Stella M. Couchells, Ph.D. - Licensed Clinical Psychologist Specializing in Psychotherapy for Adults, Adolescents, Couples & Families

"...and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."   ~Anais Nin

About Me  & My Practice

I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who trained at the University of Florida's PhD Program, receiving my degree in 1982. After  six years of formal training and twenty-eight years of practice, I have  learned that when a therapist adheres too rigidly to any one theoretical orientation, patients do not receive effective treatment. I consider myself to be a truly eclectic therapist, customizing and tailoring treatment objectives to each individual's past history, present life circumstances, and future vision of his or her life. 

I take a great deal of time to establish a relationship with my clients based on mutual respect and trust. The interactions that play out between us in the office often reflect how you feel about yourself and how you interact with others. Understanding these thoughts, feelings, and behaviors becomes a powerful tool toward changing them. 

I am an active therapist, offering advice, suggestions, and insight into how your past history may influence how you currently perceive life and behave with others. This understanding will often help you to change that which is no longer working for you. 

My training as a graduate student and intern  took place in a teaching hospital among physicians  and at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. Later, I  spent 5 years  working in New Jersey in a local Psychiatric Hospital (Fair Oaks Hospital),  known at the time for its "state of the art" pharmacological treatment of patients with substance abuse and psychiatric problems. 

I learned a great deal about treating substance abusers and their families and patients suffering from post traumatic stress in these settings. In addition, I developed a keen respect for the way that our chemical make-up influences emotional behavior and the benefits of medication in furthering psychological treatment. 

I became a full-time private practitioner in 1987. My office is in a beautiful wooded setting in Watchung, NJ easily accessed from  I-78, and Route 22. I continue to further my education as many in my profession do, through continuing education seminars and work with colleagues in professional organizations. 

I am a certified divorce mediator and have found that this training is especially helpful in my work with couples and families. I am currently in the process of receiving training in EMDR techniques, a therapy that is especially effective in treating clients who have experienced a wide range of traumatic experiences in their lives.

I treat adults and adolescents thirteen and older. I see individuals, couples, and families with a variety of psychological disorders including depression and bipolar disorders, anxiety, personality, and behavioral disorders, and those individuals undergoing acute stress due to a current life event. I especially enjoy working with recovering alcoholics and substance abusers and their families as well as individuals navigating through divorce.


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