Barry Cooney, Ph.D., has many accomplishments. At age 29 he was appointed Clinical Instructor in Human Behavior at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He also co-produced a Chamber Orchestra in New York City. More recently, he served as director of UNM-Gallup. His experience working with veterans suffering from PTSD and observing the turmoil experienced by his students at UNM-Gallup led him to search for new methods of healing.
A trip to India to study Eastern approaches to consciousness put Cooney on a new path, Transformative Coaching, incorporating what he learned in India with his knowledge of Western psychotherapy.
Cooney is expanding his Transformative Coaching practice to Los Alamos after practicing in Santa Fe for a number of years.
“I’ve been encouraged by friends on the Hill to share this knowledge with their community and the timing is right,” Coney said. “It’s time to spread my wings and share this learning more broadly.”
Cooney explained that he left clinical psychology because he didn’t identify with the system of labeling of mental disorders in Western psychology.
“The basis of my work now is allowing people to become more familiar with how their mind works and give attention to the situation causing their distress,” he said. “I believe that any emotion or thought that causes suffering will begin to lose its hold on your mind when it is examined peacefully. I teach people how to become a witness as emotions arise.
“In India, I learned teachings in the nature of the mind that allows us to see the storms that move through our life with a new set of lenses. My work deals with individuals who are experiencing anxiety, depression, lack of motivation or types of inner conflict.”
Cooney said that in many ways, moving through fear and anxiety is all about lowering the volume on the crazy stories our ego tells us.
One technique Cooney uses to help clients find inner piece is producing sound frequencies through quartz crystal bowls. Just as crystals are used to align internal electrical communication in computers, the different frequencies produced by the seven bowls act on the mind to produce calm and balance, Cooney said. It’s about more than techniques though.
“Forms of higher conscious awareness allow us to engage in a spiritual connection with life,” Cooney said. “Once people realize that they are more than their thoughts and emotions, dramatic changes can take place in the way they view themselves and the world around them.”
Most of the time, our mind is a “drunken monkey,” Cooney said. It veers wildly, steered by our emotional reactions to the world around us.
Sit quietly for a few minutes and experience the random thoughts that arise, he suggested.This allows one to view a situation though a new lens, separate from the emotional turmoil that usually clouds it.
“At this time in my life, I want to be of service,” Cooney said. “I chose this work because it really helps people.”
Cooney’s new Los Alamos office is at 1247 Central Ave., Suite 217. He can be reached at 505.220.6657. To learn more, visit barrycooney.com.
Cooney will offer a presentation in Los Alamos, “The Mind As Healer,” focusing primarily on the workings of the mind in terms of how it can lessen the harmful impact of negative thoughts and emotions. It will take place 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, April 25 in the Chamber of Commerce Conference Room at 190 Central Park Square. All are welcome to this free event.