Athena Ferraro completed her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree at the University of Toronto where she specialized in Mental Health and completed the Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies (CoPAS). She received her Honour’s Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Guelph, majoring in Psychology: Brain and Cognition. She’s registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
Deeply passionate about her work, Athena’s counselling approach is down-to-earth, authentic, compassionate, and client-centered. She’s committed to supporting her clients through their experiences. Her clinical interests include depression, anxiety, emotion regulation, unhealthy coping behaviours (such as self-harm, substance abuse, gambling, excessive gaming and internet use), postsecondary student mental health, and perinatal mental health.
She also works with clients experiencing school or work stress, general life transitions, identity questions, and meaning-making and existential concerns. Athena uses techniques from various therapeutic modalities, including cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), existential therapy, and solution-focused therapy.
Athena completed her clinical training at a mental health hospital in Toronto, where she worked with youth & adults struggling with a range of mental health issues, including clinical depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, early psychosis, and addiction. Prior to completing her MSW, Athena worked in the non-profit sector, volunteered as part of a care-team for Hospice clients & their families, worked in Accessibility Services at a university, and worked as a Research Assistant on various projects (focused on depression & its treatment, non-suicidal self-injury, suicide intervention & prevention, acculturation & mental health, and wellness initiatives for university students). She has also been involved in various mental health advocacy & awareness initiatives. She has been working in private practice in the Waterloo region since 2016.
Aside from work, Athena loves spending time with her partner and their preschooler, nature & being outdoors, reading, live music, Radiohead, satire (e. g. The Onion), road-tripping, and practicing mindfulness in everyday life.
Many Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and extended health care plans will cover services rendered by a Registered Social Worker.