Helpline Available 24/7
Call (833) 976-4357

Counseling Awareness Month: Spotlight on Donna Jenkins!

Table of Contents

Counseling Awareness Month is celebrated each year in April. Sponsored by the American Counseling Association (ACA), the month-long observance honors counselors of all kinds, including mental health counselors, school and college counselors, career counselors, and of course, substance use disorder (SUD) counselors.

Here at Gaudenzia, the counselors at our SUD treatment programs make an impact in their communities every single day. This lifesaving work takes empathy, dedication, and grit. We’re excited to honor and celebrate some of the incredible counselors we have on our team this month, starting with Donna Jenkins.

Donna Jenkins, MSW, Counselor II at Gaudenzia Lower Bucks

A Q&A with Donna Jenkins

Donna is a Counselor II at Gaudenzia’s Lower Bucks SUD treatment program. She earned her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Holy Family University and is currently under supervision to obtain her license as a licensed professional counselor (LPC). Aside from always having been someone the people around her could open up to, Donna loves helping people define and reach their goals. Earlier this week, Donna celebrated her 2-year anniversary with Gaudenzia (congratulations, Donna!). We’re thrilled to have her on our team, and so grateful that she took the time to answer our questions. Let’s dive in.

Can You Describe a “Day in the Life” as a Counselor at Gaudenzia?

Busy! No two days are the same. I love interacting with clients during our group sessions. It is very rewarding when I notice a change in clients who put forth every effort to learn how to live in recovery.

What Unexpected Lessons Have You Learned About Counseling in the SUD Treatment Field?

How important it is to not commit to just one theory. Many of our clients have experienced severe trauma, so providing psychoeducation by using more than one theory may be necessary.

What are the Biggest Challenges SUD Counselors Face Today?

In our field it is easy to quickly experience burnout, especially if you do not have good supervision or someone to consult with. It is extremely important to be aware of our own emotions and when we are pushing ourselves too far. Vacations are necessary!

Aside From Vacations, How Do You Take Care of Yourself to Prevent Burnout?

I meet with my therapist regularly. I also use the weekend to relax and regroup. I am considering new self-care activities, so suggestions are welcomed.

What is the Best Part of Your Job?

When a client pops in just to say, “Hi,” and, “I am still sober!” Plus, seeing clients put in the work to reach their personal goal of learning how to live life in recovery.

What Advice Do You Have for New Counselors Entering the Field?

I would suggest the counselor have a passion for people and be empathetic but also know how to set boundaries in a respectful manner.

If you or someone you love needs treatment for substance use disorder, please contact our Treatment and Referral HelpLine at 833.976.HELP (4357) or email [email protected] today.

We’re on social media! Follow Gaudenzia on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn — and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for updates and educational content.

Table of Contents