Charles Couchman, Ph.D.
Individual & Group Psychotherapy
In over 20 years of practice, I have seen again and again how therapy can help people move from fear and disconnection to aliveness and greater self-acceptance.
Therapy, to me, is not only about healing, but also about growth: coming to live with more fulfillment and an increased ability to engage in healthy relationships. It is about letting go of past ways of surviving and living more fully to one’s potential.
Ideally, therapy is a place where people can bring their full selves, without shame or judgment. I feel honored to accompany people as they take risks, open up, and make changes during our work together.
My practice is focused on helping people:
Overcome mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issues
Develop healthier, more fulfilling relationships
Make lasting change to self-defeating behaviors
Come to terms with painful past experiences
Adjust to transitions and major life changes, including separations and loss
Increase vitality and sense of meaning in life
Live with authenticity, be one’s true self
Fight back against internal obstacles such as shame, self-criticism, fears, and inhibitions
Develop emotional mindfulness: awareness of and comfort with one’s feelings
I provide individual and group psychotherapy for adults (at least age 18). I also provide supervision, training, and consultation to other mental health professionals.
I value multiculturalism and diversity; it is important to me that therapy be a welcoming place for everyone.
My approach is a variant of experiential dynamic therapy (EDT), a form of psychodynamic therapy that puts a strong focus on emotional experience. Psychodynamic therapies, including EDTs, have been shown to be effective forms of treatment for many common mental health concerns (for overviews, check out The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and EDT Research). I have also been influenced by relational dynamic and Gestalt approaches to psychotherapy.
My goal as a therapist is to help people become more aware of and comfortable with the full range of their emotions. I try to join my clients in their feelings, doing my best to understand and be present with their experience. I actively challenge the defenses people use to avoid feeling. I often invite my clients to more directly contact their feelings by using a somatic focus, attending to how emotions are experienced in the body. I sometimes bring in experiential exercises to help my clients move towards their emotions. I also make use of the here-and-now and the therapy relationship because feelings are always happening right now, and almost always the most important feelings are about other people.
Follow the link for more information on the importance of emotion.
I obtained my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Rochester in New York. I have worked at the University of Southern California and at the St. Edward’s University Health & Counseling Center in Austin, Texas. I have been heavily involved in training, supervision, and mentorship of therapists-in-training, serving as the Director of Training while at St. Edward’s University. I have a passion for group therapy, as well. I served as Group Therapy Coordinator at St. Edward’s and have led multiple all-gender process groups, men’s groups, and groups specifically for therapists. I am a board member, Institutes Chair, and Programming Co-Chair of the Austin Group Psychotherapy Society, as well as an active member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association.