By Lexie Broemmer
Molly Dunn-Steinke, director of Quincy University’s counseling center, has switched jobs.
Dunn-Steinke has been in the counseling field for 30 years. For the last 10 years, she has worked as a counselor at QU. She has also taught as an adjunct, something she started doing even before she became QU’s full-time counselor. Though she has decided to leave her position as a counselor to return to a position at Chaddock School, one that she held before she came to QU, Dunn-Steinke will continue to adjunct at QU.
Chaddock School provides residential treatment to children who have suffered from trauma, such as abuse or neglect. It also offers traditional residential care for those suffering from other emotional and behavioral issues. At Chaddock, Dunn-Steinke will focus her efforts on young children.
“I’m going back to the birth to 5-year-old population because the impact of prevention is so very important and allows less troubles as children develop,” she said. “Preparing children for kindergarten may seem like an easy task, but research tells us that social emotional development is not always instinctual.”
As a counselor, Dunn-Steinke has worked with a variety of students ranging from those who have a severe mental health issue to those who are homesick.
“College is so strange,” she said. “Where else do you live on a floor your freshman year with 20 some other people? You share a bathroom. You share a bedroom that is smaller than my office. We take all your supports away from you, and we say, ‘Oh, yeah, thrive,’ so, people come in for a variety of reasons. On a given day, I might have someone who’s bipolar or dealing with domestic violence or an unhealthy relationship or someone who’s depressed or anorexic or schizophrenic.”
Regardless of how small the issue may be, Dunn-Steinke urges students to reach out to her or, rather, the new counselor once he or she arrives on campus- if they are worrying about it.
“It comes down to, if it’s worrying you, if it’s upsetting you at all, if you’re losing sleep, if you’re not eating, if you’re not reacting like you normally would, if you’re spending more time than you would normally on this worry, then, yeah, come in,” she said. “We can problem solve. We can discuss. We can try to figure out answers.”
Whether at QU or Chaddock, Dunn-Steinke wants everyone to remember that life is neither clean nor easy.
“I think we have a misperception that life is easy, and I think mental health, so often, is letting people know they’re normal, that their normal is different than other people’s normal but that they’re normal and mental health is all about figuring out how your normal is going to function best for you,” she said.