Amanda Stradling holds a Master of Social Work from Boston College where she graduated with academic honors. She is currently a Licensed Master Social Worker in the State of New York, working towards her clinical license. She and her family moved to Tokyo in 2019 from New York City (NYC), where Amanda worked as a Mental Health Consultant for the NYC Department of Education.
In her role as a Mental Health Consultant specializing in early childhood education, Amanda led citywide and small group training events for teachers and parents focusing on social, emotional and behavioral strategies. She advocated on behalf of vulnerable students for access to the educational, emotional, and behavioral supports necessary for success in school. Amanda worked one-on-one with teachers, families, and children to develop individualized strategies to support the social and emotional regulation of children who struggle with pre-diagnosed/diagnosed neurodevelopmental challenges (ADHD, ASD, anxiety, etc) or who have been victims of trauma.
Since moving to Tokyo, Amanda has worked with the Tokyo Association of International Preschools to develop and facilitate professional training workshops for teachers that focus on fostering self-regulation and autonomy in kids, having difficult conversations with adults, and practicing reflection and self-care as stress reduction strategies. She also continues to consult with families and teachers to develop differentiated strategies in the classroom for individual students.
As a therapist at Tokyo Mental Health, Amanda works with adults, families, and youth experiencing a range of challenges including depression and anxiety. She uses a variety of therapeutic techniques including:
We asked Amanda some questions to get to know her better…read more below!
What do you enjoy most about being a social worker?
As a social worker, I love belonging to a profession that believes that the well-being of individuals is inextricably connected with the well-being of society. As a social worker, I take a holistic approach to therapy that pays attention to the environmental forces that impede or empower my clients. So while I may be working one-on-one with clients to address their individual challenges, I am also thinking about the societal context in which the client is living and how their environment may contribute to, or distract from, reaching their goals in life.
I also love that as a social worker, my practice is rooted in a set of core values that include the importance of human relationships and the dignity and self-worth of each person. The lens through which social workers view their clients is called the “strengths based approach,” which means that we focus on what clients are doing well and help them improve upon their strengths by developing new skills. This practice is intended to build our clients` self-worth and strengthen their most meaningful relationships.
What are your hobbies?
Since moving to Tokyo and in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which called for restricted indoor socializing, I have developed a passion for tennis and play almost every day. I love the empowering feeling that smashing a tennis ball gives me! It’s also a perfect way to spend time outdoors in the city.
I also study Japanese and have been attending Japanese classes for almost a year. While progress is slow, I feel my brain straining in ways that it hasn’t since I was much younger. I appreciate the opportunity that studying Japanese gives me to learn more about the culture of this beautiful country, which I now call my home.
Like most expats, I enjoy traveling and eating interesting foods. I also have a passion for art and try to visit art museums and installations wherever I go.