Dr. James D. Sterling not only has his own successful private practice in psychotherapy for the past 35 years, he has also taught as a clinical instructor at New York area hospitals. An alumnus of the University of Chicago, Dr. James D. Sterling has been fortunate to work with, and learn from, some of the best professionals of our time including Dr. Lou Ormont, and psychiatrists Manuel Furer, and Edward Nersessian and Jerry Ennis. Recently, Dr. James D. Sterling answered the following questions about his collaboration with some of New York’s most respected minds in psychotherapy.
Q: How have you been able to make so many great connections in the field?
Dr. James D. Sterling: As a clinical instructor and therapist, I feel it is my role to always continue to learn. This has given me the privilege of getting to know people I might not have met otherwise.
Q: Could you describe the area hospitals in which you have connections?
Dr. James D. Sterling: In addition to Mt. Sinai, where I am an Assistant Clinical Professor, I’ve also worked with professionals at New York Cornell Weill Medical Center, NYU and Columbia.
Q: How do you use these connections help your patients?
Dr. James D. Sterling: Having these connections allows my practice, the New York Center for Psychotherapy, to refer patients that need more intensive therapy in specialized areas.
Q: Could you give some examples of situations where you might refer a patient to a specialist?
Dr. James D. Sterling: The New York Center for Psychotherapy generally works with couples and families on a variety of relationship-related issues. However, in some cases individual members of a couple or family have issues that need more intensive attention.
Q: What would those be?
Dr. James D. Sterling: Depression is one area that might need more extensive therapy. I would refer a client to someone who has more of an expertise in working with clients who suffer from depression who can prescribe medication like psychiatrists Dr. Ivan Goldberg and Dr. Ahron Friedberg.
Q: How does depression impact the family culture?
Dr. James D. Sterling: Depression can take a toll on the spouse, the children, and even the entire household structure. Until we’ve diagnosed and treated depression, there’s no point in even beginning to work out intimacy issues.
Q: Can the New York Center for Psychotherapy help those suffering from eating disorders?
Dr. James D. Sterling: That’s another issue we’ll usually issue a referral to treat. If one member of a couple or family is suffering from an eating disorder, it will need to be treated before we can deal with the other issues at hand.
Q: You’ve also trained with some renowned therapists in the New York area. Could you tell me a little about that experience?
Dr. James D. Sterling: I had the honor of training with Olga Silverstein before her death. She focused much of her work on the parent-child relationship—specifically, the impact of a parent’s treatment of a male child on his future development.
Q: Speaking of the parent-child relationship, you also studied under Dr. Judith Wallerstein, who wrote The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce. How did that training impact your therapy today?
Dr. James D. Sterling: The New York Center for Psychotherapy regularly helps clients who are contemplating divorce. Dr. Wallerstein’s theories can help when working with children of a relationship on the brink of divorce.
Q: Do you plan to continue developing relationships with specialists throughout New York?
Dr. James D. Sterling: Absolutely. I feel those of us in the field can work together to strengthen the New York mental health community.
Dr. James D. Sterling sees clients at the New York Center for Psychotherapy, located on Park Avenue in New York. For more information about Dr. James D. Sterling or to make an appointment, visit nycenterforpsychotherapy.com.