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Velva Lee Heraty, MSW, LCSW, CADC began her career after graduating from Loyola University of Chicago in 1985. Two years later she received a certificate from the C. G. Jung Institute in Evanston, IL where her expertise in dream work began and one year after that she received her certification in substance abuse from the state of Illinois. From the beginning of her career Velva has focused on interpersonal communications, family dynamics, problem solving skill building, alcoholism research, and dream facilitation.

Velva SmilingVelva has a solid history in her field. She hosted the first EAPA (Employee Assistance Provider Association) meeting and did significant early research in that field. In 1985 she conducted the first valid research into the Adult Children of Alcoholics Syndrome (n=532) donating the results to the ACOA Chicagoland Area for publication.

Velva's first two years after graduation were devoted to training, researching, and developing an intervention model for alcoholic patients in the General Surgery Wards of Cook County Hospital, the largest medical training center in the world. There she trained physicians and surgeons in the medical model of alcoholism and developed the highly effective "Bedside Intervention Model for Difficult Patients in a General Hospital Setting". Once that model was in place Velva began her private practice focusing on treating and healing adults from abusive families. During that time she continued to conduct research and was invited to speak regularly at the International Council on Alcohol and Addictions, a branch of the World Health Organization.

Velva began to conduct clinical training in 1988 and found Training an exciting interactive forum for both sharing her research, teaching other professionals effective clinical skills and techniques, and learning from her audiences. As her speaking reputation grew, she began conducting workshops and developing speeches for the general population that have been very well received. She also joined Toastmasters International to further hone her speaking skills.

Continuing to grow professionally Velva designed an Outward Bound course in 1989 and took 22 clients down the Green River in Colorado using the river as a metaphor for life. Two years ago she created Symbols and the Sea, a dream processing/training adventure conducted in the Virgin Islands.

Wanting to delve deeper into the unconscious and facilitate a more substantive healing for her clients, Velva has spent many years studying depth psychology and dream interpretation from a Jungian perspective. This has led her to research and specialize in the nature of dream imagery and it's relationship to addictive behavior. As she learned, she developed a thoughtful and provocative paper titled "The Analysis of a Relapse Dream" which wins rave reviews whenever she presents it.

Over the years, Velva has held numerous professional positions. Those are: Chair, the Professional Resource Committee of Adult Children of Alcoholics; Chair, Social Work Division of the International Counsel on Alcohol and Addictions; Board Member, the Chicago Chapter of Outward Bound; and Chair, Chicago Colleague Community Circle, a networking group of private practitioners.

Velva is also a Mentor for the Private Practice Section of the National Association of Social Workers and most recently was recruited to volunteer for The National Nightmare Hotline, a professional resource developed by the Association for the Study of Dreams as a result of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center.

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