Dawn Ferrara

Dawn Ferrara

Dawn Ferrara is a counselor in private practice and clinical manager for a community-based children’s mental health program. Her areas of interest include disaster mental health counseling, lifestyle management, and counselor wellness.

  • Around the World In…10 Minutes

    Oct 04, 2011
    I’ve really enjoyed the discussion and comments about social networking and all the ways it can impact us as counselors. I am all about the technology and think integrating it appropriately into my practice has been a fabulous thing. My clients seem to like it, I like it and my younger clients think it’s cool that their counselor texts and tweets. Until very recently, though, I hadn’t really given much thought to how social networking had impacted my professional networking. A lot of my counselor friends are Facebook users and we “friend” each other and keep in touch that way. Mostly though, we run into each other at workshops or conferences or some other professional gathering. The other day, however, my Facebook experience took on a whole new facet.
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  • Sounds Like a Plan!

    Sep 06, 2011
    Last week, as Hurricane Irene threatened our friends on the East Coast, I got an email from someone I had met at the ACA Conference last spring. She was in one of the areas that was threatened by the storm. She knew I was in South Louisiana and had some experience with hurricanes, especially one named Katrina. This friend emailed to ask me what I do in my practice when a storm threatens. Specifically, she asked me if I have a policy or plan. Hmm….yes and no. I do have a process but until she asked me that, I don’t think I ever thought of it as a “policy”. They say necessity is the mother of invention. Because I live in hurricane alley, I think that I handle the storm issue the way I do because it has just evolved out of necessity. Her email got me thinking that disaster planning isn’t something we automatically associate with our practices but the fact is, stuff happens. Having some kind of plan for the possibility of your practice being disrupted can give you peace of mind and make recovery much easier. You may never need to use it, but if you do, it’s there. I thought that if my friend was wondering what to do, others might be too. So I thought I’d share with you here a bit of what I shared with her.
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  • Out of the Box

    Aug 16, 2011
    Like a lot of counselors, I get quite a few journals. Some I read. Some I say I’m going to read and never do. Every now and then, a journal article comes along that speaks to me even though I may not realize it at the moment. Not long ago, I got a chance to use something I had read in Counseling Today. When I received the issue on Creativity in Counseling (February, 2011), I read through it. I found it interesting but I remember thinking, “Cool ideas but probably something I’m not likely to use.” I thought that because I am about as creative as a pile of laundry on most days. So, I read the issue and tucked it away never thinking that I would come back to it later.
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  • Lessons From Clients Past, Part Two

    Aug 02, 2011
    Last time, I wrote about an experience I’d had running into an old client and what I took away from that experience. I often see my clients out and about but having a face-to-face encounter with a former client just doesn’t happen very often. So, I was quite surprised when, the same week, I again experienced a “blast from the past”. I opened the mail to find a wedding invitation. Yes! I love weddings! However, this invitation came with a twist. It was from a former client who I had seen several years ago. He had completed counseling and went on to achieve a great deal of personal and professional success. Now he was getting married and he had invited me to attend.
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  • Lessons From Clients Past

    Jul 26, 2011
    One of the things I love most about being a counselor is seeing my clients grow and achieve their goals. Every now and then, I will hear from a former client and it is affirming to know that they are doing well. It’s one of those “feel good” moments. More often than not, however, we don’t really know how our clients fare once they’ve terminated with us. I think we all have a few clients that we wonder about. How did they fare when they left treatment?
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