Charles L. Cox, Ph.D., P.A.
Clinical Psychology

 

About Dr. Cox's Services

77 Sugar Creek Center Blvd., Suite 375, Sugar Land, TX 77478 (281) 265-4566

 What Dr. Cox does:

Dr. Charles Cox specializes in psychotherapy with people who are depressed and/or anxious. While he see clients from all walks of life, many of his clients tend to cluster into three groups.

One concerns men dealing with the stresses and pressures of life, particularly mid-life issues. These problems are often exacerbated by a traditionally masculine approach to emotional crises. Men can approach life with an attitude that says that intense focus and hard work will fix any problem. So, instead of dealing with the depressive issues involved, they often do more of whatever helped create the problem in the first place. As might be expected, this approach probably worsens the problem, and it can result in increasing withdrawal from family and friends, irritability, and depression. Dr. Cox tries to help men feel comfortable addressing depression in a manner which helps resolve these underlying problems efficiently and effectively.

A second group involves people recovering from coronary heart disease. Many of these folks have had a heart attack,  angioplasty, and/or by-pass surgery. Studies indicate that between 15% and 20% of these patients also experience depression. The incidence of depression is even higher among those who experience congestive heart failure. Obviously, psychotherapy does not cure heart disease. What a short course of psychotherapy can do is reduce depression, enhance adherence to medication and cardiac rehabilitation, and improve quality of life. Dr. Cox utilizes a program of between 6 and 16 sessions, typically, to focus specifically on remission of the moderate-to-severe depression that can accompany coronary heart disease.

Dr. Cox also works with a number of young adults experiencing a "failure to launch." These young people struggle with a sense of direction after high school, and they seem to have difficulty landing in an educational or career path. Often, they continue to live at home and work at a part-time job, showing little initiative to move into the next chapter of life. Dr. Cox helps clients understand the emotional blocks they are experiencing, develop a more positive sense of self, and formulate together concrete steps to stimulate movement in a positive direction.


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 What Dr. Cox does not do:

- Work with children and younger adolescents. Dr Cox's practice is limited to older adolescents and adults.

- Psychological testing. If formal testing is requested or desired, several colleagues do a beautiful job. Dr. Cox will be happy to provide their names and phone numbers on request.

- Primary substance abuse (alcohol or drug) issues. Dr. Cox occasionally works with individuals who deal with substance abuse problems that are secondary to emotional issues (such as those who treat depression with alcohol). Should you need assistance in dealing with substance abuse, he will be happy to refer you to a colleague who specializes in this field.

- Forensic work, disability evaluations, child custody evaluations, or testimony as an expert witness. Again, several colleagues specialize in these lines of work, and Dr.Cox will happily refer you to them.

- Medication management. Dr. Cox is a clinical psychologist. He is not licensed to prescribe medication. Should you need to talk about medication you are taking (or might like to take), contact your family doctor or a psychiatrist.


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 What to expect during your first visit:

At your first visit, you should plan to arrive 15 or 20 min. before your appointment time. When you enter the waiting room, look on the table for a clipboard with your name on it. This clipboard contains the informational forms and consents that you must complete prior to our meeting. (Alternatively, you can download the forms from this website, print them, and bring them with you to your first appointment.)

At the beginning of the first meeting, Dr. Cox will summarize the consents and disclosures, giving you a chance to address any questions or concerns that you might have. Please do not hesitate to ask about any questions, even if you happen to think of something after the first meeting.

Much of the first session will be spent helping Dr. Cox gain an understanding of your reasons for seeking help. He typically covers a number of areas during the first session, and you might feel that you have barely scratched the surface. That is because you have barely scratched the surface! You are helping Dr. Cox understand what you have been living with for a long time, often for a lifetime, and it takes a while to cover all of the bases. The evaluation is considered to last several sessions as he gets to know you and understand your issues.

Psychotherapy is unlike the approach typically taken by your physician, where he or she is considered to be the all-knowing expert who has the solution to your problem. Rather, it is a collaborative approach to explore important facets of your current situation, your history, your emotional life, and your coping resources. During this process, Dr. Cox depends on you to help keep the work centered and focused on the pertinent issues. Psychotherapy is conjoint work to resolve troublesome emotional conflicts and to develop more effective, satisfying life skills.


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 What to expect during the therapeutic process:

Psychotherapy is not easily described in general terms. It is a process of talking about events, issues, conflicts, and feelings in ways that help to lessen their pain while freeing our energy to live life. What is talked about varies depending on the personalities of the psychologist and client, as well as the particular problems you are experiencing. There are many different methods that Dr. Cox might use to deal with the problems that you hope to address. Counseling is not like a visit to a medical doctor. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be most successful, you will have to work on things we talk about both during our sessions and at home.

The first few sessions will involve an evaluation of your needs. By the end of the evaluation, Dr. Cox will be able to offer some ideas about what the work will include and a treatment plan to follow. You should evaluate this information along with your opinions about whether you feel comfortable working with Dr. Cox. Therapy involves a large commitment of time, energy, and money, so you should be careful about the therapist you select. If you have questions, please discuss them when they arise. If your doubts persist, Dr. Cox will help you set up a meeting with another mental health professional for a second opinion.

A common question concerns the length of psychotherapy - how long will the process take, or how many sessions will we meet? That is a difficult question to answer, because it depends on many factors. Some people deal with specific problems that are of short duration and that resolve in just a few sessions. Others deal with problems that have taken years, or even an entire life time, to develop, and they are not usually going to resolve quickly. As you start the psychotherapeutic process, plan to discuss these issues with Dr. Cox so that you are both on the same therapeutic path.

Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks. Since therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you might experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, psychotherapy has also been shown to have many benefits. Therapy often leads to significant reductions in feelings of distress, solutions to specific problems, and better relationships. However, there are no guarantees of what you will experience.


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