Masters Of Social Work in progress, Aurora University
Bachelor's Degree in Rehabilitation and Disability Services, Northern Illinois University
Experience in providing mental health support for people of all ages, children through adults,
and crisis intervention
We are so glad that Lauren Penkas is completing her advanced internship with Alder Grove. Lauren has a Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Disability Services from Northern Illinois University and is completing her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Aurora University. Lauren has extensive clinical experience in supporting intense needs for people across the lifespan. She worked as an inpatient behavioral health technician for people of all ages (pediatrics through geriatrics) and as an inpatient social worker for adolescents and adults, and she is currently working as a neuropsychology technician, administering standardized tests to help people receive diagnoses and link them to appropriate treatment. Lauren specializes in helping people to identify their emotions and how they manifest, to establish effective coping skills, and to prevent crises by utilizing de-escalation techniques in the treatment of anxiety, depression, adjustment issues, and self-esteem concerns. Lauren’s work is most guided by CBT with mindfulness and grounding techniques, Object Relations Theory, and Psychodynamic approaches. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys physical exercise, hiking, visiting museums, trying new restaurants, being with dogs, and a variety of adventure activities like high-speed go-karting, axe throwing, kayaking, paddle boating, and indoor rock wall climbing. Her favorite quote comes from mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn: It’s not a matter of letting go; you would if you could. Instead of “let it go,” we should probably say, “let it be.” Thank you, Lauren, for bringing all of your knowledge and skills and mindfulness to Alder Grove.