Kristin W. Sterling

"WHAT LIES BEHIND US AND WHAT LIES AHEAD OF US ARE TINY MATTERS COMPARED TO WHAT LIVES WITHIN US."

Henry David Thoreau

 

My Approach

My approach is to provide support, guidance, and compassion to individuals, couples and families seeking help.  I am a licensed clinical social worker and certified marriage and family therapist with expertise in the areas of anxiety, depression, and addiction.  My training is centered on understanding the whole person and the myriad of systems and circumstances being navigated in real time.  I have experience in both inpatient and outpatient care, in school settings, as well as in administering diagnostic evaluations and conducting crisis assessments.  I obtained my advanced degrees from Columbia University (MSW) and The Ackerman Institute for the Family (MFTC) and completed rapid psychiatric assessment training at Payne Whitney Psychiatric Center.  My goal is to help my clients identify, understand, and re-imagine life stressors as controllable opportunities for personal growth.

 

 

My Practice

As a therapist and counselor, I provide compassionate support and guidance to individuals, couples, and families.  Research shows that unhealthy relationships can cause both emotional and physical stress, with negative effects that reverberate in all aspects of our lives.  In my holistic approach, I consider family history while developing concrete tools that can be used to make positive choices, leading to new, successful experiences.

I offer relationship/couples counseling, individual counseling, and parent education to help my clients create healthy relationships and improve overall well-being.  A key part of my practice is informed by and dedicated to a commitment to adolescent health and wellness, coaching, and relevant tools for stress management, in conjunction with parent education and support.

As a certified yoga instructor, I am also able to offer additional forms of anxiety reduction and emotion regulation, such as mindfulness based stress reduction, mantra focused breathing exercises and meditation.

Adolescents

During adolescence, young men and women are primarily concerned with finding their identity and expressing who they are in the world. With extensive training in helping children recognize their emotional needs, I am able to help them find productive and honest ways to have these needs met, while also being mindful of their relationships and the context for them.

The prefrontal lobe of the brain is associated with behaviors concerning complex future planning, attention, decision making,organized thinking, moderation of social behavior/impulse control, risk management, as well as personality expression and development. However, this integral region of the brain does not complete development until a person's early to mid 20's. While an adolescent may appear to be an adult physically, the teenage brain and, consequently, personality, is far from being developmentally mature. In conjunction with neural development and challenging social dynamics, an adolescent is tasked with adapting to their rapidly changing bodies. These challenges make adolescence the confusing and stressful period life stage we know it to be. As adolescents try to find their place, they may experiment with different roles and attempt to separate from authority figures; however, regardless of the outward rejections, a parent's guidance, love and support is particularly important during this period.

At this juncture, adolescents often benefit from a relationship with a therapist; a person with whom they can ask questions and discuss situations and feelings they may not feel comfortable bringing up with their parents. The therapist is a neutral party whose only interest is in helping adolescents grow and mature while also supporting a positive parent-child relationship.

Young Adults ... and Their Parents Too

Many adolescents are often excited to grow up, yet upon reaching their 20’s and early 30’s and actually confronting the realities that come with being a young adult, they may feel confused and unprepared. My goal as a therapist is to provide emotional guidance and support for the young adult and/or their parents as they navigate this significant life transition.

The young adult period is characterized by rapid physiological, sexual, cognitive, and emotional changes. The transition from adolescent to adult becomes apparent as one completes the process of physical maturation and secondary sexual characteristics become fully formed. Many young adults also move into new adult roles and responsibilities, as they begin higher education studies, enter the workforce, move away from home, or start a family. They may be expected to accept responsibility for themselves legally, make decisions for themselves, and—in many cases—are often encouraged to begin supporting themselves financially.

Parents face the challenge of allowing young adults to fly the nest, while providing a safety net so they don’t crash and burn. Having devoted the majority of their mental and emotional attention to child rearing, once the child leaves home, the parent can feel a sense of identity loss, rejection and loneliness. I am able to work with both young adults and parents to help them navigate this challenging period together.

