“As a therapist, you’re kind of on a path, walking alongside someone. You hear about their struggles, triumphs, and experiences, and provide support along the way.”
Julia Bratz, LMHC approaches therapy through a person-centered lens. She describes her style as a conversation which flows between what the client has to say, and what she can offer support with. Together, she will work with clients to replace thought patterns that are no longer serving them and set goals to improve their quality of life.
We sat down with Julia to learn more about her background in the field, and approach to working with clients online.
What brought you into the field of mental health counseling?
I’ve always been inspired to help people. As a teenager, I did a lot of volunteer work with the American Red Cross which led into teaching CPR and First Aid courses.
For a long time, I worked at E-Nini-Hassee in Florida. It’s an outdoor therapeutic program that provides positive, strength-based counseling for young women who are struggling with school, family conflicts, low self-esteem, and mental health, and substance-use problems.
Working with the girls at E-Nini-Hassee, and seeing them change and grow into themselves, inspired me to pursue my masters degree in mental health counseling.
After I received my Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Webster University in Florida, I continued to work with teenagers and families, providing crisis-intervention support. I also really enjoyed substance-use counseling for teenagers, adults, and families. Most recently, I worked as the clinical director of a residential program for women who are pregnant and postpartum, struggling with mental health and substance use.
I love working with all different types of people, but I’d say my favorite groups to work with are women and members of the LGTBQ+ community.
How would you describe your therapeutic approach?
I focus on meeting the client where they’re at. I pay attention what the client has to say and what they feel they need support with. I’ll ask questions and offer feedback, but the foundation of my practice is built on the clients needs and the back-and-forth conversation that follows.
What therapeutic modalities do you bring into your practice?
I use a lot of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to better understand the client’s thought patterns, and how their thoughts and behaviors can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression. From there, I like to help the client find small behavioral changes, like reducing their screen time, to improve their quality of life.
I like to bring a lot of mindfulness/meditation practices into the session. So, working with techniques like deep-breathing, guided meditation, and muscle relaxation. I find that through calming the mind and tuning into the present moment, we can alleviate a lot of feelings of anxiety, depression, and overall unease.
What mental health conditions do you offer support for?
I help adults experiencing the following life challenges:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Substance Related/Addictive Disorders
- Anger Management
- Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD/ADD)
- Adjustment Disorder
- Parenting Issues
- PTSD/Acute Stress
- Academic/Occupational/Work Issues/Career
What are your favorite self-care practices?
A lot of walking or hiking outside. I always feel better, and have a change of perspective, by just being in nature.
What’s your favorite part of being a therapist?
It’s really a privilege to be a therapist. You have the opportunity to hear people’s stories and learn the most intimate details of their lives.
I love being able to witness people’s personal change and growth. As a therapist, you’re kind of on a path, walking alongside someone, hearing about their struggles, triumphs, and experiences, and providing support along the way.
What’s your favorite part of living in Massachusetts?
I grew up in San Francisco, California and moved to Florida for about 11 years. I’ve always loved the outdoors, and since living in Massachusetts I’ve taken advantage of the natural beauty here. I love hiking and being outdoors on the Connecticut River.
Julia Bratz offers a comfortable and easy-going environment for clients to build meaningful behaviors and improve their relationship with themselves and others.
To start working with one of our mental health providers in Massachusetts, please contact us today at (413) 343-4357.