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James Sterling, PhD

Psychologist, Psychotherapist

Professional statement

DR. STERLING IS NOT SEEING PATIENTS UNTIL THE FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY 2019. *Dr. Sterling plans to return gradually to his practice beginning Friday April 27, 2018. Dr. Sterling has not been well for the past 3 weeks and has only now returned from New York Hospital where he was a patient for the last 10 days for an acute medical issue which has completely subsided. Dr Sterling greatly regrets that during this period of time, especially while in the hospital, he was unable to respond to messages, emails, or phone calls.* Dr. James D. Sterling is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Sterling joined the hospital in 1982, serving initially as a Clinical Instructor, after spending five years as a Clinical Instructor at Metropolitan Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry. Dr. James D. Sterling earned a Doctor of Philosophy in the field of psychology at the University of Chicago and Masters Degrees from both the University of Chicago and the Columbia University Business School. After serving internships at the Chicago-Read Mental Health Center, he obtained his Illinois state psychologist’s license in 1976. A New Yorker, he returned to New York City in 1977, where he obtained his New York State License in Clinical Psychology. During this time, Dr. James D. Sterling also was appointed to the board of directors for the Greater New York area’s Alcoholism Council, where he served on the referral and treatment standards and training committee. Dr. James D. Sterling has had his full-time practice since 1976, specializing in individual, family and couples therapy. He is the director of the New York Center for Psychotherapy, which helps the client improve their personal relationships by providing a greater understanding of their conflicts, developing their communication skills and other tools to facilitate their adjustment to each other. The practice works by offering personalized one-on-one and couples counseling. Dr. James D. Sterling has studied business, as well as language studies, with education in French, German, Spanish, and Italian. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California in Berkel

In-network insurances

  • Aetna
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield

Specialties

  • Psychologist
  • Psychotherapist

Practice names

Education and training

  • University of Chicago, PhD in Psychology
  • Chicago-Read Mental Health Center (Internship)

