Cheryl Drozen Crowley, 53, a clinical social worker whose practice focused on adolescents in Maryland and the District, died Sept. 29 at her home in Chevy Chase. The cause of death is pending, the Maryland medical examiner's office said.

Mrs. Crowley's private practice in psychodynamic psychotherapy treated primarily adolescents and their families. She also specialized in the treatment of eating disorders.

She was a consultant to numerous private schools and served on the board of the Foundation Schools of Montgomery County in Rockville.

Peter Branch, the head of school at Georgetown Day School, knew her as both a mother and professional. "As a parent and as a psychologist she was always focused on the needs and best interests of children. Many families and professionals relied on her sensitivity and expertise to assist them through difficult times and challenging issues," he said.

"She was compassionate, intuitive and smart about what all ages go through and she was available to anyone who really needed her.She was a wonderful resource to me to think through the best way to help any of our students who might be struggling," said Marjo Talbott, head of school at Maret School.

Judy Lansing, psychiatric social worker and her friend, described Mrs. Crowley as "the most gifted, compassionate and insightful psychotherapist I have ever known" and noted that she was recognized as such by her peers.

Mrs. Crowley, a native of Buffalo, graduated from Georgetown University in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and government. She received a master's degree in social work from the Columbia University School of Social Work in 1975.

During the 1970s, she worked at Family Services of Prince George's County. She was then at the National Institute of Health from 1977 to 1979, when she entered private practice.

Mrs. Crowley was a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers and the Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Workers.

She was an avid reader, a gourmet cook and a tennis player. She loved initiating intellectual and political discussions over dinner or on walks.

Survivors include her husband of 29 years, George D. Crowley Jr. of Chevy Chase; two sons, George David Crowley of Palo Alto, Calif., and Shane Crowley of Nashville; and a brother.

Cheryl Crowley treated adolescents and families in a private practice and served as a consultant to several schools.