Women

**Women face a lifetime of emotional and physical changes and challenges corresponding with reproductive health.

Depression & anxiety - hormonal fluctuations can contribute to symptons and causes of depressed mood and anxious feelings.

Around the time women become menopausal, anxiety symptoms can worsen due to a heightened sensitivity to mood variation and physical changes. What might start as a hot flash can, in turn, lead to an anxiety attack. Many women kept awake by night sweats and hot flashes find themselves exhausted, making simple cognitive functions difficult contributing to sense of depression.

Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness, I work to help women and their partners manage and adapt to the myriad of changes associated with these fluxuations in hormones.

Expats

Living abroad can be a remarkably rewarding experience, however it can also create unique challenges that can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression. Along with providing a confidential, supportive, and effective therapeutic environment, my goal is to supply clients (individuals, couples and families) with skills and resources as they adjust to life in a foreign country.

Focusing on mindfulness, life coaching, and couples’ therapy to reduce anxiety and depression, we will work together to foster a sense of calm and connection within the family and ultimately to the broader community.

Groups and Educational Seminars

Grade by Grade – School-based seminars focused on the psychosocial and physical development of students populating a targeted grade. This seminar touches on Technology Today, Digital Citizenship, Sexual Development and Sexuality and Effective Communication Tools, all alongside an examination of the plethora of stressors impacting the student and family.

Parent Education Groups - Research has shown when parents are not united, do not communicate well, or otherwise send confusing or mixed messages to children, it can be difficult for children to understand what is expected of them. This bimonthly discussion group is geared towards facilitating a parent's understanding of who their child is, (in this finite moment in time) in order to establish age appropriate expectations and solidify successful patterns of communications in their relationships going forward.

Should you be interested in participating in either of the above options, please contact me.

Practicalities

My services: individuals, couples and family sessions, parent education groups, and therapy groups. 

Individual and family sessions - therapy or coaching -  run for 50 minutes in your home or my office.  Parent education and therapy groups run for 1.5 hours.  

Additionally, I offer topic based lectures, workshops and curriculum development services.  For any of these offerings, please contact me.

Payment is expected at time of service and can be made either by cash, check or RIB.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations accepted 24 hours prior to appointment. 

Reimbursement

Unfortunately, sessions with a therapist are not covered by the French “Sécurité sociale”.  Some private health insurance plans do offer reimbursement; however I cannot guarantee that therapy will be covered under any given insurance policy.

 

Bio

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I am a licensed clinical social worker and certified marriage and family therapist (State of New York) with expertise in the areas of anxiety, depression, and addiction. I have trained extensively in Family Systems Theory, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Group Therapy (focusing on addiction and its impact on families), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). I use clinically tested and evidenced-based interventions to empower families, couples, and individuals to overcome personal obstacles in order to improve their relationships and daily lives. I have experience in inpatient and outpatient care, school settings, administering diagnostic evaluations, and conducting crisis assessments.  See below for further detail and credentials.  

Born in Heidelberg, Germany and growing up as an expat I truly understand the benefits, as well as the pitfalls, associated with living the expat life.  And all things coming full circle, I am the proud parent of two daughters (23 and 20) who each concluded their high school careers as expats in Paris, France and continue to pursue advanced studies abroad today.

 

 

Further Experience

  • Masters of Social Work and Clinical Psychology (MSW), Columbia University
  • Certification in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), The Ackerman Institute for the Family
  • Emergency room rapid assessment and employee substance abuse training and practice, Payne Whitney Psychiatric Center
  • Private practice in Manhattan, NY, 2000-2011
  • Regular speaker on topics such as cultivating effective communication patterns with your children and within the family, stress management in today’s teens, adolescent development and sexuality, and technology and teens at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, Resurrection Episcopal Day School, and the Chapin School
  • Faculty position at The Early Childhood Development Center in NYC, 2004-2011 (St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital)
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Contact

Please complete the form below to get in touch.  I can also be reached at kristin@kristinwsterling.com.    

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