Zocdoc awards

Speedy response
Scheduling hero

Languages spoken

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German
  • Italian

Provider's gender

Male

NPI number

1326218256

Office locations

New York Center for Psychotherapy

1155 Park Ave, Professional Suite in Lobby

New York, NY 10128

Patient reviews
All reviews have been submitted by patients after seeing the provider. For more information, check out our Patient Knowledge Base.
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Dr. Sterling set me up for an every other week appointment when really I should be seen by a therapist twice a week. He was also unable to understand much of what I was divulging. He once came late and lookedat his mobile phone for more than a minute during my session. Wasn't pleased at all.
Source: Zocdoc
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Dr Sterling was great! Funny, insightful and asked great questions. A little slow to respond via e-mail but definitely a great therapist
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He is very likeable and comforting in his manner. He is an avid & very active listener and very knowledgeable... I look forward to future visits.
Less than 1 year ago
Source: Zocdoc
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My appointment itself was generally positive, despite him arriving at the appointment with (incorrect) assumptions about why I was visiting despite my having filled out the Zocdoc paperwork that included a section for why I was visiting.The issue that makes me unlikely to recommend Dr. Sterling is that he is extremely difficult to contact. He responds sporadically or not at all to phone calls and emails. Since my appointment I sent multiple of both and have received no responses. He also misread my insurance card and charged me double my co-pay and misfiled with the insurance company, causing them to send me a notice about the provider requesting a claim for someone not covered. Just sort of sloppy overall.
Less than 1 year ago
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Dr. Sterling is lovely, very funny and insightful.
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Dr. Sterling was prompt, but his questions seemed to meander a bit. He did not know what the copay was for my insurance, and also told me that I don't need a therapist. However, he was very polite and seemed tohave a lot of empathy. Will have to decide whether to see him again or not.
Source: Zocdoc
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Dr. Sterling is a great psychologist! He is very caring and understanding and tries to put himself in your shoes. He lets you set the pace of the session, but he doesn’t merely listen; he offers practical techniques you can useto cope and surpass your issues. He listens carefully but fully engages you in conversation to help guide you towards your own answers. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs ongoing therapy.
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He was late
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Best therapist
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Dr Sterling was a consummate professional who put me right at ease with humor and warmth.
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Good bedside manners and I barely had to wait, but I really do not recommend Dr. Sterling. He is a very sweet man, but I felt that he was pretty much pushing me to go talk to one of his colleaguesinstead, and even made me call and make an appointment with this person right in front of him. This is how our session ended, with him settling for a small amount of cash, and me never hearing from him (or his colleague) again. I felt that I basically dealt with somebody who is collecting potential clients for someone else. We barely talked deeply about anything, and mostly did so in French. I am perfectly bilingual, but Dr. Sterling again forced the conversation to be in French, which is obviously a terrible idea when your conversation level is pretty basic. Anyway, not at all what I was looking for, and I am sad to say, not at all helpful.
Source: Zocdoc
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I sent someone I loved to Dr Sterling when he was dealing with issues with anxiety that basically ruining every part of his life including our relationship after a ton of research. The funny part was that after a couples sessionI realized that I was really the one that needed Dr Sterling! He has helped me over the years deal with being verbally abused and gotten me out of co-dependent relationships where I become Mom to people that should be in a partnership with me. By following a few simple rules we worked on together I have found a wonderful man that makes me happy and enriches me every day. I have referred people to him that have found his approach refreshing and have saved them from similar abusive situations. I would and do recommend him to anyone who feels they are stuck in a negative state and need someone to guide them to a new place. I never went to a therapist or thought I should until I talked to him and now it's a great sanity check for me when I'm under the demands of caring for my huge staff and career, my elderly parents, my five nieces and nephews, connecting with my friends and keeping myself mentally healthy. I love his office. It's super cute and a little like that of a mad scientist. Dr. Sterling will help you find the mental freedom you need.
Source: Zocdoc
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I have been to multiple therapists over the years due to various personal issues. From my experience, I would say that Dr. Sterling is by far the most helpful, professional, compassionate, and receptive of the bunch. His office space is veryquiet, comfortable, and it offers a sense of serenity. His demeanor is always quite courteous and warm. I feel as though I can open up rather freely to Dr. Sterling without fear of judgement or condemnation . I would certainly recommend Dr. Sterling very highly for any and all counseling needs.
