Leonard (Len) Lempa, MSW /LCSW
I am from Elgin, Illinois, and I currently work full time as a social worker in an emergency room as intake coordinator for a behavioral health program. I have worked professionally in "mental health" since 1987 in a number of different settings. While I work in a very “treatment as usual” setting, I also worked to bring a Hearing Voices Group training to the Chicago area back in 2012 and participated in year one of the Open Dialogue training at the Institute for Dialogic Practice in 2012-13. I am acutely aware of how much damage is being done by “treatment as usual” and am seeking to empower people in finding ways that move them toward reclaiming their autonomy. I attended the World Hearing Voices Congress in Boston this past summer and have attended several of the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) Conferences over the past five years.
Growing up, I lived with a father who had a severe alcohol problem most likely related to the effects of trauma from World War II and a mother who experienced what would commonly be called a “psychotic break” when I was a teen and essentially lived with psychosis for much of her life. In my early twenties I was hospitalized on a psychiatric unit for a short time though never medicated. I had an alcohol problem for about 15 years before I chose to seek sobriety. I have used a number of different alternative modalities to support me on my journey to wholeness, in addition to several forms of psychotherapy. This has included regular use of floatation tanks as a stress management tool. I am very familiar with a number of forms of body work and alternative medical treatments in addition to several self development courses. I look forward to further work in this area moving forward. I am currently beginning to work as a volunteer promoting the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care.
Len contributed to the Cope & Heal section of ICI’s The Withdrawal Project website.