Corey M. Cohen

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Corey M. Cohen, BS, CMI

Available for speaking engagements and in-person consultations.
Contact Corey at corey@pathoffriendship.com to learn more.

Specializing in shelter and rescue animals, and companion animals with PTSD, stress, anxiety, fear and aggression, Corey Cohen has devoted his life to helping people and their animal companions develop deeply attuned, harmonious and secure relationships. In his mission to restore dignity and respect to the human-animal bond, he has driven more than 1.3 million miles and worked with more than 10,000 animal/human relationships. Although some people have called him an “animal whisperer,” he views himself as a gardener who cultivates transformational friendships. Using his study of psychology, animal behavior and mindfulness, he helps people and their animal companions sow the seeds of communication, understanding and trust so they develop secure attachments, overcome fear and anxiety, and grow closer together.

Experience Working With People and Their Animal Companions

In his private practice for over 35 years, Corey has worked with virtually every kind of dog and cat, and every kind of problem, including severe aggression, fear and phobias, and relational issues. He has rehabilitated abused and abandoned animals, in many cases helping animals who had been labeled “hopeless” by other animal behavior professionals. Drawing on his experience and optimism, he has developed an approach to human-animal relationships that he calls the Path of Friendship. His motto is “healing, not heeling.”

The Path of Friendship is a way of living with your companion animal on an even footing, replacing the typical hierarchical relationship with one based on dignity, collaboration, empathy and trust. Many clients report having a deeper respect for their animal companion and a relationship that is more like a friendship than the typical ownership/pet relationship.

As branch director of outreach, operations and behavior for Pennsylvania SPCA from 2009 to 2012, Cohen had a pivotal role in transforming four shelters from “high kill” to “no kill” operations and in the process changed their cultures. He significantly increased adoptions, decreased surrenders and drastically cut returns by teaching his philosophy that every life matters. His work in community outreach resulted in a better informed public, greater community support and a significant increase in donations. 

Veterinarians and animal hospitals have sought to expand their knowledge of the human-animal relationship by inviting him to provide continuing education presentations at staff meetings and seminars. He also makes presentations to the public at community libraries and other venues.

Practice and Teaching of Mindfulness 

At the heart of Cohen’s philosophy is connecting with your animal companion on the experiential level through mindfulness. Unlike people, animals live in the present moment. Mindfulness helps us experience the world the way they do, and that creates an environment for mutual understanding, respect and empathy.

Since he was a teenager, Cohen has been a student of Eastern philosophy, through which he became a devoted practitioner of mindfulness. He attended numerous vipassana and Zen retreats, and devoured every book he could find on the subject.

In 1995, he moved to Vermont and studied with a Taoist priest and martial arts teacher at the Breathing Lotus School for seven years. Cohen also studied at Karme Choling Meditation Center. As his experience grew, he took on a teaching role at Breathing Lotus School. 

Eventually, Cohen and his family moved to Pennsylvania, where in 2012 he opened Guitarganics, teaching meditation-based guitar. As he focused his teaching more and more on meditation, he changed the name to Awakenings Meditation, often working with people who have PTS or addictions. Since 2015, he has been invited twice a year to speak to world religion classes at the University of Scranton on eastern thought and religion. And he presented two workshops on Mindfulness Meditation for the HarperCollins staff in Moosic, Pennsylvania.

Interdisciplinary Study of Psychology, Philosophy and Relationships

Since he was in high school, Cohen has studied in depth the connections among psychology, philosophy, neurology, sociology, zoology, ecology, theology, relationships and other subjects. On a daily basis, he reads academic journals and textbooks, applying what he learns to his work with people and their animal companions.

He has a B.S. in psychology, with a minor in philosophy . After graduating from college, he attended dog training school in New York City, specializing in obedience, protection and behavior problems.

He followed that with an internship with the animal psychologist  Dr. Daniel Tortora of Pinehill Kennels in Saddle River, New Jersey. In 1991, Cohen took part in a weeklong intensive seminar on Solving Canine Behavior Problems at Cornell University, run by Dr. Katherine Haupt.

For the last several years, Cohen has been studying trans-species psychology under the direct supervision of Dr. G.A. Bradshaw of the Kerulos Center in Oregon.

• Over 35 years as an animal behaviorist successfully improving relationships between people and companion animals.

• Quoted and featured nationally in print and radio.

• Guest Speaker on Living One – Kerulos Center for Nonviolence Monthly Webinar

• Behavior consultant to veterinarians and animal hospitals across NJ, NY, VT, and PA.

 • Behavior consultant to animal shelters and rescue groups in PA,VT, NY, & NJ.

• Branch Behavior & Operations Director Pennsylvania SPCA, 2009-2012.

• Behavior Director of Vermont Center for Animal Behavior, 1995-2001.

• Certified Mindfulness Meditation Instructor.

• Guest lecturer University of Scranton on mindfulness, eastern philosophy and its connection to the mind of the animal.

• Creator of Mindfulness-Based Animal Behavior Therapy℠, Interpersonal Companion Animal Relational Enrichment (I.C.A.R.E.) therapy and C.A.L.M. Class.

• Produced “A New Leash On Life” 6 episode Television Series (NY cable).

• Qualified in New York, New Jersey, and Vermont to give expert Testimony in cases involving aggression in dogs.

• PTSD, emotional trauma, anxiety & fear specialist, and E. S. Dogs.

• Co-authored “Walking the Path of Success with your Dog”.

• Cornell University, Canine Behavior Problem Solving.

• Bachelor of Science, Psychology.

• Intern Trans-Species Psychology, Kerulos Center for Nonviolence

• Facilitator Mindfulness-Based Emotional Intelligence.  

• Former Consultant to Police K-9 Units – Stony Point, NY & Brooklyn, NY. 

• Training Director Big Apple Schutzhund club, 1984 – 1990.

• Training Director K9 Search & Rescue – Sutton,VT 1995 – 2001.

• Author Path of Friendship blog.

 

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