for afternoon & weekend appointments
in North Side practice
(updated December 03, 2019)
Specialties & Expertise
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.
Message to clients
Relationships are the food for our soul. Sometimes, our relationships nurture us, bring us joy and provide us with a foundation to grow. Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships that are consistently not fulfilling or even worse, hurtful. This can be an individual occurrence, or part of a larger repetitive pattern. Either way, when our relationships are out of sync, we need to look at what changes need to be made, both in ourselves, in our choices of the people we fill our lives with and in our way of communicating with others.
Understanding one’s wants and needs in relationships; exploring patterns of interaction, addressing concerns, and strengthening satisfaction in relationships and dating
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
Couples counseling -
Addressing relationship challenges and life transitions; strengthening communication and feelings of security, desire, connection, and love, and recovering from infidelity
Cultivating self-compassion, assertiveness, and confidence; developing ways to reduce suffering, anxiety, social withdrawal, and self-neglect
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.
Works with individuals and couples to overcome challenges pertaining to infidelity
Mother/daughter groups -
Offers mother/daughter support groups