Del Mar psychologist and author releases new mystery ‘Stolen Secrets’
By Diane Y. Welch
Sandra Levy Ceren, Ph.D., has not only a proven track record as a clinical psychologist dedicated to helping people achieve personal, relationship and professional goals, but she is now proving that she has talents beyond psychology in the craft of creating the mystery novel.
Through her writings, Ceren, a Del Mar resident, is able to use her novel’s alter ego, Dr. Cory Cohen, as a creative vehicle to push the boundaries of reality into the exciting fictional world of counselor turned sleuth.
Just published is “Stolen Secrets” [Modern History Press], Ceren’s latest book in an ongoing mystery series which started with “Prescriptions For Terror” published in 2000, and which will continue with “Imposter For Hire,” with an anticipated release this fall.
The Dr. Cory Cohen mystery series serves as a literary outlet for Ceren, who has been a licensed psychologist for four decades but who has been,“Scribbling down stories for as far back as I can remember,” she said.
Ceren uses her knowledge of psychology to not only create a realistic world for her protagonist, Dr. Cory Cohen, a half Japanese, half Jewish, Del Mar-based psychologist, but to also get into the mind of the antagonists, making her plot lines believable.
In “Stolen Secrets,” a patient in San Diego running for District Attorney is threatened by a midnight phone caller who knows her dirty secret: her fantasy of living as a prostitute. “This was a secret she shared only with her therapist, Dr. Cory Cohen,” Ceren explained, “And after confronting her therapist about it, she vanishes.”
As Dr. Cohen wrestles with her patient’s disappearance, the security breach and the potential harmful effects on other patients, events escalate, and the plot thickens. “A patient is blackmailed, Cory is stalked, and her quarters burgled, forcing her to escape an unseen enemy and sending her on a spiraling trail of deceit, betrayal, blackmail and murder,” Ceren said.
The novel is, “A genuine page-turner in the best sense of the phrase. Ceren’s writing comes from experience. Her years as a psychologist have earned her a look at the darkness of the psyche and human behavior,” noted Edgar award-winning author T. Jefferson Parker.
Ceren also writes self-help, nonfiction books aimed to counsel those who may not be able to afford ongoing therapy. “Look Before You Leap” [Loving Healing Press, 2008] is intended for couples considering marriage who are unable to afford or locate an experienced premarital counselor.
“Premarital counseling is my specialty,” said Ceren, who wrote the book after many years of treating distressed married couples who could have benefited from counseling before marriage. “Many times couples go into relationships and have no idea what they want or what their roles should be; nor do they have good communication skills,” said Ceren. “Often times they rush into marriage and end up having problems down the road.”
The book serves as an easy-to-use guide and contains quizzes that help couples understand their respective personalities, then prompts them to share their answers with each other. There is a chapter on personality disorders, on what makes a good partnership, and an appendix that provides resources for the different types of therapy available.
Ceren’s road to psychologist and novelist began when she entered college in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York, as an English major. Her first written assignment garnered her a “D” grade, which left her feeling a little down. However, a psychology professor offered to critique the paper and declared that he would have given it an “A” grade. Ceren immediately changed her major to psychology, which then changed the course of her life.
She later went on to earn her diplomate from the American Board of Family Psychology and became a fellow at the Academy of Family Psychology. As well as being a mystery author, Ceren has written numerous short stories, several of them published in anthologies, is a former newspaper columnist and a judge for the San Diego Book Awards Association, and is a professional book reviewer. She also published, “Essentials of Premarital Counseling: Creating Compatible Couples [Loving Healing Press, 2008] written for those in the psychology profession.
To find out more about Dr. Ceren, and to get autographed copies of her latest book, visit www.drsandralevyceren.com or call (858) 755 0088. “Stolen Secrets” is also available at www.amazon.com/Sandra-Levy-Ceren
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