Gordon Cohen, Psy.D.

Gordon Cohen, Psy.D.

Thoughts on psychotherapy and my practice:

As a psychologist, I have been working with patients in psychotherapy for the past twenty years, dedicated to helping clients improve the quality of their lives through talk and personal growth work. Generally, people begin therapy because a situation in their life has become too problematic or they understand that despite their own best efforts, they regularly see themselves in a repetitive, destructive or nonproductive pattern. Many of the folks with whom I work begin by speaking about a troubling issue, but soon realize that their lives are woven together by their own personal history and present day circumstances. The psychotherapy which I conduct, allows people to work on their character, their ongoing personality which is consistent over time. In this way, I help people deal with some of the behaviorlal or cognitive change which needs to happen quickly, while also addressing the long lasting emotional reshaping required for transformation in one’s lifetime. The work of psychotherapy can feel difficult to people, yet it is the most rewarding method for deep personal growth.

For most of my clients, they find themselves speaking about their struggles for the first time in a new fashion with a professional who is trained to work with their conflicts. I am a very interactive therapist. I’ve developed a style of listening to each individual in a personal fashion and I’ve been told that I have a warm, engaging, friendly and intimate style of working with people. I am not a quiet therapist. Rather, I can be firm and challenging in my approach, encouraging my clients with a direct style.

Generally patients begin working in Individual Psychotherapy, which is an intimate experience and for some, the first time in which one is able to reveal oneself completely to another person. There’s alot which can be very hard to speak about, but given the right fit with a psychotherapist, it may be the first time in which you find yourself speaking your own reality aloud. “To one’s own Self be true”, has been a guiding principle for the work of preeminent psychotherapy.

One of my favorite types of work is Couples Therapy, for which I was trained in a Family Systems approach. For me, working with a couple is a relational process in which both members of the couple are encouraged to work on their relationship. I’ve worked with many couples for extended periods of time on how best to communicate and love one another over the long haul. For others, it’s best to help couples separate from each other in as amicable and civil fashion as possible. Lastly, my group therapy work has been a mainstay of my practice. I have three different co-therapists, with groups in the early morning, noontime and evening for gay men. These groups are ongoing, experiences, in which men continue the work of psychotherapy, but in a group context. These group experiences become an opportunity for gay men to speak with one another about their lives. Group members come to know one another over a long period of time and become deeply involved in each others’ lives. There is no outside contact between members, which allows the work of psychotherapy to develop within a community of like minded guys who have a sense of security, safety and confidentiality within the group.

After working for such an extended period of time, my practice has evolved over the years. I was chosen by my peers in the Best Therapist issue of the Washingtonian magazine, for my expertise in LGBT psychotherapy in 2010 and most recently for Couples Therapy in 2012.. While my focus was originally geared toward gay men, which has grown into a large portion of my practice, I have also developed a real niche for working with straight guys, women and couples. I present nationally at conferences of the American Academy of Psychotherapists, for which I am the President Elect and I am also a member of the American Psychological Association.

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