Joan I. (Joni) Cohen, B.S. ’69, M.N. ’71, M.A., Ph.D. ’02

After receiving her master’s degree, Cohen went to work as a clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric-mental health nursing at the Greater Los Angeles Veterans’ Administration Hospital. During that time she developed an expertise in psychodrama, a form of group therapy, and went on to complete a Master’s in Social Science with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Counseling from Azusa Pacific College and become a licensed marriage and family therapist. Cohen has a particular interest in the relationship between the mindbody connection and its impact on health and well being, and has worked with a number of complementary therapies. She returned to the UCLA School of Nursing to pursue her doctorate, receiving a Vulnerable Populations Fellowship and conducting research in improving healthcare outcomes in socially vulnerable populations. At the VA, where she currently works part time, Cohen serves as a research mentor to nurses and other professionals in the Nursing Research Mentorship Program. She co-leads a psychodrama group with psychiatric patients at the VA and maintains a small private practice as a psychiatric nurse therapist.