From Student to Counselor

Christie Birchall ‘19 chose Widener for its support system. Then, she learned the skills to provide that same support to others.

Psychology major Christie Birchall leads group
Psychology major Christie Birchall (center) and Professor Lori Simons (left) lead a group discussion.
Christie Birchall
Class of 2019
Psychology Major
  • College of Arts and Sciences
Career Plan: Outpatient Counselor

Christie Birchall ‘19 wants to be a counselor who helps people work on their own self-growth. That aspiration came from the life-changing internships, faculty support, and second family she’s found at Widener.

From the moment she stepped on campus, Christie knew Widener’s psychology department would be the supportive atmosphere she needed to be successful. The faculty didn’t just teach; they helped her secure three internships, encouraged her to start a mental health awareness club, and inspired her to add a criminal justice minor.

Widener helped me realize my track. The faculty in the psychology department provide a safety net and make it their job to find you a place in the field. - Christie Birchall '19

Network Ties

Early on, Christie took a career development seminar designed to connect her with local practitioners. Led by Professor Lori Simons, the practitioners shared practicum and internship opportunities and offered insight into various career possibilities.

Real-World Experience

This led Christie to a practicum at the inpatient addiction treatment center The Livengrin Foundation and an internship at the substance abuse treatment clinic SOAR Corp. Recovery. Each experience helped her develop her own group and individual counseling style.

Exploring Tracks

With a budding interest in corrections counseling and a criminal justice minor, Christie pursued another internship in a prison recovery education program and was asked by one of her professors to lead psychoeducational workshops in the State Correctional Institution at Chester.

Campus Family

Christie also flourished on campus, as she found ways to support her peers. She led campus tours for future students, co-created the Active Minds mental health awareness club, and made life-long friends in the Tri Sigma Sorority.

Degree Advantage

After graduation, Christie plans to pursue a master’s degree in clinical counseling. She’s confident her Widener degree – reinforced by field experience, industry ties, and faculty mentorship – will lead her future career.

Career Plan: Outpatient Counselor

You May Also Like

A graduate physical therapy student works with a client

Caring For Our Community

Haily Vaka
Class of 2021

"My time in the clinic has put me on the inside track to succeed as a socially and clinically competent physical therapist."

Markevis Gideon and business partners in front of Widener sign

Diving into Entrepreneurship

Markevis Gideon
Class of 2010

"Widener has exposed me to opportunities that forever shaped my life. Now, as a well-traveled entrepreneur with a young but growing business, I am excited to see how Widener University is still preparing graduates toward a path of excellence."

Taylor Kohnow at her robotics co-op

Designed to Innovate

Taylor Kohnow
Class of 2022

"I love all aspects of robotics and I’m learning a lot about what I want to do in my career from this experience."