Eliana Cohen, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Dr. Eliana Cohen completed her Undergraduate Degree in Clinical Psychology at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) and the MA-PhD program in Clinical Counselling Psychology at York University. (At the time, the rate of acceptance for the Clinical Program in Psychology at York University was 5 out of 500 applicants.)
While completing her Master’s Degree, she worked as an Intern on an almost full-time basis at CAHH and under the supervision of her graduate advisor Dr. Harvey Brooker, who at the time was the Chief of Psychology of CAMH and a tenured professor at York University. During her Master’s she rotated through various clinical units, completing consultative work, i.e., psychological assessments for patients on inpatient units, including the General Psychiatry Unit, the Mood Disorders Unit and the Anxiety Disorders Unit. Also under Dr. Brooker’s supervision, she worked in collaboration with various psychiatrists, occupational therapists and vocational counselors, assisting in the care of their patients by completing exhaustive diagnostic testing that covered functional, intellectual, psychological and neuropsychological assessments for individuals in need of guidance for returning to work.
She completed research in the area of childhood attachment and panic disorder with/without Agoraphobia, and participated for over four years as a student representative on the Ethics Committee of the Ontario Psychological Association. At the time, the Ethics Committee, along with some consultants from across the province, helped develop the first Ethical Guidelines (of any profession) for Custody and Access Assessments.
Upon completion of her Master’s Degree, she gained full-time employment at the Toronto East General Hospital on the Inpatient and Outpatient Crisis Units and Emergency Department. In addition to her hospital work, she continued to conduct private work under the supervision of Dr. Harvey Brooker (completing a variety of psycho-legal assessments (neuropsychological and psychological) for issues of capacity at the request of the College of Physicians and Surgeons). At CAMH and in private practice she was also mentored by Mr. Isaac Smith, conducting Independent Medical Assessments of a Neuropsychological nature, and Dr. Ruth Berman (former CEO of the Ontario Psychological Association) completing psycho-vocational assessments of injured workers. She also provided couples and individual therapy in two other busy private practices.
Over time, her work at Toronto East General evolved into a position in Neuropsychology/Neuroscience. In this post, she conducted consultations at the Psychogeriatric Unit and in Liaison Psychiatry, providing neuropsychological consultations to the various medical floors. In this capacity, Eliana work and that of her supervisor involved providing differential diagnoses in cases of patients who were either acutely medically ill or psychiatrically disordered, thereby assisting the treating physicians with the medical and psychosocial management of the patient.
The Evolution of the Current Practice:
Eliana Cohen’s training was initially in systemic thinking and strategic psychotherapy. She completed her training and her Ph.D. in clinical-counselling psychology at York University in Toronto while working full time at Toronto East General Hospital. Her work in the hospital began in the inpatient and outpatient Crisis Units and then evolved into a neuropsychology position, providing assessments and diagnostic opinions to the medical floors (liaison psychiatry) and to the psychogeriatric unit.
Following a decade at Toronto East General Hospital, she set up her private practice on Bloor Street and mentored students for over 20 years. Her interests at the time were in relationship counseling, couples, and anxiety disorders. In all these areas her interest in brain functioning and neuroscience persisted and informed every aspect of her therapeutic work.
As she searched for effective and innovative solutions to help her patients she broadened her knowledge base by accessing philosophy, business strategy, decision making science, and behavioural economy. She completed a few business courses at Sloan MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and with Harvard affiliated business psychologists (Nick Tasler). As well, she completed training in Mindsight (a new model coming out of UCLA that focuses on neuroplasticity and brain training), as well as more education in couples therapy under the tutelage of Dr. John and Julie Gottman.
Finally, she also broadened her knowledge base by incorporating performance and sports psychology training, which is now fully integrated into all aspects of her work. In essence, she uses the knowledge base that elite athletes can teach us, and applies it to executives, or any clients striving to achieve their best, both in their personal and work lives. Eliana integrates performance psychology with strategy, emotional intelligence, relationship knowledge, and knowledge of neuroplasticity and the brain.