Monica Zozone Osburn, PhD, LCMHCS

Monica Zozone Osburn, PhD, LCMHCS

Executive Director of the Counseling Center and Prevention Services

North Carolina State University

Member Since 1994

ACA is a community of diverse, vibrant counselors and educators who are changing lives and the world at large. As a university counselor, Monica Osburn encourages students to view counseling as something more than a service for people in crisis.  

What is the biggest challenge facing the mental health field today?  

The biggest challenge facing the mental health field is telehealth. I believe the COVID pandemic opened up a great opportunity for access to mental health services through telehealth but with it also came some challenges. Our field and how clients access our services are changing. Telehealth has made counseling more accessible nationally which requires us to have a strong counseling compact to practice in different states to meet the rising demand. Additionally, there are many telehealth companies that are driving the standards of counseling practice. This needs to be driven by ACA and our ethics, not for profit companies.  

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about counseling?  

The biggest misconceptions about counseling is that there needs to be something wrong to go to counseling. Often times, particularly in the college student population, students wait until they are in crisis to get help. Here at NC State University, we work hard to educate students about resources and coping skills they may need before they need them.  

What do you do to take care of yourself and rejuvenate?   

Self-care needs to be a priority as a counselor. I don’t think one outlet is enough to continue to do this work for as long as I have (almost 30 years). But the main thing is to take your own counseling suggestions—go for a walk, practice meditation, find a hobby. I love to play with my dog, bake cookies and bring them into the counseling center so I don’t eat them all, go to music bingo with my family—anything that lifts up my soul.  

What outside of counseling brings you joy? Tell us about your hobbies or outside interests.  

So much brings me joy—cooking, watching baseball, being with family, taking photographs are all things that come to mind. Also, it’s important to find joy in the little things—watching snow fall, leaves blow, a child smile. Make everyday things an intentional moment to experience joy.  

If you’d like to share how ACA membership or participation has helped you along your career journey, please do!  

I have been a member of ACA since the early 90s while in grad school. ACA has been instrumental in being a professional home. ACA provided a place for me to develop as a counselor, learn about job opportunities, and grow as a leader. Attending the annual ACA Conference provides a place to connect with other professionals. It’s not just the continuing education, although that is an amazing benefit. If you are interested in learning other career options or avenues to diversify your experience, ACA is the place to do that.