Meet Dawn Clark, A Primary Counselor at Common Ground

Some people find their way into the field of alcohol and drug counseling directly, and others realize their passions later and make a career shift. Meet Dawn, one of our primary counselors at Common Ground. A former employee at IBM, Dawn transitioned into the field after discovering her passion for helping others.

Dawn has her BS in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and is currently in graduate school through the University of Minnesota pursuing her Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree in Integrated Behavioral Health. She holds her license as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) through the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy.  

Before Common Ground, Dawn worked at IBM in Rochester as a technical support representative for IBM iSeries servers and software. Today, Dawn is a primary counselor at Common Ground in Rochester, facilitating our jumpstart program, Women's Journey program as an interim counselor, and conducting Rule 25/PMAP chemical use assessments for people in need of services.

Dawn has been with Common Ground since September 2016 as an intern, but joined the clinical team officially in March 2017. We sat down with Dawn to learn a little more about her passion for her work as a counselor:

Why are you passionate about the field of alcohol and drug counseling?
"I have loved ones who have struggled with co-occurring mental health and substance use issues."

What’s your favorite thing about Common Ground?
"I think Common Ground is pretty special. First, the staff functions like a family, supporting each other through challenges and celebrating each other’s successes. Next, there’s Common Ground’s approach to treatment. Counselors work to understand each client’s motivations and goals, then use this foundation to work with the client as a team. And last but not least, there’s the way Common Ground values its clients. Counselors and office staff work hard to give each client’s situation individual attention. They often go above and beyond to help clients get what they need to achieve a successful recovery."

What advice would you give to someone struggling with addiction today?
“Fall down seven times, get up eight.” Achieving sobriety can be difficult, but maintaining it is a lifelong challenge. Relapse happens. It’s not a moral failing. It’s a sign we need to devote more energy and attention to stay in recovery. The important thing is to recognize we aren’t where we want to be so we can pick ourselves up and begin the work of making things better."

What are your hobbies?
"(I’m working and going to school. I don’t have time for hobbies!! J  But if I must name a few…Reading, trying new things (foods, activities, etc.), travelling."

Favorite words of wisdom?
‘Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your god. It was never between you and them anyway. ‘ – From Mother Teresa’s ‘Do It Anyway’

Passionate counselors like Dawn are waiting to help you on your journey to find recovery. We meet you where you are, every step of the way. If you are in need of outpatient treatment or a chemical use assessment to start your journey, contact us today.