Alumna Julie Lineburgh ’06 has recently been welcomed back to the Antioch College campus with open arms, as she has accepted the position of mental health counselor within the Office of Community Life. She is thrilled to be back at Antioch, helping the more than 200 students expected on campus this fall.
Since graduating from Antioch in 2006, Lineburgh earned her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and is now ABD for her Ph.D. She is overjoyed as she begins this journey back at her alma mater. She says she is looking forward to starting this new chapter in her life and to serve a new generation of Antioch students.
The Independent was able to sit down with Lineburgh this week to talk about her goals, her life at Antioch, and her work with new Antioch students.
Tell us about your position and your current work:
My position is a clinical consultant for counseling services on campus. In my current work I provide mental health and career counseling to students. These services include individual, group, and couples counseling around a variety of issues from adjusting to college, homesickness, making friends to depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. I also provide outreach services to classes and groups on campus. I am looking forward to implementing various educational, social, and wellness activities for students and the entire campus this school year.
You’re very passionate about your work. Why does it mean so much to you?
I find meaning in my work as a mental health counselor on a college campus in a variety of ways. First, I view counseling as a profession that is in the business of change. As counselors, we help people to find meaning in their experiences and identities and assist them in making important changes in life. One of my favorite aspects of being a mental health counselor is to watch my clients grow. I get a lot of professional and personal satisfaction in being a part of that change. Second, I feel that I have found my niche with counseling the college student population. There are many avenues one can take in the mental health profession and so it is important to find your “people”, as we sometimes call a group of clients we particularly enjoy counseling. I enjoy the variety of developmental and clinical concerns that students bring. College can be an exciting and challenging time as students figure out who they are and how they find meaning and purpose in their lives. It’s fascinating for me to be a witness to that transformation. Working with other student affairs professionals and faculty helps me to be a part of a culture of support.
What (career-wise) are you most proud of?
I am proud of getting to the point in my education where I am a doctoral candidate. This means that I have completed my doctoral studies up to writing my dissertation. I am also proud of the work I did during my clinical internship at Hiram College. This was my first position in college counseling and so I wanted to see if it was something I could do and enjoy. Throughout that year I created collaborative relationships with faculty and other staff, made various presentations, and met with lots of students. I am proud that I was able to make a positive impact in the individual lives of the students and the campus as a whole.
What did you study when you were at Antioch?
My major was Self, Society, and Culture, which is a liberal arts way of putting the social sciences of psychology, sociology, and anthropology together.
How did your time at Antioch influence your work?
My time at Antioch influenced my professional and personal life in a lot of ways. Professionally, I gained experience in the mental health field and working with various populations while on co-op. I had one co-op that was in a residential treatment facility for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders. During that co-op I worked with different mental health professionals to gain a broad understanding of treatment in a residential facility. The counselors on my unit also let me assist with running group therapy sessions, which boosted my confidence when the group activities I planned went well. Going on co-op and living on my own also taught me how to be self-sufficient and to advocate for myself. When I was studying on campus, I learned how to think critically about personal identities and societal oppression. In turn, I also learned how to write well from having to churn out paper after paper. Both of these skills have been invaluable to my development as a person and a professional.
Any professors that were particularly influential to either your work or life?
I had several professors who were influential to my learning. Some of my most memorable moments were in the classroom. Professors from my major who were influential were Erin Davis, Christine Smith, Kelly Callahan, and Liz England-Kennedy. Erin Davis gave us creative projects to work on that helped me to understand the impact of poverty on a sociological level. Christine Smith opened my mind to an array of psychological concepts that were the foundation of my training as a mental health professional. Kelly Callahan was an adjunct professor who also worked in the mental health field. I took abnormal psychology with her and loved her stories of working with clients who had various disorders. Liz England-Kennedy taught me about different cultures and what it means to study them from the outside in an anthropology class called ethnographic classics. Overall, I remember feeling supported and encouraged by these faculty members, which helped me to take risks and grow as a learner. Other faculty members who were influential were Pat Linn, Scott Warren, and Jean Gregorek. One summer I took a child development course with Pat Linn where we spent half of our time volunteering in a Head Start classroom. This was a great experience because it allowed us to interact with the children and see their development up close. The existential philosophy class I took with Scott Warren proved to be useful when I was studying existential therapy for my comprehensive exams. The 19th century British novel class I took with Jean Gregorek helped me to read texts critically and to understand the historical and social context of literary works.
What would you say to current Antioch students who are interested in a similar profession?
Working in the mental health field has its challenges, but it is also a very rewarding profession. There are many different ways to help people. The desire to help is often cited as the primary reason for why people want to enter the mental health profession. If you don’t derive some meaning and purpose from this kind of work, or any kind or work, you will become burnt out. I would suggest to students to think about how helping people gives them meaning and purpose. One last thing is to be prepared to continue your education since mental health practitioners are required to have at least a masters degree, plus licensure to practice.
What about your personal life? Kids? Relationships? Travel?
I enjoy spending time with friends, family, and my partner. Things I like to do are: hiking, cooking/baking, watching movies and television shows on Netflix, reading books, going to museums, and traveling. While at Antioch I did quite a bit of traveling with co-ops and a study abroad program, but now most of the traveling I do is for conferences. I am also a lifelong UU (Unitarian Universalist) and was pretty active in the church up in Kent, Ohio. I taught Sunday school, served on the board, and was a Coming of Age facilitator twice. Nurturing and practicing my spiritual development is something that’s important to me. Being a UU helps me to live my life with intention, meaning, and purpose.
What does the future hold for you? Tell us about your next project?
Right now my biggest project is my finishing my Ph.D. Once that’s done I have a whole host of things I want to learn and do. I’d like to do more traveling that isn’t work related. I want to get back into music. In high school I was very involved in two choirs, but haven’t done much singing since then. I’d like to learn another language. I think the key to life is to stay curious about the world.
For the counseling center at Antioch, I have several projects I would like to implement over the coming year to explore wellness topics such as gratitude, practicing happiness, and random acts of kindness. My overall goal is to create a culture of wellness and to reduce the stigma around counseling and mental health disorders. It’s not uncommon for students to have feelings of anxiety, depression, homesickness, and difficulties in their relationships, among other concerns. Counseling is a space where students can come and talk about their concerns openly with someone who is caring and non-judgmental. Overall, I am looking forward to meeting and working with the students, staff, and faculty to create a culture of wellness at Antioch College.