Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, LICSW
Accepting new clients
Specialties & expertise
- Life transitions
- Relationship challenges
- Academic issues
- Anger management
- Bipolar disorder
- Compulsive behaviors
- Eating disorders
- Existential challenges
- Impulse control issues
- LGBQ and sexuality topics
- Personality disorders
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Amy Sterling-Bratt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Lexington, MA who specializes in anxiety, depression, trauma, relationships, and life transitions. She has extensive experience treating a wide range of issues, having been in private practice for over 30 years. For those clients who enjoy the company of dogs, Milo, Amy's hypoallergenic dog, is available to join in on sessions.
Amy has experience working with young adults, adults, couples, parents, and seniors, and has spent recent years working with undergraduate and graduate students from Princeton University.
Amy has training in a wide range of therapeutic techniques, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Exposure and Response Prevention, Family Systems, Interpersonal Therapy, Mindfulness practices, Psychodynamic Theory, and Supportive Therapy. She provides clients with practical techniques to build coping skills outside of session, including, goal-setting, mindfulness and relaxation techniques, journaling, and feelings logs.
Amy's goal is to help her clients make peace with the past as well as cope with current and future stressors. The path she takes with clients varies upon their needs, but she is committed to a collaborative approach and helping individuals have an improved sense of wellbeing.
Anxiety – Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks
Depression – Sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance, inability to enjoy yourself, and difficulty being motivated, amongst many other symptoms
Life transitions – Adjusting to college, new relationships, career transitions and direction; mid-life existential, relationship, and career challenges; losing one’s drive or burn out; learning self-care
Relationships – Feeling unsatisfied in your partnership; communication challenges; addressing issues of power and voice; contemplation of separation; questioning one’s place in the relationship; breakups, friendships, dating
Trauma – Including dealing with past sexual assault, childhood trauma, environmental trauma (e.g. witnessing/experiencing violence), PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
Academic issues – Adjusting to college; managing developmental and emotional challenges in school; balancing schoolwork and personal life
Anger management – Managing anger and its impact on personal and work relationships
Bipolar disorder – Using coping and preventive strategies to stabilize swings between elevated mood or irritability and depressive episodes
Compulsive behaviors – Including compulsive overeating, compulsive spending
Couples counseling – Improving communication and problem solving skills with couples from all gender and sexual identities
Eating disorders – Including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, purging; not wanting to give up the eating disorder; feeling lonely but struggling to eat with friends
Existential challenges / crises – Questioning purpose, spirituality, existence; finding one’s path and voice, especially when it differs from society's expectations
Impulse control issues – Including hair pulling, nail biting, skin picking
LGBQ and sexuality topics – Includes coming out, relating to others, identifying and communicating needs, relationships, and family issues
Parenting – Helping parents with their own issues within the context of supporting children
Personality disorders – Enduring maladaptive patterns of behavior, cognition, and inner experience; includes narcissistic, dependent, and borderline personality disorders
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD) – Severe, sometimes disabling extension of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that can cause extreme mood shifts and disrupt your work or affect relationships.
Self harm – Injuring of body tissue without suicidal intentions, including but not limited to cutting, burning, scratching, and hitting
- Beacon Health (only through government and universities)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
- United Healthcare
Out of pocket fee:
- Initial session: $150/session
- Ongoing sessions: $130/session (45min)
Sliding scale: A sliding scale is offered to clients who need a reduced fee to receive therapy.
Therapist's note: Amy can provide you with paperwork for reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network sessions.
Message to clients
"Whether you have tried counseling before or are new to therapy, it can be a scary and intimidating process. However it can be very nurturing and educational as well. In my experience one of the critical factors is developing a relationship with a therapist whom you can trust and feel safe; it is important to be able to explore your issues in a non-judgmental space. I have a psychodynamic background but am more eclectic in practice, and incorporate elements of cognitive behavioral therapy and other therapeutic skills including EMDR- a trauma therapy with many applications. I taper the therapy to the client's needs and goals and am interactive in sessions, often giving "homework" each week if appropriate. I also encourage utilization of outside supports including yoga, mindfulness meditation and exercise. My goal for each client is to make peace with their past and develop healthier strategies to cope with present and future stressors, resulting in an improved sense of well-being."
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)In cognitive behavioral therapy, you work with a therapist in a structured way, attending a limited number of sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking, so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that often used to treat disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and particularly chronic borderline personality disorder. It teaches skills such as mindfulness, pain tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotional regulation. (learn more)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)EMDR is a form of trauma treatment that helps process distressing memories and restore the brain's natural healing abilities, reducing the memories' lasting effects and allowing the person to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms. (learn more)
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy for OCD. In ERP, the client confronts the thoughts, images, objects, and situations that makes the client anxious; then makes a choice not to act upon a compulsive behavior. With ERP a person has to make the commitment to not give in and do the compulsive behavior until they notice a drop in their anxiety. (learn more)
Family SystemsFamily systems theory views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit. Family system therapy may be used to address conflict stemming from the family unit by working on a client's ability to maintain individuality while maintaining emotional contact with the group. (learn more)
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a time-limited psychotherapy that focuses on interpersonal issues, which are understood to be a factor in the genesis and maintenance of psychological distress. The targets of IPT are symptom resolution, improved interpersonal functioning, and increased social support. (learn more)
Mindfulness Based Stress ReductionMindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBCR) brings together the healing benefits of meditation and yoga to reduce stress, anxiety, and autonomic responses. (learn more)
Mindfulness PracticesMindfulness practices include but are not limited to developing awareness, attention, and remembering. In mindfulness-informed therapy, clients develop tools to become aware of what is occurring within and around them, so they can begin to untangle from mental preoccupations and difficult emotions. Self-acceptance and compassion are also core elements of mindfulness-informed therapy. (learn more)
Psychodynamic TherapyThe aim of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness - helping individuals unravel, experience and understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. It takes the view that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, and that the defenses we develop to ensure these difficult memories do not surface from our unconscious often do more harm than good. (learn more)
Supportive TherapySupportive psychotherapy is used primarily to reinforce a patient’s ability to cope with stressors by giving clients the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts about the issues. Clinicians help patients learn how to move forward and make decisions or changes that may be necessary to adapt, either to an acute change, such as the loss of a loved one or severe disappointment, or to a chronic situation, such as an ongoing illness. (learn more)
Education and work experience
Trinity Counseling Service, 2014 - Present
Private practice, 2002 - Present
Smith College, MSW, 1983