University of Michigan
Columbia University, MSW
Training & Certifications
Acceptance & Mindfulness-Based CBT for OCD
Certified field instructor for social work students
CBT for Psychosis
CBT for Trans-Diagnostic Anxiety disorders and OCD
Chain Analysis Training
Chronic Insomnia Training
Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies: DBT skills training
EMDR Parts I & II through the Parnell Institute
Trauma and Dissociation training
New York State License Number: 083687
Amy Brightman, LCSW
“Being happy will not always make you grateful, but being grateful will always make you happy.”
Hi, I’m Amy! I am a therapist who uses therapy as a driving force to make decisions and take action. I became a therapist to help people navigate their lives, feel heard, and learn how to create a happier life with fulfilling relationships. I encourage clients who feel like they are stuck, on repeat, or not fulfilled to develop skills that will allow them to face challenges head on while feeling in control. I work with individuals who are looking to improve their mental health, manage emotions, develop self-esteem and wellness, improve communication, and cope with stressors. I see clients who are dealing with life transitions, are trying to understand career and personal goals, or are learning how to navigate relationships. I believe in not letting symptoms isolate you, but rather to isolate your symptoms.
Thoughts are incredibly fast and automatic, making it difficult to know how we actually think about something and why we feel a certain way. As your personal thought observer, I will help you develop awareness of where your thoughts go, what situations cause these thoughts, and how they lead to anxiety, second guessing, and avoidance. Together, we will uncover thought patterns to generate a sense of predictability and understanding, allowing you to respond to situations rather than react. To achieve this, we will use sessions to draw upon concepts from CBT and mindfulness.
I am a big believer in asking clients: “So, what are you going to do about it?” I believe that change is possible when we accept what we cannot change, and are willing to see what we can change as an opportunity. Many clients describe worrying about making the wrong decision, ultimately fearing failure and leading to inaction. Sound familiar? I encourage my clients to confront what is problematic and to set small, achievable goals in the right direction. If you don’t like something, then let’s do something about it. I consider myself a behavioral therapist and see a lot of value in clients taking action and recognizing that they have a choice. It is very rewarding to generate your own happiness.
Life has a lot of ups and downs. My goal for clients is that they can learn skills to help them learn how to surf the wave of life. I am passionate about helping individuals manage stress and anxiety and am a big advocate for developing self-care, compassion, and coping. Through exploration, we understand what skills you have been using and determine if they are helpful or not. My role is to give you access to new tools and strengthen the tools that already exist. I will introduce you to several DBT skills and through practice you will begin understanding what skills are helpful for you personally. By the end of therapy you will be walking away with a full toolbox that is yours forever!
How I Help
My philosophy about therapy is that it is a joint effort. Together, we confront what is not working, tackle problems, and understand goals in a supportive, non-judgmental space. I believe it is incredibly important to be open and honest with each other, discussing what is working and addressing things when they are not working. I treat sessions as an opportunity to have a dialogue with each other, and also believe in having a good laugh together here and there. Throughout therapy we will uncover core beliefs, explore different perspectives, and make behavioral changes to see what is helpful for you. I believe in the importance of having healthy habits and will help you build foundational skills for sleep, exercise, and daily organization. I like setting weekly practices together and stress the importance of accountability. I believe that therapy is hard work and I want to ensure that if you’re going to take the time and make the effort, you can recognize your progress!
More About Me
I have a dog who I adore. She is a little old lady with a beard and eyebrows. In my free time I enjoy running or doing a workout class, which is always nicely balanced with a good session of binge watching Netflix. I love spending time with family and traveling with my husband. I am an East Coaster at heart, but have a lot of Michigan pride. I have an obsession with pretzels.