Source: Zocdoc
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I didn't appreciate how James tried to essentially diagnose me on the spot (my very first visit), while also rather aggressively trying to hawk a medicine from a colleague who works in the office next-door. He also tried to "lend" abook, where I'd pay for it and get my money back when I came back to see him / bring the book to him. It didn't feel very professional.
More than 1 year ago
Source: Zocdoc
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I came under Dr. Sterling's care by chance actually. After browsing therapists on Zocdoc, I ultimately decided to make an appointment primarily because he accepted my insurance and had availability within the following days. I was extremelynervous going to my first appointment. I had never been to therapy before, even though I knew that I had needed to do so for most of my adult life. However, within a few minutes of meeting Dr. Sterling I was at ease. Initially he helped me open up about my reasons for scheduling an appointment (relationship, identity issues, depression, anxiety, etc.) and then asked a number of follow up questions that got me talking and made me feel more comfortable sharing with him. I have been a patient of Dr. Sterling for almost a year now. In the beginning, I was seeing him on a weekly basis and over the last 2 or 3 months have started seeing him twice monthly, give or take depending on my schedule. Also, he gave me a recommendation for a psychiatrist, a colleague of his, who I have also found to be incredibly helpful as well. If you make an appointment with Dr. Sterling and think you are going to get a stereotypical therapist, or at least what I though a stereotypical therapist was, you are mistaken. He is self-deprecating, somewhat sarcastic, and humorous. At the same time, there is an endearing quality to his personality and I have always found him to be warm and engaged during our sessions. His approach has made it easy for me to open up to him about extremely personal events that have occurred in my life. He has provided me with invaluable insight and perspective on certain relationships and events. My appointments with Dr. Sterling are not at all of what I expected therapy to be like. At times it has been hard and at times I've disagreed with him, but his impact on my life has been dramatic. He's helped (and continues to help) me work through some tough issues. He's helped me to not feel alone. He's helped me to become the happiest I think I've ever been. Sure, maybe I could have found another therapist and would have had similar results, but I like Dr. Sterling. I believe he is a good doctor who cares for his patients. I look forward to continuing to see him in the future. Also, his office does not smell like cigarettes.
Source: Zocdoc
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I have been visiting Dr Sterling for almost one year now. I am very happy, we can communicate in my native language German, since Dr Sterling is fluent in German (and I believe he also speaks other languages such as Italian).I went there because of a traumatic relationship experience, and it helped me so much in so many ways to visit Dr Sterling's office regularly. He helped me to see things from a different perspective, and I was able to find ways to break my past relationship patterns and work on myself. I can highly recommend Dr Sterling.
More than 1 year ago
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Dr Sterling was very disorganized (forgot our meetings and our conversations), was impatient, slightly judgemental, and spaced out. there are some amazing doctors in NYC, i'd keep looking to find one of those...
More than 1 year ago
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Tells you what you need to hear. Clever in rooting out issues and opening you up.
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Very rude and referred to me consistently in third person. Fixated strangely on my ethnicity and made several racist comments. Waste of money.
More than 1 year ago
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Nice guy, not for anyone who has any modern problems or is a qpoc.
More than 1 year ago
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I have been under Dr. Sterling's care over a year now, and I visit him on a biweekly basis. Dr. Sterling is a very good listener, and his experience helps him provide valuable insight, and specific actions I can take tohelp myself. I know he truly cares about his patients; there have been instances where he has reached out to me personally just to check up. I feel relaxed when I am speaking with him, I can be myself without judgement, and I genuinely feel better after our sessions. When he first began treating me, he referred me to another doctor to aid in my recovery. His referral was superb as well. In a world that often feels like healthcare can be impersonal, Dr. Sterling is a rare gem of what true "health care" should be. I look forward to continuing on my path of recovery under his supervision, and would recommend him to anyone who would like to be better.
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Dr. Sterling struck me as genuinely concerned as to why I was there, not gruff or disinterested. We went over some things that I think will be immensely helpful to me in the future. He also went extremely above and beyondin his duties in a manner that will remain private. Needless to say, I definitely recommend Dr. Sterling.
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He was great! He saw that I was nervous and offered me a iced tea. Kind hearted man and I felt very comfortable speaking to him
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Dr. Sterling is very nice, thoughtful, and perceptive. He is not afraid to be honest, which I greatly appreciated.
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Outstanding listener with a wealth of experience. Beautiful stress free insight with realistic goals.
