Dr. Marisa T. Cohen, PhD, LMFT (she/her) is a relationship scientist, marriage and family therapist, and teaches psychology courses at the college level. She founded Embracing Change Marriage and Family Therapy which provides therapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families. She also conducts relationship science research and consults with dating, relationship, and mental health apps.
Educational and Academic Background
Dr. Cohen has a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology, with a focus on Learning, Development, and Instruction. Her dissertation focused on interventions to improve the vocabulary acquisition and retention of elementary school learners. Her subsequent research expanded the scope to examine content-specific vocabulary development of college learners.
Dr. Cohen taught at public and private colleges at the undergraduate and graduate level for over a decade and was a tenured Associate Professor of Psychology. During her tenure, she served on many committees, directed an honors program, and developed and taught a popular relationship science course. She was also the co-founder of Self-Awareness and Bonding Lab (SABL), a lab that examines love from a scientific perspective. Her two main lines of research focused on early dating experiences and consensual non-monogamy. As a result of this work, she published several academic articles, contributed articles and chapters to textbooks, and developed a scale with a colleague to examine attitudes regarding consensual non-monogamy. She continues to conduct research, marrying the science of relationship research with its clinical applications.
Book, Blog, and Media
Dr. Cohen is the author of From First Kiss to Forever: A Scientific Approach to Love, a book that relates relationship science to everyday experiences and real relationship issues confronted by couples.
She is also the author of Finding Love: The Scientific Take, a Psychology Today blog, and Love Lessons, a Long Island Weekly newspaper column. Dr. Cohen has been quoted in The Washington Post, BBC News, Good Housekeeping, Bustle, The Cut, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, GQ, as well as several other publications.
Dr. Cohen has appeared on news programs, radio shows, and podcasts to discuss the science of relationships and the application of the research to dating and therapeutic work. Her work is also the subject of a segment on the Modern Love episode of Going in With Brian Vines, which aired on BRIC TV. Dr. Cohen has appeared in Newsweek videos discussing the science of love and was a 2021 TEDx Speaker.
Dr. Cohen is passionate about discovering and sharing important research from the field and has given guest lectures at the 92nd Street Y, Brooklyn Brainery, Strand Bookstore, WeWork, New York Hall of Science, and many other locations. Her interactive lessons and workshops are designed to help attendees better understand the science of love and attachment and apply what they have learned to the meaningful relationships in their lives.
Dating Sites and Consulting Work
Dr. Cohen has worked with several dating and mental health apps in consulting and research design roles. She has assisted a popular dating app with updating their user onboarding process, worked to conceptualize and develop the training process for peer educators for a mental health app, has developed research studies for an international dating app, and has created assessments to better predict satisfying and stable interpersonal connections. Her work has been used for product refinement, marketing purposes, and for the dissemination of relationship-related insights.
Marisa also has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and is licensed to practice in New York (license #002001). She works with individuals, couples, and families to address any obstacles they may be facing, assists them in setting goals, and helps them to enact plans to achieve their desired outcomes. She takes a collaborative, solution-focused approach to create a warm and open atmosphere, where clients feel comfortable sharing their stories and lived experiences. She also uses psychoeducation and various evidence-based interventions to help her clients reach their full potential.
Her clinical focus centers on, but is not limited to, relationships, anxiety, stress, boundary setting, work/life balance, and adjusting to life transitions. She is a certified Prepare Enrich facilitator, a program that equips couples and families with evidence-based skills and insights to foster healthy relationships. She has completed Level 1and Level 2 training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy and the Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) Externship. She has also taken courses in the practice of mindful awareness and incorporates various exercises in her work.
She also runs several psychoeducational and process groups as part of her therapeutic practice. In the relationship realm, Dr. Cohen has facilitated dating groups for those looking to better understand what they want from their partnerships, as well as communication groups for couples. She has also run grief and loss groups and divorce groups. In the broader scope of mental health and well-being, Dr. Cohen has led several mindfulness and meditation groups, as well as an improv for self-care group, connecting the art of improv and the related psychological science to fun, interactive, and enriching games.