Human services major will give Edge to student who wants to work in crisis counseling

This is a picture of Elivia Edge, a human services major at QU.

Elivia Edge is a human services major at Quincy University. She hopes to find a career in crisis counseling.

What made you initially decide to be a Human Services major?

So, I started as a psych major, and that’s what I transferred in as. But then I was looking through course catalogs for Quincy, and I found human services, and I thought maybe. But I wasn’t sure until I talked to my advisor. When I mentioned that I really wanted to do counseling or something like that, he pointed me in the direction of Professor Rick Buckwalter. He explained what it means to be in human services and I’m like, yeah, I wanna do that. This is more attuned to counseling and social work, which is what I wanted to do with my psych degree. So I switched that day.

What careers are available? Which ones stand out the most to you?

The list is so long. But there’s one – disaster relief worker. So, to my understanding ,and what I read in my textbook, you travel to places that experience natural disasters or things like terrorist attacks, and you would help relief efforts, especially with the Red Cross and groups like that, to help those who are victims of these attacks. Along with that, you could be a crisis intervention counselor. You would be debriefing people, and talking about their experiences, who were directly impacted. You could be a licensed clinical social worker, so that’s pretty much a counselor. You could do what the people on campus do, you could be an education counselor. I’ve thought about maybe doing that because there’s a master’s here for that. I’ve also thought about being an AODA counselor.

And what’s that?

Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, a counselor for that, for them. Because there’s an extremely high demand for that, especially back home. There were none for that back home, only in the capital (in Wisconsin). So those are the ones that really stand out to me right now. But honestly it changes month by month.

What did you find surprising about the classes?

I did not realize that I would take a career counseling class, at all. I’m in that class right now with Professor Molly Dunn-Steinke. I never thought I’d have to take a class like that, it never occurred to me. But it’s actually more interesting than I thought, because we’re going to be in a career for the rest of our lives, so of course we’re going to need to know about that. That did not occur to me.

What’s the worst part of the major?

The classes are difficult. The one I’m in right now, psychopathology, we’re learning about all the abnormal psych disorders, and we have to keep them all organized, but they are many. We’re in the DSM-5 right now, but it keeps changing with each edition, and we need to learn about those new rules or changes that come with them. I guess it’s really difficult to understand all the symptoms that go with each, and there’s a lot of crossover as well. It is interesting, but difficult.

What do you like best about the major?

Well, I like that this major covers a lot of ground. Of course you’re going to be doing counseling techniques, but you get to choose case management or the psychology of human sexuality. We talk about family in group counseling techniques, so we learn about not only one-on-one but also people from several different walks of life, because there’s also gerontology, and I like that. We’ll be able to help many people.

What do you think draws most people into the major?

We actually talked about this in career class yesterday. Professor Dun-Steinke said a lot of people are drawn to this major because they can relate to what people go through. And also people who, all they want to do is help everyone else. I was drawn to it because I really want to help people, especially those who are picking their battles with themselves.

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