Alana Lehrfield is a Licensed Social Worker who enjoys working with clients to help them live fuller, more meaningful lives. She utilizes a strength-based approach and strives to assist her clients identify their successes as well as address any areas where they may feel “stuck” or “out of control.” As a clinician, Alana uses a variety of therapeutic modalities including, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), bibliotherapy, exposure response prevention (ERP) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
With a client-centered approach she tailors her interventions to each individual client. Her work with trauma, in addition to her cross-cultural experiences and deep respect for diversity, gives her an ability to work with people from a myriad of backgrounds and cultures. Alana has a special interest in helping clients heal from the past by addressing any verbal, emotional, sexual and physical abuse and neglect in childhood as well as exploring the impact of intergenerational and collective trauma on the individual.
Alana works with children, adolescents and adults. Her experience extends to working with individuals, couples and families who are impacted by ADHD, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), mood/depression, emotional dysregulation/ anger management, learning differences, grief and loss, alcohol and substance use, infidelity and divorce. Alana obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Knox College and a Masters in Social Work from Dominican University. Alana also holds a Professional Educator License (PEL) through the Illinois State Board of Education with Endorsement in School Social Work.
Psychotherapy was not exactly on my radar when I was considering career choices initially. I found my way here by following my interests closely, tapping into my strengths and navigating a series of personal twists and turns. Therapy can be powerfully life changing and I am grateful for the opportunities that have opened up, allowing me to nestle into this tender line of work.
1. What attracted you to being a psychotherapist?
Much of the growth and change that occurs in therapy happens through the client/therapist relationship. Therefore, my approach is client centered and relationship based. I do my best to hold space for my clients and allow the relationship to unfold slowly and patiently. I’m drawn in by the emotional connection that forms and by the quirkiness of the shared experience of being human.
2. How would you describe your approach with your clients?
Emotional pain is not something that should be hidden away and never spoken about. There is truth in your pain, there is growth in your pain, but only if it is first brought out into the open.
3. What's your favorite quote about mental health?
I am most surprised by the uniqueness of my client’s life experiences and how deeply moved I am by their stories. My clients keep me on the edge of my seat and I am inspired by their bravery. It takes a lot of courage to speak one’s own truth. I feel honored to share space with my clients through the healing and self-discovery process.
4. What has surprised you the most about being a psychotherapist?