Vanessa E. FordVanessa E. Ford is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in the State of Illinois , license number 149-009994.  The process of obtaining a LCSW involves successfully completing 3000 supervised hours in the field post-Masters providing therapeutic services under the direction of an LCSW clinician, as well as passing the four-hour State clinical social work boards, given by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation licensing body.

Ms. Ford has also obtained an additional addictions specialty. She holds an active certification in alcohol and other drug abuse counseling (CADC) in the State of Illinois, certification number 22776. In order to obtain this board certificate, Ms. Ford completed an Addictions Studies certification program in addition to her Masters, obtained the requisite supervised hours in the field, and passing the boards offered by the Illinois Certification Board, Inc. (formerly the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association, Inc. known as IAODAPCA).

Ms. Ford has been fully trained in Eye Movement and Reprocessing / Desensitization therapy, known as EMDR.  This unique and innovative form of treatment targets traumas that may become “locked” in the brain in an unhealthy way when a person is under unusual stress (such as during a rape, childhood sexual or physical abuse, combat, domestic violence situation, accident or the like).  Usually these experiences can be very damaging to self-esteem, such as when someone forms negative beliefs about themselves or their environment as a part of that experience.  Examples may include: “I’m incompetent,” “I should have been able to stop it,” “It’s all my fault,” “I’m crazy,” or “I always attract bad things to me.”  EMDR seeks to “unlock” these traumatic memories and allows the client undergoing this form of treatment to move towards healthy resolution and closure.

Vanessa E. Ford obtained her Masters of Social Work with a concentration in children and families from Loyola University Chicago’s School of Social Work.  This accredited program is well-known in the field for meeting the highest standards of clinical training. Obtaining a Masters from this program requires several internship experiences in the field providing direct service under the training of licensed professionals in the field of social work.  She also completed additional fieldwork in an intensive outpatient chemical dependency program as a part of her addictions credential.  Ms. Ford obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the prestigious University of Chicago, with a concentration in Psychology. She obtained the distinction of General Honors upon graduation, and was an active member in the National Honor Society in Psychology Psi Chi while completing her undergraduate work.


Prior to starting her private practice, Ms. Ford worked in non-for-profit environments that serve the mental health needs of the community. Her dedication to helping clients heal has included managing the substance abuse department at the Midwest’s largest LGBT organization, where she designed and implemented an intensive outpatient program specifically targeting crystal meth addiction. Her background also includes working with clients who are infected / impacted by HIV; coping with chronic health conditions; chemical and behavioral addiction; child and adolescent Wards of the State; clients suffering from a variety of mental health symptoms; and work with victims of trauma (such as rape, molestation, domestic violence, stalking, childhood physical abuse or neglect, or growing up in an alcoholic home). She can still be seen offering free lectures to the community on topics such as addiction, sexual compulsion, lesbian and gay issues, and coping with childhood abuse and trauma.

For more detailed information and bio, please visit Ms. Ford’s Facebook page.

You can also read Ms. Ford’s blog of articles on a host of mental health topics here.

Education and Training:

  • Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from University Of Chicago with General Honors
  • Masters of Social Work from Loyola University
  • Certificate in Addictions Studies from the City Colleges of Chicago
  • Certificate of Completion of Domestic Violence Training from Friends of Battered Women & Their Children
  • Certificate in the Advanced Psychodynamic Clinical Practice Fellowship Program from the University of Chicago’s SSA