altered or developed in subsequent interpersonal relationships. Psychoanalysis works by expanding patients' awareness of aspects of their own character as well as the character of others who inhabit their interpersonal world. With this increased understanding, patients gain a greater freedom of choice to be how they want to be and who they want to be. This greater awareness, and the freedom to act upon it, is potentiated by the patient's unique interpersonal experience with his/her analyst.
I received my Certificate in Psychoanalysis from the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in 1999. I currently serve as a Supervisor there in the Interpersonal Track, as well as supervising psychology graduate students at times from Yeshiva, Pace and Rutgers University. In addition, I am a co-chair of NYU's Interpersonal Interest Group Committee, and a member of Postdoc's Recruitment Committee, Professional Will Committee, and the Annual Weekend Retreat Committee. In January, 2011, I was hired by Division 39, the Division of Psychoanalysis of the APA, for a five year term as their Internet Editor, and recently oversaw the "total makeover" of the Division's website. I also served on the Steering Committee of the recently completed Division 39 Spring Meeting in New York City. I maintain a private practice in Teaneck and on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.