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Ronald J. Coughlin, Ed.D.

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

3576 Quakerbridge Road
Mercerville, NJ 08619

Counseling Couple
What Is Therapy?

Therapy is designed to help people build skills and solve problems in life by making changes in thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors. The therapist is a guide who helps people build needed skills and learns how to solve problems that have resisted other efforts.

What Kind of People Use Therapy?

All kinds. Everyone faces problems throughout their lives. Contrary to popular belief, no one easily solves all of his or her problems. Today, it is even harder because we live in such a complex and demanding society. It is common now to be faced with problems that we have no chance to prepare for and thus, don't expect. When that happens, our coping skills can get overwhelmed, leading to "symptoms" of distress in various forms. Some examples include:

  • Feeling deeply discouraged and defeated
  • Doing poorly on the job or at school
  • Having problems getting along with the people who you care about
  • Getting anxious over trivial things
  • Doing things that we don't understand
  • Having habits that hurt us

Regardless of the nature of the symptoms that leads someone to call me, I have always found that these symptoms were coping mechanisms that people used to solve normal human problems.

Some people have misgivings about therapy. They believe it is only for the seriously disturbed. While it is true that many therapeutic techniques were developed in response to people who were having severe problems, these techniques today are helpful to anyone struggling with problems that are not responding to other efforts.

What Are the Goals of Therapy?

The connection between symptoms and the underlying problem is often unclear. One therapy goal is to figure out what problem(s) are hiding in the symptom manifestations of the patient. Symptoms that lead people to seek therapy are ineffective ways to deal with the problem and are usually quite painful. Another therapy goal is to find better problem-solving strategies.

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

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