Stephen Cognetta ’15, Sovatsky Counseling and Yogic Research

Stephen-Cognetta“I handed [Menachem Begin] the photographs. … [He] looked at each photograph individually, repeating the name of the grandchild I had written on it. His lips trembled, and tears welled up in his eyes. He told me a little about each child… We were both emotional as we talked quietly for a few minutes about grandchildren and about war. … He said, ‘I will accept the letter you have drafted on Jerusalem.'” –Jimmy Carter from Keeping Faith

Visiting the office of Dr. Stuart Sovatsky ‘71 was unlike any other career visit I’ve encountered. Firstly, I’m a Computer Science major, and Dr. Sovatsky is a practicing marriage counselor and yogic researcher. But even more unique was Dr. Sovatsky himself, a man who has traveled throughout the world from South Africa to India, conducting programs with the Dalai Lama, and publishing journals and books describing his philosophies.

Dr. Sovatsky and I sat down and began a four hour discussion in which I learned about Dr. Sovatsky, yogic research, clinical psychology, and honestly – life.

We started discussing my interest in therapy and counseling, and how I might be able to integrate this field in my future career. We moved on to discuss Dr. Sovatsky’s unique method of counseling. Instead of focusing on the negative qualities in a relationship in order to try fixing it (as would a doctor), Dr. Sovatsky focuses on the good – turning small sparks of hope into something more prolonged.

He also discussed yogic research, where his true passions shone brightly. In India he learned about unlocking his potential, where he enlightened himself by learning yoga.

As in the Jimmy Carter quote at the beginning of this blog post, Dr. Sovatsky emphasized human connection as the basis for love and peace in the world. Overall, my experience was extremely rewarding, and Dr. Sovatsky’s passion for his field inspires me to find a similar passion in my future career.