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Ruth C. Cohn (1912–2010)

American Psychologist , Volume 65 (9): 926 – Dec 1, 2010


American Psychological Association
Copyright © 2010 by American Psychological Association
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Ruth C. Cohn (1912–2010)


<p>Ruth C. Cohn was a psychotherapist, educator, and poet. She was born August 27, 1912, in Berlin, Germany, and died on January 30, 2010, in Dusseldorf, Germany. Her parents were Arthur Hirschfeld, a banker, and Elisabeth Hirschfeld, nee Heiden-Heimer, a pianist. Being of Jewish descent, Ruth fled Germany for Zurich, Switzerland, in 1933, where she studied psychology, philosophy, theology, and literature. She went into training as a psychoanalyst from 1934 to 1939. During this time she married Hans-Helmut Cohn, a medical student.</p> <p>Ruth gave birth to her daughter Heidi in 1940, and the family immigrated to the United States that same year. She soon began further training as a psychotherapist at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis & Psychology. She earned her master's degree in psychology at Columbia University and became certified as a psychologist. Her son Peter was born in 1944. From 1944 to 1946, she worked as a psychologist at Rockland State Psychiatric Hospital in New York State. In 1946, she began a private psychotherapy practice in New York City, continuing to distance herself from classical psychoanalysis while moving more in the direction of experiential psychotherapy.</p> <p>In the mid-1950s, Ruth began developing her creative
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