We had the good fortune of connecting with Ilene Cohen, Ph.D. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ilene, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
The most important thing I have done as a parent is work on myself and maintaining my family relationships. If we don’t work on our unresolved issues we have with our family members, that we may be estranged from, this impacts our relationships with our own kids. I work on having close one-on-one relationships with most of my family members, and I encourage my kids to do the same. This allows me to be less reactive and more thoughtful as a parent, because I am not carrying around unresolved anger or anxiety. When we don’t resolve and work on our own issues with people that are important to us, we have a greater chance of projecting that anger and anxiety onto our children.
Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I am most proud and excited about being an author. I love being a psychotherapist, however, I have found that with my self-help articles and books I can reach more people. I find that people resonate with my work because I not only write from facts but also from my own experience. My writing comes from my heart and my truth, as well. I got to where I am at today with a lot of schooling. I am very grateful for the education that I have received. I am also appreciative for my family support and encouragement. No, it wasn’t easy for me. I don’t have a photographic memory and at times it was hard to concentrate and study. However, I just kept my goals in mind and worked hard even when I wanted to give up. The challenge I had to get over was thinking I wasn’t good enough or smart enough to become a doctor. I learned along the way that I could do it, and most people could do it if they take baby steps and put in the work. Some people may have to study harder than others, but it doesn’t make them stupid. You can train your brain and yourself to learn in ways that work for you. I want the world to know that when what you do is an expression of who you are, there is no other feeling like it. And you will also find that people will connect with you more the more honest you are with the work you do.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Miami Florida, so there is a lot to do. We have a ton of restaurants, beautiful beaches and places to see. I would take them to restaurants with different types of food. Each day we would get to know a different culture through the food they serve. We would make sure to walk on the beach and find a spot to lay out. I would take them to different areas to shop like coral gables and Aventura. I would make sure we had plenty of time to relax, and go to some of the best spas we have in the area. This would ofcourse be considerate of my friend’s budget and also be in safe times where covid is no longer an issue. My friends and I have kids, so I am assuming this is a kid free trip, so I would make sure there is lots of down time where we just have some wine and watch Netflix. I would also make sure to take them to the local IPIC theatre.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The research and work of Dr. Murray Bowen. I owe a huge shoutout to my education in family systems theory that was developed by Murray Bowen. His work is a huge influence on the work I do.