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.
- College of Arts & Sciences
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.