I am Jen Lerma and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I work with children and families to provide support around navigating ADHD, adjustment, anxiety, depression, divorce, family changes, life transitions, and grief and loss. The two central tenets of how I practice are grounded in connection and playfulness.
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 a supportive and authentic therapeutic relationship with my clients so we can explore connections and relationships to gain deeper insight into how we show up in the world. My intention is to create a space that is accepting, warm, collaborative, and safe for each of my clients to tap into their inner resources and facilitate growth and healing.
An essential part of connection 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 about the inequalities in our world and the heart to pursue changes.
I believe 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 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.
As a former professional musician and music teacher, I employ expressive arts to provide a safe and creative environment for each individual to discover and explore new possibilities.
Some of My Favorite Books
- Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi and Ashley Lukashevsky
- Hey Warrior by Karen Young
- Hey Awesome by Karen Young
- Let’s Have a Visit With Our Feelings by Ana Gomez
- Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.
- The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
- The Power of Showing Up by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
- The Whole Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
- Was it the Chocolate Pudding? by Sandra Levins and illustrated by Bryan Langdoy
Jennifer Lerma, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker