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Meet Ilene S. Cohen, Ph.D of Doctor Ilene in Aventura

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ilene S. Cohen, Ph.D.

Ilene, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today? I created my blog while trying to find a healthy balance between being selfless and selfish. As a lifelong people-pleaser, I used to constantly find myself in situations that resulted in me completely neglecting my needs. As much as I wanted to make myself a priority, I found that over time, my mission to build myself was more of a mission impossible. I decided to get serious about making my needs a priority through writing.

My life was all about trying to please the people in my life. I had the American Dream, but I was empty. I came to learn that this was because I wasn’t being true to myself.

What tends to get most of us lost and stuck is getting caught up in what life is supposed to be and who we think we’re supposed to be. I was supposed to be the “perfect” therapist, housewife, mother, friend, and family member-the person who always had her life together. I thought I had to have the right answers to everything, the right solution to help everyone. I got so caught up in this that I completely forgot about myself.

Once I came to realize that I was the missing piece in my life, I set out on a relentless quest to find purpose of self, attend to my needs, read hundreds of books, go to therapy, and change my behaviors.

I created a purpose that I would never have thought possible for my life. I created a popular blog, wrote a great book and grew my private practice. I have been able to write for other major blogs, been interviewed on the radio and on podcasts.

A blog that was my way of sharing my ongoing journey with others, in hopes that they would try on some of the philosophies that have worked for me really launched my career as a writer and popular psychotherapist in my community.

I found meaning and purpose in the process of trying out different ways of thinking and seeing the world and helping others do the same.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome? It wasn’t a smooth road. For a while, I was writing as a hobby, wasn’t sure where it would lead. It took a while to gain a following or even to start bringing in private clients. I would propose articles to major blogs, sometimes being ignored and others being accepted. Once I saw that people were appreciating my articles, I decided to fulfill my dream of writing a book. This was when I had a newborn at home and barely had enough clients to cover babysitting costs. So, it wasn’t easy to find time to write, but I always felt a pull towards it. It was my genuine passion for writing that helped me stick through the times I wondered if I could turn my hobby into an actual career. Once my book was released, I had a detailed plan in place. I would say the hardest part is keeping yourself on track when you see very little return. But over time my efforts started to pay off, and I was able to make a career out of my hobby. I am so grateful that I never gave up and I stuck through, even without a steady paycheck. Now I feel like I am getting paid to do what I would be doing anyway, I really don’t feel like I work.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Doctor Ilene – what should we know? I am a psychotherapist that specializes in marriage and family therapy. I see most of my clients online or conduct sessions on the phone. I believe I am mostly known for my Psychology Today articles. I became one of their regular writers, in addition to writing for my blog, after they liked many of my guest posts. I am most proud that I have been consistent with my writing, and I am very proud of my book. I get emails all of the time about how my articles and book has impacted people’s lives. There really is nothing like doing meaningful work. What sets me apart is that I am a therapist, but I am also a self-help writer. So, people already feel connected to me once we start working together, I think this shortens the therapeutic process. I also love what I do, it is really my hobby. There is no feeling like completing an awesome article or having a great session with someone.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success? My ability to connect with people, and to speak my truth. I became a better therapist when I worked on myself and learned how to deal with my own life. When I started to become more open in my writings and with the people in my life, I found it easier to connect. I can meet people where they are at, and I don’t shy away from my own or others vulnerabilities.

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Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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