Dawn Friedman MSEd LPC-CR
Most of my clients come to me because they feel stuck. They want to know how to create real, lasting change. They want to improve their lives or resolve a life crisis. Sometimes they don’t know what they want except that they want things to be different.
I help them figure it out.
I offer my clients unconditional loving acceptance of who they are right this minute, especially if they cannot find that acceptance for themselves. I trust that my clients can and will discover their best selves by confronting both their successes and failures. I hold my clients in this trust as they work towards understanding, helping them find their strengths and bring them forward in their struggles.
I have always been fascinated by the way our culture shapes who we are and what we believe and this perspective informs my practice. I am particularly interested in how our own ingrained assumptions and other people’s social expectations can make it difficult for us to find our own unique paths around parenting and family building.
At it’s most essential, the work I do helps my clients figure out who they are so they can take this knowledge beyond the counseling office and into the rest of their lives.
In Portland, Oregon I founded the Safe to Grow program at the YWCA Women’s Resource Center, a shelter serving women and children escaping domestic violence. I case managed families, facilitated parenting support groups and taught parenting classes for the Oregon State University Extension Services. I also began my writing career writing about issues important to families.
I received my undergraduate degree in Sociology at Portland State University where I also served as a Peer Mentor in the University Studies program. I returned to school to get my masters in community mental health counseling at the University of Dayton. I have additional training in play therapy, child abuse, domestic violence, mediation, pregnancy and postpartum, parenting, infertility and adoption issues.
Currently I volunteer with the Ohio Birthparent Group and Adoption Network Cleveland, helping to facilitate the monthly all-adoption open meetings for all members of the adoption constellation — birth family members, adoptive family members and adoptees. You can learn when the next meeting is by clicking here.
I am a member of the American Counseling Association and I am the Communications Chair for the Central Ohio Counseling Association. I am also a member of the Association for Size Diversity and Health, an international organization committed to research and education on Health at Every Size principles and I’m the media coordinator for the Birthworkers of Central Ohio, a local organization devoted to the health and well being of pregnant and postpartum women.
My husband and I have two children. Our oldest is our biological child and our youngest arrived to our family through an open, transracial adoption after a four year struggle with secondary infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss.
Besides being a therapist, I’m also a writer and a speaker on parenting, infertility and adoption. I have written for Salon.com, Utne, Ode, Brain Child, Huffington Post, Parenting, Yoga Journal, Wondertime, Adoptive Families, Bitch: A Feminist Response to Pop Culture, Kveller.com. Disney’s Family.com, CommonsenseMedia.org, Early Childhood NEWS and Greater Good among many others.
My essays appear in several books including Joanne Bombarger’s Mother’s of Intention (Bright Sky Press, 2011), Rebecca Walker’s anthology One Big Happy Family (Riverhead Press, 2009), Mothering and Blogging (Demeter Press, 2009) edited by May Friedman & Shana L. Calixte and the textbooks Child Adoption: Issues and Perspectives (Icfai University Press, 2009) and Mixed Heritage (Greenhaven Press, 2009).
I have been interviewed on New Hampshire Public Radio’s Word of Mouth, on Q with Jian Ghomeshi, and on Dawn Davenport’s Creating a Family.
I’ve presented at the Columbus Society for Clinical Social Work and Ohio State Counseling and Consultation; the 2011 Open Adoption Symposium in Richmond, VA; Podcamp Columbus, the American Adoption Congress; and the 2nd International Conference on Adoption and Culture.