Adena Bank Lees is an internationally recognized authority on trauma related to childhood sexual abuse, in particular Covert Emotional Incest (CEI). Adena’s mission is to bring CEI out of the shadows and shine light on the process of identifying and healing from it. In her book, Covert Emotional Incest: The Hidden Sexual Abuse, Adena details the complex nature of CEI, its damaging consequences, and the path to restoration of health and well-being.
A leader in the field of traumatic stress and addiction, Adena has been offering expert clinical psychotherapy to clients as well as training and consulting services to professionals around the globe for over 25 years. Adena’s driving passion is to equip professionals to be effective practitioners, as evidenced by the 1000+ workshops she has conducted on topics such as child sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse and addiction, and related mental health issues.
Adena’s work has helped thousands of therapists effectively support clients recovering from the emotional and spiritual wounds of childhood sexual abuse and other traumas. Her lectures, workshops, and presentations are lively, informative, and engaging, leveraging the power of experiential learning. Participants report that being introduced to CEI through this action-based approached helps them gain life-changing insight into the experiences of their clients and enhances understanding of their own personal experiences. Adena’s passion is to utilize action methods in both client treatment and professional training to optimize laughter while learning.
Adena has helped develop an outpatient psychotherapy program for child and adolescent sexual abuse survivors (Project Safe Place), sexuality workshops for inpatient eating disorder treatment centers, and psychodramatic/sociometric warm-up groups for the Aveer Institute Global Peace Exchanges.
Adena is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, an internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor, and a Board Certified Expert® in Traumatic Stress. Adena received her BA in Psychology from SUNY Binghamton and her MSW with honors from Adelphi University. In her clinical practice, Adena incorporates a variety of disciplines and approaches obtained through advanced training including Psychodrama, Imago Relationship Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
Adena nurtures her fun-loving side by traveling, hiking in the Arizona desert, and singing at the top of her lungs while driving.