How is Let's Talk different from counseling at the Counseling & Psychological Services on campus?
Counselors at the Counseling & Psychological Services (CPS) provide brief counseling, which usually consists of weekly 45 minute appointments. Let's Talk is not formal counseling. It is a drop-in consultation (usually around 15 minutes) where students can meet with an expert counseling consultant from time to time.
How can I arrange for a Let's Talk consultation?
Just stop by! Appointments are first come, first served. Usually there is not much of a wait.
What happens in a Let's Talk consultation?
The Let's Talk counseling consultant will carefully listen to your concern, will most likely ask you some brief questions, and will work to understand your goal for coming in. Once your problem and goal are clear and depending on your needs, the consultant will offer you suggestions and/or resources for addressing your concern. You are welcome to return to Let's Talk at another time, but that decision is up to you.
I think I have a problem that would benefit from counseling, but I don't know anything about it. Would going to Let's Talk help me figure out what to do?
Absolutely. The counseling consultant will talk through your issue with you and help you determine the best way to get help. The consultant can help you set up an intake appointment at CPS on campus if you decide that you would like to pursue ongoing counseling help.
I called CPS and spoke with a counselor. I was offered an appointment 10 business days from now. Can I stop by Let's Talk in the meantime?
If you believe you need to be seen sooner than the appointment you were given, it's best to call CPS directly and explain your situation.
I called CPS and spoke with a counselor. I was recommended a referral to a counselor in the city. Can I go to Let's Talk instead?
Since regular counseling visits are not available at Let's Talk, following up with the referral is a good idea. Unfortunately, CPS cannot provide ongoing counseling to every student who requests it.
I'm currently seeing a counselor at CPS, and I would like to talk to someone sooner than my next appointment. Can I go to Let's Talk?
If your next appointment is not soon enough, it's best to contact your counselor directly to see if she or he can see you sooner.
I'm currently seeing a counselor at CPS, and I'm not happy how things are going. Can I go to Let's Talk instead?
The best thing to do in this situation is to talk directly with your counselor. Counselors are eager to get your feedback, positive or negative. Often, an open conversation about your concern helps smooth out any wrinkles. If, after talking with your counselor, you prefer to transfer to someone else, just ask your counselor directly.
Are there any limits to the confidentiality of a Let's Talk consultation?
Conversations with Let's Talk counseling consultants are confidential, with a few rare exceptions. Consultants may need to share information in an emergency when there is an immediate threat of harm to yourself or others. Consultants are required by law to report when a minor, elderly person, or someone otherwise incapacitated and unable to act on his/her own behalf is being abused. We don't want anything to be a barrier to student residents accessing help. If you have further questions about confidentiality, we encourage you to discuss them with a Let's Talk consultant.
One final note . . .
Although Let's Talk consultants are also mental health professionals, Let's Talk is not a substitute for formal counseling or psychotherapy and does not constitute mental health treatment. Let's Talk is for consultation about a specific problem. Most student residents come to Let's Talk only once or twice. It is also a place where students are able to have questions answered about formal counseling. Your Let's Talk consultant can help you determine whether formal counseling would be useful for you.
The Let's Talk program at San Francisco State University is based in part on the Let's Talk programs at Cornell University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of California, Berkeley. With permission, some of the material describing this program has been duplicated from the Cornell University and the University of Notre Dame Let's Talk website. We would like to personally thank Matt Boone, LCSW, for his guidance in the development of our program.