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Barbara Ferri, LCSW

Clinical Therapist - Adolescent Girls Group

Barbara is a licensed clinical social worker who believes that all people deserve to feel happy and have the capacity to improve their lives. In 2012, Barbara graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with a master's degree in social welfare. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in human development, which helped her understand people as whole individuals with many different parts and influences in their lives. Barbara is committed to providing culturally competent and inclusive therapy and has taken specialized coursework to build this skill set. People from all different cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, religions, and ages will find that Barbara is open and supportive.

Barbara specializes in early attachment trauma, sexual abuse, emotional dysregulation, anxiety, and depression. Any one of these conditions can impact the entire family, and she believes in working with the whole family system to heal and create lasting change. She pulls from cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and she is trained in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy which has been clinically proven to aid in the recovery of individuals who have suffered from trauma. Her approach is relational and she finds it important to build rapport and trust with each of her clients. She does this through humor, authenticity, and showing loving kindness toward her clients.

For many years, Barbara has worked with adolescents and transitional age youth who were in foster care, adopted, and struggling to find healthy attachments in their lives. Many of these young people also suffered from addictions and mental health challenges. Barbara discovered that she finds it gratifying to support teens and their families in breaking harmful cycles and reconnecting. Witnessing people persevere from the most difficult life circumstances inspires and energizes Barbara. Her goal is to create reparative experiences for her clients by consistently being present, validating their life experiences, and offering tools to help them improve their mental health. Her therapy perspective is holistic, and she encourages people to have healthy lifestyle habits like effective communication skills, nourishing foods, mind-calming activities, and creating vulnerability and connection in relationships. Barbara is able to build trust and connection with her non-judgmental and supportive approach. She has a strong desire and passion to support youth in discovering the healing properties of nature while recovering from co-occurring disorders. She aims to provide an emotionally safe space for families, trauma informed care, and affirming treatment to those who have felt like outliers in society.

Barbara did not grow up knowing the healing properties of nature, as she grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she discovered that the wilderness is medicine. Her personal experience of healing childhood wounds with mental health therapy, lifestyle changes, and embracing the great outdoors is what lead her to join the Open Sky team. During her free time, Barbara enjoys sharing outdoor activities with her close friends. She also loves to be immersed in different cultures by traveling abroad. Her favorite activities include cycling, hiking, reading, playing her ukulele, and singing.

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About Open Sky

Since 2006, Open Sky Wilderness Therapy has been providing the premier family-centered wilderness therapy experience. The Open Sky approach transcends traditional wilderness therapy by emphasizing treatment for the whole family not just the adolescent or young adult, and the application of evidence-based clinical modalities with innovative, well-researched holistic healing practices such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness.