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Work of Local Therapist Featured at Women’s Conference

 

By Carolyn Miller

STONE HARBOR — Dr. Judith Coche is a nationally recognized expert on intimate relationships for single and coupled adults. She is founder and owner of The Coche Center, a Practice in Clinical Psychology in Philadelphia with offices in Stone Harbor.
Coche’s credentials are impressive. A Clinical Supervisor for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Certified Group Psychotherapist, she is Clinical Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at The Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania. The American Board of Professional Psychologists has awarded her the Diplomate in Clinical Psychology.
Coche is the creator of “The Weekend Retreats,” weekend courses teaching intimate communication skills. Her workshops have been offered in Maryland, New Jersey, Bermuda, Florida.
Coche’s work in group therapy for troubled marriages was the focus of the cover story, “Can This Marriage Be Saved?’ that appeared in New York Times Magazine in August 2007 in an article written by prize-winning journalist Laurie Abraham.
Abraham has turned the article into a documentary book published by Simon and Schuster, titled “The Husbands and Wives Club: A Year in the Life of a Couples Therapy Group” (2010). While space limitations allowed Abraham to focus only on one couple in her article, the book, tells the story of all five in the group she followed.
The book is receiving wide acclaim and reviewers claim it “will change the way we look at marriage—and help us understand the promise and the limits of couples therapy.”
Coche was a guest speaker at the ninth annual Cape May County Advisory Commission on the Status of Women Conference, March 20. The theme for the day was “Mind, Body and Spirit.”
Coche told the group of 160 women “learning to de-stress has to be a priority. Because women live in relationship 100 percent of the time, they must take care of themselves so they can take care of the others in their lives.”
“Women who strive to be competent, loving and responsible, have little energy left for themselves,” Coche added, “leading to a sense of isolation and exhaustion.”
Men and women deal with stress differently and that genetic difference is hard-wired. “You can’t change it.”
Coche suggested women learn to speak up in a quiet, impactful way; one that isn’t heard as ‘harsh.’
Coche walked the attendees through a few exercises that would help to lower the stress level. Exercises as simple as purposeful smiling, slow, deep breathing, and voicing the word “no.”
In her practice, Coche’s work goes deeper than typical coaching and counseling sessions and she refers to the success of the group model as “cost effective and time efficient.” One colleague said, “Coche creates a titrating anxiety, challenging people enough so that they’ll feel the pressure to change but not so much as to send them spinning off in alarm.”
Coche’s writes a column for the Herald, which appears bi-weekly on the opinion page.

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