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A unicorn’s philosophy in Counseling Today

“Our [counseling] center does not run like a practice. We are not a group of professionals coexisting while providing individual therapy,” said Dr. Monica Osburn, Executive Director of the Counseling Center at NC State, “Our center is woven into the fabric of the institution.”

In the August 2018 edition of Counseling Today magazine, Dr. Osburn highlights the Think and Do mission of NC State and the unique position both she and the counseling center hold within the university.

The interview-style article explored Dr. Osburn’s training as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and how it allows her to bring together both her skills as a counselor educator and as a clinician.

“I am a unicorn. I am the only LPC college counseling center director at a Research I institution,” said Dr. Osburn, “college counseling has historically been dominated by psychologists.”

The uniqueness of Dr. Osburn’s position will help NC State and universities across the nation buck an alarming trend: counseling center utilization increased by 30-40 percent, while enrollment only increased by 5 percent.

“This is staggering,” said Dr. Osburn, “when you consider [the number of] staff in college counseling centers, for the most part, remains the same.”

A Mission of Advocacy

From an Emmy-award winning video about suicide prevention to a larger “Stop the Stigma” campaign, Dr. Osburn used her interview with Counseling Today to launch a greater awareness for the importance of advocacy. For Dr. Osburn, these grassroots efforts are the key.

“Being in the college environment has taught me patience and a desire to never give up,” said Dr. Osburn, “Students deserve access to mental health services.”

Dr. Osburn commented on how just one crisis can derail a person’s future but, by providing mental health services, NC State’s Counseling Center is able to help them persist and continue to make a lasting impact in their field.

More about the NC State Counseling Center

Positioned within the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, the NC State Counseling Center works to create a campus culture that supports and connects us all by providing direct services to students, outreach and prevention, training new professionals in student mental health and much more.

Schedule an appointment or stop by to learn more. The center is located on the 2nd floor of the NC State Student Health Center – 2815 Cates Avenue at Dan Allen Drive.

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