Vanessa E. Ford, LCSW, CADC
Psychotherapist and Addictions Specialist
Vanessa Ford has been a psychotherapist since 2000, and has been in solo private practice since 2007. Her practice focuses on treating conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders, including phobias, panic disorder, PTSD, and generalized anxiety. She also helps clients heal from painful or traumatic experiences such as the death of a loved one, living with chronic health conditions such as HIV, workplace or school bullying experiences, abusive partner or family background, and sexual assault. Vanessa practices EMDR, which is a unique form of therapy that can be utilized to target negative self-concepts that arise from these traumatic losses. Her areas of expertise include working with the LGBT community and work with addictions/compulsions, ranging from alcoholism to drug addiction/abuse, as well as other compulsive behaviors such as eating disorders, trichotillomania and compulsive online behaviors. Vanessa's approach blends traditional insight-oriented talk therapy with cognitive-behavioral approaches, including practicing body mindfulness techniques. She believes that health and wellness starts from within- mind, body and spirit.
Prior to starting her private practice, Vanessa helped serve the mental health needs of at-risk communities in non-profit environments. The populations served included Wards of the State, children and teens in foster care, HIV+ children and families, and the LGBT community. She worked as a staff psychotherapist in these settings, and managed a substance abuse program, including developing and overseeing a pilot program funded by the city of Chicago targeting crystal methamphetamine addiction.
Having an opportunity to help clients in need speaks to Vanessa's core values as a clinical social worker. By partnering with her clients, Vanessa believes she is building on the therapeutic relationship as a foundation for both personal change, as well as addressing larger social issues. By focusing on the solution rather than the problem, you have the potential to be the change you want to see in the world.