Andrea Furgala, LISW
Mrs Furgala originally studied theater and graduated with a B.S. from the State University of New York, Oneonta in 2001. After a few years of pounding the pavement in the theater world, Mrs. Furgala had a major life event that initiated a career change. In 2004, she began working on her Masters in Social Work from Adelphi University while working full time and completing 2 year-long internships. During the course of schooling, Mrs. Furgala got her start in residential treatment as a Transition Coordinator, working with children and families on successful transitions back into the community. She has always had a passion to provide support for not just the child, but for the family and caretakers as well. She initiated a parent/guardian support group during this first position and later went on to be a faculty liaison for a parent association at her next place of employment.
Mrs. Furgala graduated with her MSW in 2007 and took on a position as a Social Worker at Green Chimneys Residential Treatment Center in Brewster, NY. Her primary responsibilities were to provide individual, group, and family therapy for children ages 6-18. She remained in this position for four years before she was promoted to a supervisory position in 2011.
In 2010, a unique and exciting opportunity came to Mrs. Furgala to participate as a therapist in a research study for an adaptation of DBT for children (DBT-C). Mrs. Furgala spent a year and a half being trained on a weekly basis by Dr. Francheska Perepletchikova, the creator and researcher of DBT-C. Throughout the study, she continued to meet with Dr. Perepletchikova for a weekly consultation team where she received priceless coaching and ongoing support. The study concluded in 2015 and there is evidence to prove DBT-C’s effectiveness! The results of the study indicate that DBT-C can be successfully used with pre-adolescent children with a range of psychiatric problems. Specifically, up to 91% of children with disruptive mood disorder receiving DBT-C demonstrated marked improvement as compared to only 50% of children in standard treatment. Because Mrs. Furgala was trained in DBT-C during its development, the Upstate of South Carolina is one of the first places in the country to offer DBT for children.
After a family move in July of 2015 from the NY/CT area to Greenville, Mrs. Furgala took some time off to help her family adjust to their new surroundings. She joined Clarify Counseling in June 2016 with 10 years of experience working with children and families in the mental health world. She is extremely excited to share DBT-C with South Carolina families!
In addition to working extensively with DBT, in 2020, Mrs. Furgala was intensively trained in Exposure-Response Prevention (ERP) by The Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania. ERP is a treatment shown by research to effectively treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).