Debra Alper is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Ravenswood neighborhood in Chicago, IL who specializes in working with couples and individuals who are navigating relationship challenges, including those who are going through a divorce or separation. She also has extensive experience working with individuals who are dealing with self-esteem issues or have a history of emotional abuse, including attaching themselves to narcissists.
Debra takes a psychodynamic approach to help her clients gain a better understanding of themselves and past experiences. She also frequently utilizes mindfulness practices to bring awareness to the mind and body and quiet their inner critic. Debra utilizes attachment theory in helping clients to understand their repetitive behaviors in relationships in order to help them break unconscious patterns and replace them with healthier relational patterns. Debra is trained in The Gottman Method and primarily utilizes this treatment approach when working with couples.
Debra loves seeing her clients make remarkable transformations and considers it an honor to support them in making these changes. She has been in private practice for over 20 years and looks forward to meeting you. Her office is conveniently located a few blocks from the Montrose stop.
Relationships - Understanding one’s wants and needs in relationships; exploring patterns of interaction, addressing concerns, and strengthening satisfaction in relationships and dating
Couples counseling - Addressing relationship challenges and life transitions; strengthening communication and feelings of security, desire, connection, and love, and recovering from infidelity
Self-esteem - Cultivating self-compassion, assertiveness, and confidence; developing ways to reduce suffering, anxiety, social withdrawal, and self-neglect
Anxiety - Coping with excessive worry, nervousness, or stress; intense discomfort in social settings (social anxiety); sudden and intense feelings of panic (panic disorder)
Life transitions - Coping with difficult or impactful life changes, such as moving to a new area, relationship transitions, child rearing, or career changes; learning self-care to better manage resulting stress
Repetitive patterns - People tend to gravitate toward what is familiar—even when it’s hurtful to us. We carry unconscious models of past relationships with us in our present relationships and often find ourselves involved in familiar unsatisfactory situations. Helping to identify and understand these patterns is key to changing them and creating healthier attachments
Divorce - Questioning or feeling unsatisfied in your relationship; contemplation and navigation of separation; addressing issues of power, voice, and communication challenges; dealing with anger, loneliness and navigating family and social relationships during and after divorce; working around creating a new normal in the aftermath of divorce
Emotional abuse recovery - Supportive guidance on the healing path from emotional abuse; learning to identify emotionally abusive behaviors including gaslighting, invalidation, blame, and control; strengthening healthy relational patterns and fostering self-esteem
This provider can support you in getting reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network reimbursement. Here are the out-of-network billing options they provide:
Private Practice, 2000 - Present
Josselyn Center For Mental Health, Northfield, Illinois, 1998 - 2000
Loyola University, MSW, 1999
University of Massachusetts Amherst, BS, 1982
This monthly group provides a supportive community for mothers and their daughters to deal with the different developmental and relational issues that occur during the pre-adolescent and adolescent years.