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I cant say anything bad about Dr.Sterling! He is a person that cares for the wellness of his patients and will try his best achieve their goals. I have seen Dr. Sterling a couple of times and I have been verysatisfied with our sessions. Im 21 years old and I felt very confident about telling him my situation.
Source: Zocdoc
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Dr. Sterling struck me as man who can probably help you if he is interested. Unfortunately he wasnt interested in me. He made jokes to "lighten the mood" but never took the session seriosuly. He picked up his phone to textor call on about 5 different occasions. But the most offputting thing he did was his constant questions about my porn and masturbation habits. Even after I expressed to him that wasnt my problem, he continued to ask about it. I would never come again to his office. I would never recommend anyone to him.
More than 1 year ago
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Dr. Sterling has been invaluably helpful to me. When I first came to see Dr. Sterling earlier this year, I was in a very bad, complicated situation, in which I felt quite hopeless, and really needed some support. Dr. Sterling providedincredible support in helping me to navigate and overcome the deeply political situation. He has made great referrals for support from other medical professionals as well, which have proved to be great resources as well. As a result of Dr. Sterling's help, I was able to find a way out of the situation I was in. To say that my physical, mental and emotional health are greatly improved as a result of his support is a huge understatement. I have always felt completely respected, comfortable, and supported during my sessions with Dr. Sterling.
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He's interested in how he can help you, insightful, provides personal experience to sympathize with you and make you feel comfortable. Make an appointment to see Dr. Sterling, he just gets it!
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I absolutely love Dr. Sterling. He is truthful but loving and sincere. I felt like I had a conversation with family who knew me all my life. I was comfortable and happy with my session. My son was equally thrilled and is excited for his next visit.
Source: Zocdoc
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Being a psychotherapist myself, I saw Dr. Sterling once for my consultation appointment and found him to be very rude, dismissive and culturally insensitive. He only saw me for 20 minutes of the allotted 45 minutes, during which, he kept interruptingme with his rude commentary, when I was responding to the questions he was asking. He didn't let me finish and kept cutting me off. On top of that, he kept answering his personal phone (4 times). And at the end, he didn't take any of my information or know any of the information about me from which I filled out before coming to the appointment and he finished the session by taking a picture of my insurance card using his personal cell phone and then ushered me out saying he "your problems are too much and I cannot see you" and handed me a referral card to see someone else without explaining why (very unprofessional in this field, especially seeing he never let me finish stating why I was there seeking therapy to see him). I did not feel comfortable with him after numerous times of him making comments about my religion or where I am from. I will never see him again and am currently seeing a different psychotherapist at the moment. I felt rushed with him and when I asked him his approach on doing therapy (being there are multiple perspectives and as a patient, you want to see if their perspective matches your needs in a doctor), he brushed off my question, did not answer and told me not to worry about that. I asked if my current therapist if this was normal behavior and they agreed that it was not and it is normal to ask such a question in a psychologist. Disorganized, terrible and disrespectful.
Source: Zocdoc
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I'm 34 and have been to a few psychologists over the years. I picked Dr Sterling based on the reviews I read on zocdoc. I haven't seen a psychologist for a long while and have been having problems for a coupleof years now, so thought it was time to do something about it. In short, his experience and insight has had a big impact on my life and I recommend him highly. In my first appointment, I took the first 10/15 minutes to read to him a summary of things I thought were relevant to my current problems. I covered everything I could. Family, growing up, career, marriage, fear, anxiety, depression, etc. When I finished, he focused in on one detail that I had said, in almost a throwaway manner, alcohol. I had only said 'I drink too much', and hadn't gone into any further detail than that in terms of my own drinking. But he explained that if I wanted to actually gain anything from therapy, I really needed to stop drinking. This really struck a chord with me, and as much as I would usually have denied it (and had been doing so for 15 years despite the fact that booze has caused enormous trouble for me in all areas of my life), I finally admitted to myself, as I sat there in his office, that it would be smart to heed his advice, particularly given his experience and the fact that I had just laid out all my problems to him in one hit and he pulled out one single thread to focus on first. It really was a breakthrough moment for me which I had not expected and have never had before. I left his office feeling positive, if a little scared, knowing that I really had to just own my problem with alcohol right now so I could start sorting myself out. I feel very optimistic about the future and am continuing to see Dr Sterling to go through my other issues. Highly recommended. Cheers, RH
Source: Zocdoc
