Welcome to Dawn Hale Counseling

substance abuse treatment hunterdon county new jerseyIf you are reading this then a part of you has already decided that now is the time for change.

  • Are you in a life TRANSITION?
  • Would you like more SUCCESS and less stress?
  • Are you looking for more MEANING, JOY and HAPPINESS?
  • Then you’ve come to the right place!

If you are looking to make positive changes in your life, to find true HAPPINESS and success then I can help. With  20 years experience as a  counselor and coach, I am a caring professional who will work with you to create your best possible life.  Together we will discover your life’s purpose and the steps you need to take to get there and achieve real happiness. Similar to a car’s GPS, I help you navigate as I guide you on your journey, redirecting you when needed, but you are ultimately the driver in charge. I can also help with Alcohol Treatment, Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Counseling!

My true happiness comes from inspiring the strengths in others.


Call me today @ 908-256-4976 or click here to email me.


How Coaching Works

Would you rather be kind or right?

Growing up, I felt that my intellect was valued and that it was always better to be right, to have the correct “answer” and to be seen as “smart”. In fact, the idea of being wrong was anathema to me! The older I got the more I realized that being right all the time didn’t necessarily make me happy and often made me annoying! (Think, Spin Doctors’ song “Little Miss Can’t be Wrong”).

One day I heard someone say, “I’d rather be kind than right” and I felt as if I had been knocked on the head. I thought to myself, “I have a choice in the matter?!” The idea that I didn’t always have to be right and that I could consciously choose to keep my mouth shut and not share my “wisdom” was at first shocking but it eventually gave me a sense of relief. I no longer felt compelled to “correct” others, to make myself understood and to be proven right.

Of course, the concept of being kind versus being right is still not my knee jerk reaction in most situations. But when I allow myself to pause, to take a breath and to reflect on whether others are better served by my “correct information” or by kindness, most often kindness wins.

When I can ask my ego to take a back seat, when I can leave people unchallenged in their own personal beliefs, not only are they happier, but I gain a sense of serenity. This is not to say that I stand by when in the presence of bigotry or prejudice, I can not and do not. But when the issue is small (as most issues are) I think my serenity is more valuable to me and to others. Then, I let go, I don’t have to be right, I take a deep breath and I choose kindness.



Sometimes we become paralyzed by fear. If we look at fear as False Evidence Appearing Real we are often able to see that what we are afraid of may not even be real to begin with knowing that we can often move on and face the task ahead.


Increase Happiness with an Attitude of Gratitude

2010-05-19-gratitudepicCan practicing an attitude of gratitude actually contribute to a happier state of mind?  The answer appears to be  a resounding “yes”!   Science is providing the evidence that a practice of gratitude can shape our consciousness towards greater happiness.  Perhaps growing up you were told to, “Count your blessings”.  New studies show that this simple  act can improve one’s quality of life.

One suggestion for making gratitude work to increase a positive mental state of being is to keep a simple gratitude  list or journal.  Every evening before going to sleep write down three things you are grateful for.  Easy enough!  The challenge is that you should try not to repeat things on your list.  Each evening, come up with three new items to add.  Perhaps you might include simple things like getting a smile from a child or finding the perfect parking space.  You will also have life’s larger gifts for which to be grateful.  Why it give it a try?!

You could also choose to write a letter to someone in your life for whom you are very grateful.  Watch the video here of some people who did just that.  Their efforts to express appreciation had a positive impact on both the person who was appreciated and on the person who was grateful.

Alcohol Abuse, Drinking and Driving, Alcohol Abuse


It seems that when people are sober they know that they should not drink  and drive.   However, once a person has consumed alcohol their perceptions of their driving abilities are not longer realistic.  In order to best understand this, studies need to be made of people who are already under the influence.    Fortunately, scientists have now begun to study this issue.  Their findings suggest that it’s not enough for people to be aware of the risks of drinking and driving or even to understand exactly how much alcohol it takes for them to be an unsafe driver; they also need to understand it while they’re drunk. Drivers need to know they can’t trust their belief in their own driving ability while they’re under the influence.  For more information on this study click on the link below.



Check Out My Coach’s Terrific Book on Happiness



My Coach, Lynda Wallace, is the author of a number one Best Seller in Self-Help on Amazon.  I highly recommend her insightful, enjoyable and helpful read, A SHORT COURSE IN HAPPINESS, PRACTICAL STEPS TO A HAPPIER LIFE.

For more information about Lynda’s book click here.

Alcohol and Sexual Abuse in College

college drinking 1Alcohol use among college kids seems to be part of the college experience.  What is frightening however, are the statistics that concern alcohol consumption and sex abuse on college campuses.  Following are some sobering statistics as gathered  by Robin Hattersley Gray.

  • Between 20% and 25% of women will experience a completed and/or attempted rape during their college career (1
  • More than half of raped college women tell no one of their victimization (1)
  • 80% of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 30 (1)
  • 44% of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 18 (1)
  • Persons with a disability had an age-adjusted rate of rape or sexual assault that was more than twice the rate for persons without a disability (1)
  • Juveniles (youth ages 17 and under) account for almost 90% of male victims in every type of sex crime (1)
  • 99% of people who rape are men (1)
  • In 1 in 3 sexual assaults, the perpetrator was intoxicated (1)
  • Only about 2% of all sexual assault accusations reported to police turn out to be false. This is the same rate of false reporting as other types of violent crimes. (1)
  • Victims were on a date with the perpetrator in 12.8% of completed rapes and 35% of attempted rapes (2)
  • 43% of the sexual victimization incidents involve alcohol consumption by victims and 69% involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrators (2)
  • Approximately 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner (3)
  • College freshmen and sophomore women appear to be at greater risk of being victims of sexual assault than are upperclassmen. 84% of the women who reported sexually coercive experiences experienced the incident during their first four semesters on campus. (4)
  • Students living in sorority houses and on-campus dormitories are 3 times and 1.4 times (respectively) more likely to be raped than students living off-campus (5)
  • 38% of college-aged women who have been sexually victimized while in college had first been victims prior to entering college, making past victimization the best predictor of future victimization (6)
  • At least 50% of college student sexual assaults are associated with alcohol use (7)
  • Fraternity men have been identified as being more likely to perpetrate sexual assault or sexual aggression than nonfraternity men (8)
  • College men who participated in aggressive sports (including football, basketball, wrestling and soccer) in high school used more sexual coercion (along with physical and psychological aggression) in their college dating relationships than men who had not. This group also scored higher on attitudinal measures thought to be associated with sexual coercion, such as sexism, acceptance of violence, hostility toward women and rape myth acceptance. (9)
  • 90% of acquaintance rapes involve alcohol (10)
  • 30% of the college women who said they had been raped contemplated suicide after the incident (11)

  (1) U.S. Department of Justice
(2) National College Women Sexual Victimization
(3) Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Abuse, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy and Suicidality
(4) An Examination of Sexual Violence Against College Women
(5) Correlates of Rape While Intoxicated in a National Sample of College Women
(6) Our Vulnerable Teenagers: Their Victimization, Its Consequences, and Direction for Prevention and Intervention
(7) High Risk Drinking in College: What We Know and What We Need to Learn
(8) Coercive Sexual Strategies
(9) Dating Aggression, Sexual Coercion, and Aggression-Supporting Attitudes Among College Men as a Function of Participation in Aggressive High School Sports
(10) National Collegiate Date and Acquaintance Rape Statistics
(11) Warshaw, Robin, 1994

You may consider forwarding this article to those college students you know and love.