Deborah Cole, Psy.D.

Deborah Cole View Specialties

  • Licensed Psychologist
  • 5525 Twin Knolls Rd. #331, Columbia, Maryland, 21045
  • Phone: 410-381-7551
  • Send A Message To Dr. Cole.
  • Session Fees: I do not take insurance, but you might be able to get partial reimbursement. Check with your insurance about out-of-network coverage.

Good for you for looking for assistance! When someone calls for an initial appointment, we have a FREE 15 minute telephone consultation, to try to determine whether I can help them. If I think that we are not a good fit, I will try to refer them to another therapist.


In the initial session, I ask a lot of questions and come up with a tentative plan for treatment.  During the session, we look at how we can work collaboratively.  It may be that much of our work will be looking at defenses which guard a person and helping him tear them down. This can make a huge difference in his ability to connect with others and to happier.
In order for therapy to be effective, the person needs to be motivated. This motivation can come initially from pressure from loved ones. For example, someone with hoarding or with sexual addiction might call me because a family member is insisting on some major changes. Eventually, the motivation needs to come from within in order for the person to do the hard work that therapy demands.  We can look at the lack of motivation, if that is the case, and often that helps the sufferer see that she really does want help and has the motivation buried beneath some defenses.
I believe in using a variety of methods, dependent on the goals you have and what I have found to work for others. I also keep up to date with what has worked according to the literature.
One of the treatments I use is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). I have been using this since 1994. It is now widely recognized as effective for the treatment of traumas, big and small. It is also effective for anxiety and often for depression. 
Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy
Another treatment is Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP). This treatment was developed by Davanloo but has been modified to incorporate attachment therapy.  My post-doctoral training in ISTDP was accredited by the Washington School of Psychiatry and took three years of intense training and supervision. ISTDP integrates experiential, cognitive, and psychodynamic therapies to help you see how patterns of behavior are working for or against you. Together, we can change long-standing patterns so that you can live more effectively. 
With clients who have been suffering from depression or from social isolation, intensive therapy can break down walls of defenses so that they can be more in touch with their own feelings and also connect better with others. 
Cognitive Behavior Therapy and ERP:
For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Trichotillomania, and Tourettes Disorder (and Tic Disorders), I use Cognitive Behavior Therapy. I find that Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is the most effective treatment for OCD. People who have been suffering from OCD for many years find that they can get much better with ERP. This is a gradual exposure to the feared activity. Notice that I said "gradual," as if this is done too quickly, the  person can be too frightened and anxious to be able to make progress. I find that usually people can be make a lot of progress within a month, especially if they have more than double sessions twice weekly for the first two weeks.  This intensive treatment allows them to "kick start" their progress and gives them hope, after years of hopelessness.
Tourettes Disorder until recently was treated mostly with medications, which often have adverse side effects. Medications are often still needed, but a comprehensive behavior therapy approach has proven to be effective in managing many of the symptoms of Tourettes and Tic Disorders, for at least 50 percent of patients.   This new method is called CBIT.
Therapy for Sexual Addiction
 I find that people with sexual addiction are not in touch with some parts of themselves, and intensive therapy can help them regain awareness and control. Participation in 12 step groups is generally part of the treatment for sexual addiction, as these groups restore hope. 

Dr. Deborah Cole Reaches

Columbia MD