Katie Lenahan, MS, NCC, LCPC, CADC

Director of Eating Disorders Services-Lakeview Office

My name is Katie Lenahan (she/her/hers) and I want to start by saying that if you’ve gotten this far and are perusing the bios of potential therapists, looking to start or resume the work of therapy, that you’ve already made an amazingly difficult and important step. My personal philosophy of therapy is this: none of us are broken, or need ‘fixing.’ We all have old ways of learning and coping that we developed along the way, through the twists and turns of life, that have helped us to survive our most difficult moments. However, there comes a time in which our life changes, or our environments change, or our relationships change; and our old ways of thinking or acting or learning or coping no longer serve us as they used to. Our work together is twofold: first, we seek to understand and build compassion for our past learning and past experiences, while then examining our ways of coping and flexibly altering or adapting them as needed to fit our personal values, current environments, and to move towards the life that we want for ourselves.

My personal style as a therapist and human is warm, direct, transparent, and a little bit silly. I utilize a strengths-based approach and hope to pull from the reserves of courage, strength, and resilience that every human has inside of them. I utilize humor in my work and believe that it’s important not to take ourselves too seriously; however I also balance humor with the compassion and kindness that we all deserve when navigating a difficult moment or coming into contact with a painful experience. I believe that there is nothing more important in therapy than the therapeutic relationship, and I feel honored and humbled every day by the trust that my clients have placed in me to support them in their courageous work. I strive to create a space where clients feel heard, seen, and accepted in relation to all parts of themselves; even the parts that, for years, may have been hidden or silenced by shame.

In my role at DASC, I lead and coordinate all of the services for clients with eating disorders, and I currently serve as the Education Chair for the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation’s (iaedp) Heartland Chapter. My clinical experience spans over 10 years in all levels of care; within community mental health settings, residential and inpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, and intensive outpatient and outpatient settings.

I utilize and adapt empirically validated treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). I also have completed intensive training in Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT), which I received directly from the founder of this treatment, Dr. Thomas Lynch, and I continue to receive ongoing supervision from a senior RO-DBT supervisor and trainer. I am also a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC), and my experience includes over 130 hours of training in providing counseling and court advocacy services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. I am committed to ongoing and lifelong learning, and am especially interested in increasing my awareness in the areas of LGBTQIA+ affirming practices and social justice.

Education:
Saint Mary’s University: BA in Human Services
National Louis University: MS in Counseling Psychology

A bit more about me:
I could eat tacos for every meal and I think I’d be just fine. I love reading for fun, and always have a running list of approximately 8 books that I can’t wait to dig into. Music is a form of therapy for me, and my life is bookmarked by playlists. I enjoy yoga and am continually working to build a more loving relationship with my body. I am curious about the world around me and can’t wait to continue to travel and explore, explore, explore!

Favourite Quotes:
The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit
You are not your last mistake
Nobody really knows what they’re doing, and those who say they do are lying
“We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.” ―Brené Brown
“I remember being surrounded by girls who said to me, ‘Don’t you dream of being a lady-in-waiting?’ and I replied, ‘Absolutely not – I want to live among wild animals.’” ―Jane Goodall
Frodo Baggins: “But what are we holding onto, Sam?”
Samwise Gamgee: “That there’s good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”
“And what do I risk to tell you this, which is all I know? Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.” ―Mary Oliver, from “to begin with, the sweet grass”

Insurance accepted: BCBS PPO, BCBS Blue Choice PPO, Aetna PPO, Optum, Sliding Scale when Applicable

Contact
Katie Lenahan-Eating Disorders Services Lead
klenahan@dascchicago.org

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