Social Work Career Profile
Cheryl Gerber, LISWs
"I went to the Ohio State University to study social work - I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Social Work, then a Master’s degree in Social Work.
I started working at Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services in September 2004, so I've been here for almost 14 years. I was attracted to Firelands because of the many services and locations it has to offer. Earlier in my career, about 12 years ago, I was very appreciative to be able to go from full time to part time when my first child was born. Firelands worked with me to provide a flexible work schedule and the work/life balance I was looking for. It was important to me to be able to be a therapist as well as a mom to my kids.
I currently work at Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services of Erie County, in Sandusky, Ohio. I have the opportunity to work in many different settings which I really enjoy. I primarily work as an adult therapist conducting both individual and group sessions. I facilitate a 10 week anger management course for both voluntary and court ordered clients. In 2018, we started a Seeking Safety group at the Sandusky office which I facilitate. It is a group for people who struggle with symptoms of PTSD and/or substance abuse. The group is a safe place for clients to know they are not alone in dealing with their complex symptoms.
On Mondays, I work with patients at the Firelands Physician Group Women's Clinic, run by Dr. Penola Jones. I am available to address the mental health needs of her patients right in the same location. I am also available for crisis appointments for a few hours each week. As you can see, there is a lot of variety in my weekly schedule!
The best parts about working at Firelands Counseling & Recovery, and the things I've come to appreciate the most in my almost 14 years here, is first the trust and faith from management in my abilities. It feels good to be trusted to work to the best of my ability.
Of course, being able to help others on a daily basis is one of the best parts of a social work career. It's very rewarding to know you are making a difference by getting up and going to work - that other people appreciate the help you are providing to them. I also love the wide variety of services available to our clients here at Firelands Counseling and Recovery. Rather than referring to other agencies, I am able to make an internal referral for drug and alcohol services, vocational, physical health, medication management, housing assistance, or group therapy services. We have a lot to offer!
All in all, being able to create an environment in which my clients feel safe is an honor to me. This is especially true of the many trauma survivors with whom I work. The social work career is a demanding job, but I love being able to be a part of someone's recovery story. It’s very powerful and rewarding. Many of the patients I see didn’t believe recovery or improvement was even an option. To see hope start and then change happen, it's the most gratifying feeling out there."
Social Work Careers that Make a Difference
As you can see from Cheryl's social work career profile above, the work of these therapists is challenging, yet rewarding. No matter where you choose to pursue your social work career, you can expect to make a difference in the lives of countless individuals with substance abuse, behavioral disorders, and mental health issues.
You have the opportunity to save lives.
At Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services, you can expect a one-of-a-kind work environment. With 11 locations in seven counties across northern Ohio, each office is like a mini-family. Not to mention the numerous benefits of working at Firelands.
Every day, each of us contributes our unique talents for a greater purpose – improving the lives of our clients and patients.
The moment you walk through our doors, you can feel it. The attitude, commitment and enthusiasm each member of the Firelands Family has for our purpose. The camaraderie we share as we care for clients and patients. The teamwork.
We hope you'll consider becoming a part of our Firelands Family. We are currently hiring addiction and mental health counselors at most of our Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services locations, including:
- Port Clinton
View the list of current job openings and apply online today!