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Ronald J. Coughlin, Ed.D.

Phone: 609-586-7757 Fax: 609-586-6565

3576 Quakerbridge Road
Mercerville, NJ 08619




Is Therapy Effective?
Is Therapy Effective?

Research shows that therapy is helpful to most people willing to invest the required effort. Sometimes, however, it is not. This can happen for several reasons:
  1. Poor rapport between you and your therapist. If after a few sessions you do not feel comfortable, please discuss this with me. We will try to work it out. If we can't, I will help you find someone better suited to your needs.
  2. There may be a poor fit between the therapeutic method selected and your problem or personality. If you feel this may be the case in our work, please say so.
  3. Some problems aren't amenable to the kinds of therapy that I provide, though this may not be apparent at first.
  4. There are some problems in life that are not changeable in therapy.

Therapy can be painful at times as issues long avoided or hidden are raised. This should not be endured for its own sake, but in the service of your therapeutic goals. It is unrealistic to expect to feel better after each session. There may be times when you may leave feeling somewhat upset or anxious. If this happens regularly however, please tell me.

Finally, the limits of one's financial resources can lead to frustration in therapy. While in therapy, one may identify additional goals beyond those leading to the initial consultation, yet finances may preclude continuing therapy to meet those goals.

What Costs Can I Expect?
What Costs Can I Expect?

It is impossible to know, at the beginning, how many sessions or what kind of sessions will be most helpful. After a careful assessment of your situation and your goals, you and I can make an educated estimate. Such estimates are subject to change as we gain more information about your situation or as your treatment goals change.

It may be useful to know, however, that 90% of outpatient episodes last less than 25 visits. Yours may last longer, and we will be in a better position to judge that after several sessions. This at least gives you a starting point.

It may also help to know that research studies show that many people gain financially by a successful course in outpatient therapy. These gains may come in a variety of ways:
  1. There is a strong mental connection between mental and physical well-being. Emotional distress uses up our physical resources. For the short term, that is not a problem, but long-term distress makes the body more vulnerable to a wide range of problems because resources are depleted.
  2. For similar reasons, people who already suffer physical illness heal more quickly for fewer dollars, when needed therapy is included in their treatment.
  3. Emotional distress often interferes with productivity on the job. People cannot perform at their best when they are anxious or upset. For the short term, this is usually not a problem. Long-term distress often creates work problems and income decreases as a result. Studies show that people's earnings often go up after effective therapy.

How Does Therapy Work?
How Does Therapy Work?

Therapy involves thinking and talking about one's life and problems. I pay attention to the feelings that arise, both in and outside of this office. The effects of your behavior on yourself, others, and situations are considered. Sometimes I look into your past; sometimes I stick to the present.

Some people come to therapy hoping for a quick answer. While this is understandable, it rarely happens. Few people go through the trouble and expense of therapy without having tried hard to solve the problem on their own.

Some people want to wait for the therapist to solve their problem. This approach guarantees disappointment. Therapy is hard work. While there are times when I ask people to try out ideas or new behaviors, answers to problems will be the result of our mutual explorations and efforts.

There are three ways you can increase the benefit of our work:
  1. Push yourself to discuss the things that you find hardest to discuss. What you want to discuss least is probably what we need to discuss most. The sooner we get to them, the faster we will finish. Issues "kept in the closet" tend to grow in the dark. Bringing them into the day is a big step in making them manageable.
  2. Honesty with you and with me is essential. Being dishonest in therapy is like asking a CPA to do your taxes without letting him see your financial records. Honesty means talking to me concerning your thoughts and feelings about the therapy process.
  3. Do task assignments made within therapy sessions. Changing one's thoughts and behaviors requires practice "in the real world," not just in the consulting room.

Office Hours by Appointment Only
Morning, Afternoon, & Evening Hours Are Available.

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