Jen Lerma

Meet Our Team

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I work with children and families, adolescents, and adults to provide support around navigating ADHD, adjustment, anxiety, depression, divorce, family changes, life transitions, and grief and loss. I also offer parenting support therapy to help parents shift patterns around managing challenging behaviors, reducing stress in the family, and increasing connection with their kiddos.

The heart of my work is centered around relationships, which I approach from the lenses of attachment theory and polyvagal theory. As a relational therapist, I believe that how we feel connected to other people has an impact on how we see and understand ourselves and the world around us. I work to establish supportive and authentic therapeutic relationships with people so we can explore connections and relationships together to gain deeper insight into how they show up in the world. My intention is to create a space that is accepting, warm, collaborative, and safe for people to tap into their inner resources and facilitate growth and healing.

An essential part of deepening our connection in relationships is acceptance, which is linked to the value of social justice for me. Social justice is a cornerstone of my practice as a social worker, as I am committed to raising my cultural consciousness by being open to learning. I strive to have eyes to see and ears to hear of the inequalities in our world, and the heart to pursue changes.

I also ground my work in the belief that play is an inherently connecting experience for people of all ages. For children, I believe that play is the most natural form of expression, and that the child’s inner world is rich with symbols and meaning. Through play, children can explore new possibilities and understandings of themselves and their world, as well as strengthen their connections to the people around them.

I am originally from Maryland and have earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and a Master of Social Work degree from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. My background experience includes working with children and families in the school setting before joining the practice. I am a former military musician and elementary general music teacher, and I use those experiences to inform how I employ expressive arts to provide a safe and creative environment for each individual to discover and explore new possibilities.

Specialized Services

I have completed training in play therapy, as well as Theraplay Level I, which is a play-based modality to increase connection and joy in the parent-child relationship. I am a Registered Circle of Security Parenting (COSP) Facilitator, which is a framework that supports parents in exploring and improving their relationship with their children. I am currently working towards becoming a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, which is a modality that focuses on restoring balance to the autonomic nervous system by bolstering inner resources and releasing trauma.

Circle of Parenting (COSP) logo

Professional Affiliations

  •  Association for Play Therapy
  • National Association of Social Workers

Some of My Favorite Books

Jennifer Lerma

Jen Lerma, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Pronouns: She/Her


Welcome to Alexandria Place Therapy!

We offer therapeutic services in Alexandria, Virginia. Our clinicians have spent their careers working with children, adolescents, and adults experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, loss, and adjustment difficulties. We bring expertise and experience to our work and aim to offer help in vulnerable times to all our patients by tailoring treatment to their unique needs.

Working Hours
Monday to Friday 8 am - 8 pm
Saturday 8 am - 8 pm