Karen Hopenwasser

Karen Hopenwasser
Weill Cornell Medical College | Cornell · Department of Psychiatry



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Karen Hopenwasser is a psychiatrist in practice and a Clinical Associate professor of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College. Karen writes about trauma and dissociation in the psychotherapeutic process and intergenerational transmission of trauma. Her most recent publication is 'The Rhythm of Resilience: A Deep Ecology of Entangled Relationality.'
Additional affiliations
July 1982 - present
Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry


Publications (15)
Full-text available
Dissociative attunement is a profound rhythmic encounter in therapeutic treatment. Attunement is a synchronized awareness of implicit knowing that is nonlinear and bidirectional. Empathically attuned clinicians are like microtonal tuning forks. They resonate with a variety of emotional pitches and will resonate with nuanced shifting of emotional to...
Full-text available
Dissociative disorders, diagnosed as much as nine times more frequently in women than men, are poorly understood. The mosaic symptomatology often leads to misdiagnosis or incomplete assessment. Despite substantial research indicating the probable etiol-ogy as severe childhood abuse, many clinicians do not recognize the relationship between violence...
Many individuals who have suffered persistent, severe childhood abuse have coped with the pain and terror of abuse through a dissociative adaptation. In long-term psychotherapy with these individuals, psychotherapists can experience attunement with multiple self states, often leading to confusion and fatigue. This piece describes journal entries ma...
In our work with individuals who manifest dissociative identity disorder we are challenged to use therapeutic process in flexible and creative ways while maintaining clear and safe boundaries. Recognizing the experience of dissociative attunement increases our ability to tolerate the anxiety of uncertainty and confusion that is intrinsic to the cli...
This poem is as much about awakening as it is about a dream. I wrote this poem during a period in my life when my clinical work was forcing a deeper appreciation of the embodied mind. In the dream space there can be a blend of past and present, inside and outside, and even confusion. Whose dream is this anyway? In the moment of awakening one transl...


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