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I would like to share the story of my extremely successful treatment with Dr. James D. Sterling and the remarkable change he has made in my life. In 2011 when I was referred to Dr. Sterling by a psychiatrist, Iwas unemployed, anxious, and depressed. Worse, I was striking out in my interviews. I thought I had all the answers. I was wrong. The main goal of our work together was to get me over my problems and get me hired. Dr. Sterling showed me how I had misinterpreted a lot of things and explained to me why my interviews were not going well. He pointed out my mistakes and had me recite back to him what he was telling me, to make sure I was paying attention and that it was sinking in. He taught me how to interview successfully. I would tell my husband and friends some of Dr. Sterling’s insights and they agreed that he is very smart and perceptive. He also saw that my medication needed to be tweaked. He’s not a medical doctor, but he knows enough about psychiatry to make informed suggestions. It wasn’t easy for him to get me to bring his suggestions to my psychiatrist and add new medications. I was terrified, but eventually I came around to making the changes and couldn’t be happier with the results. One of the medications Dr. Sterling recommended masked my anxiety very effectively so that my interviewers began to see a confident professional instead of a wreck. It was a Godsend. I continue to take this medication every weekday so that I can keep presenting myself as cool under pressure. Recently, I interviewed successfully and after so many years of unemployment, I was hired. The job I have today is so much better than all the jobs for which I was turned down. I am thrilled and I feel like a new person. At my age, most people are winding down their careers and planning for retirement, but I feel like I’m just getting warmed up for many years of professional success ahead of me. When I see Dr. Sterling now, and he asks me how I am, I am pleased and proud to say, “I am just fine” and I know it’s in large part because of Dr. Sterling’s professional experience and expertise in our work together. Thank you Dr. Sterling. Thank you so very much.
Source: Zocdoc
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Dr. Sterling has a wonderful attitude and is willing to let you express yourself in the way that makes you the most comfortable.
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I thought he was very insightful and understood me. He listened and was kind. I very much enjoyed our session and will be going back.
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This is my first time going to therapy and was a bit hesitant about it. Dr. Sterling made me feel comfortable and while he is a bit eccentric, he seems to genuinely care for his patients.
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left his office feeling much better and gave me confidence to start working towards positive outlook/outcome. And hes a really funny guy!!! I highly recommend.
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super!
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Mixed. Dr. Sterling was a bit late for our meeting. And he could/should have been more organized in how he asked me questions. But I liked him. And he was very considerate in dealing with me.
More than 1 year ago
Source: Zocdoc
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I was very disappointed with this therapist. Office was super messy, he took a phone call during our appointment, sent texts, and talked about his personal life/family in an attempt to relate. Very unprofessional. Would never go back or recommend.
More than 1 year ago
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He gave me some tangible tools to walk away with but I felt like he did way more talking than listening.
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He is the best kind of oddball, makes you feel like anything you say is valid and worthy of discussion no matter how uncomfortable.
More than 1 year ago
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Very funny Physiologist doesn't give you answers to your issues gives you exercises that might help your find your own solutions and I respect that. Can't go to Doctor's office and speak to him for an hour and automatically he knowswhat answers to give you to solve your issues. Thanks Doc for the mirroring excerise.
Source: Zocdoc
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Dr. Sterling made me feel comfortable and in very good company. His advice will be taken seriously and I plan on seeing him biweekly moving forward. He is professional and meticulous without being cold or disapproving. I feel better already.
Source: Zocdoc
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Doctor is very caring and thoughtful. I have benefited greatly from his insights. His questions have led to great reflections about how I should think about my relationships with people. I feel like I really got needed therapeutic advice from him about my occupational and life goals.
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I felt good talking to him. I feel peace after i left his office.
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I love dr. sterling. He is very human and very kind,
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Dr. Sterling was unprofessional and made me incredibly uncomfortable. He was overly familiar, spent most of my session talking and giving me personal anecdotes of his life and very little time listening to what it was I wanted to communicate.He went on to tell me I have no problems, which made me feel powerless.
More than 1 year ago
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He is good and funny ??
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Dr Sterling has a unique and insightful way of looking at things. Made me feel comfortable, asked me some interesting questions, and had me thinking about my answers. He also has a great sense of humor
Source: Zocdoc
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