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 (pregnancy and postpartum).
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.
At her core, Athena believes that the often difficult conversations around self-identity and life purpose are essential to creating a full and authentic life. She explores these questions with clients in a safe, warm, and non-judgmental manner.
Athena completed her clinical training at a large mental health hospital in Toronto, where she worked with youth and adults struggling with a range of mental health issues, such as clinical depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, early psychosis, and addiction.
A mental health advocate, Athena worked in the non-profit sector, volunteered as part of a care-team for hospice clients and their families, worked in accessibility services at a university, and worked as a Research Assistant on several projects (focused on depression and its treatment, non-suicidal self-injury, suicide intervention and prevention, acculturation, and wellness initiatives for university students).
When not working with clients, you’ll find Athena spending time with her partner and their preschooler, especially being outdoors, reading (lots of philosophy and psychology), live music, Radiohead, satire (e. g. The Onion), road trips, 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.