Counseling and Testing

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What is Let's Talk?

Let's Talk is a program for UWL students that provides easy access to informal and confidential support and consultation with counselors from UWL Counseling and Testing Center (CTC). All students are welcome to use this program. There is no appointment or fee necessary. Students are seen on a first-come, first-served basis, and usually there is not much of a wait. Please check the CTC web page for updates on where and when Let's Talk  is being held. 

What happens at a visit to Let's Talk?

When you come to the site, look to see if the office door is open. If it is, please come on in. If the door is closed, use the sign-up sheet located in the binder at the front desk to reserve an upcoming time slot, and have a seat in a nearby chair or return at the indicated time.  You may need to wait a few minutes until the consultant opens the door. When the two of you meet, the consultant will listen closely to your concerns, possibly ask questions, and provide support, perspective, and suggestions for resources.

What should I do if the Let's Talk consultant is already meeting with someone?

If the consultant is already meeting with someone, the office door will be closed with a sign indicating that the office is occupied. In this case, use the sign-up sheet located in the binder at the front desk to reserve an upcoming time slot and please return at that time, or have a seat in a nearby chair and wait for the consultant to come out and greet you. The wait is usually not long.  When you reserve a time using the sign-up sheet, you can use your first name, initials, or a pseudonym (false name or nickname), whatever you are most comfortable with, and you may choose to leave your cell phone number so that the consultant can contact you if they become available earlier.  

What are common concerns that people bring up at Let's Talk?

Students come in with a variety of concerns; no topic is off limits. Common concerns often include: stress, relationships, academic performance, financial struggles, sadness, worry, and family problems. These are also questions and concerns that many students discuss at their first scheduled appointment at CTC (called a Triage appointment).

How is Let's Talk different from counseling at CTC?

Counselors at CTC provide ongoing counseling, which usually consists of regularly scheduled 45-50 minute counseling appointments. Let's Talk  is not formal counseling; it is a drop-in service where students can have an informal conversation with a consultant from time to time.

What is the difference between Let's Talk and the CTC Triage appointment?

Let's Talk is an informal drop-in service, to provide consultation and support in locations outside CTC. The CTC Triage takes place in our offices in 2106 Centennial Hall and is the first step toward linking students with ongoing counseling services. As such, part of the process of the Triage appointment is reviewing and signing formal paper work, as well as assessing symptoms and distress levels.

What is the difference between Let's Talk and Urgent Care at CTC?

Let's Talk is an informal drop-in service, to provide consultation and support in locations outside CTC.  Urgent Care takes part in the CTC offices, and is a service for students in crisis (for example, with serious concerns about their own safety or the safety of others, serious mental health symptoms, or recent traumatic experiences), needing immediate therapeutic support.  If a student presents to Let's Talk in crisis, the consultant will assist the student in receiving the necessary services. This might include walking the student to the CTC for an Urgent Care appointment, or accessing other emergency treatment. 

Who should visit Let's Talk?

Let's Talk is open to all UWL graduate and undergraduate students. Let's Talk is the best fit for the students who:

  • are not sure about counseling and wonder what it's like to talk with a counselor.
  • are not interested in ongoing counseling but would like the perspective of a counselor.
  • have a specific problem and would like someone with whom to talk it through.
  • have a concern about a friend and want some ideas about what to do.

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 consultant will help you talk through your issues and help you determine the best way to get help. If you feel comfortable coming to CTC, these would also be concerns you could bring to a counselor at a Triage appointment.

I was offered an appointment at UWL Counseling and Testing Center 14 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 CTC directly and explain your situation.

I went to CTC and spoke with a counselor. The counselor recommended a referral to a therapist in the La Crosse community. Can I come to Let's Talk instead?

Since regular counseling appointments are not available at Let's Talk , following up with the referral is a good idea. Unfortunately, CTC cannot provide ongoing counseling to every student who requests it.

I am currently seeing a therapist at CTC and would like to talk with someone sooner than my next appointment. Can I go to Let's Talk?

If your next appointment is not soon enough, it is best to contact CTC directly to see if you can be seen sooner.

I am currently seeing a therapist at CTC, and I'm not happy with the way things are going. Can I go to Let's Talk instead?

The best thing to do in your situation is to talk directly with your counselor or talk to receptionist or your counselor about a counselor change. Counselors are eager to get your feedback, positive or negative. Often, an open conversation about a concern helps smooth out any wrinkles and helps get things back on track.

What else do I need to know?

Although Let's Talk  consultants are professionals, it is not a substitute for psychotherapy or formal counseling and doesn't constitute mental health treatment. Let's Talk consultants provide informal consultations to help students with specific problems and to introduce them to what it's like to speak with a counselor. Your Let's Talk  consultant can help you determine whether formal counseling at CTC would be useful to you and, if appropriate, assist you in getting connected at CTC.

Let's Talk visits are confidential. Are there any limits to confidentiality?

Conversations with Let's Talk  consultants are confidential, with a few rare exceptions. Counselors may need to share information in an emergency when there is an immediate threat of harm to self or others. By law, counselors are mandated reports of child abuse.  This means if you are under the age of 18 and report being abused, your consultant is legally required to notify proper authorities. If you are over 18 and report direct knowledge of abuse to a minor or vulnerable population, your consultant may need to report such abuse to authorities. Let's Talk  consultants keep brief written notes of their contacts with students, which are kept separate from a student's official medical record.  In the event that there is an emergency or a student is referred to CTC, other CTC staff may see these notes. Finally, these notes can be released in the unlikely event of a court order. Information is also collected about attendance, so that we can keep track of the students we are serving and those we need to continue serving. Students have the option of maintaining their anonymity by not disclosing their name. 

We don't want anything to be a barrier to students accessing help. If you have further questions about confidentiality, we encourage you to discuss them with a Let's Talk consultant.


We appreciate the effort and consideration of our colleagues in the Office of Multicultural Student Services, who have partnered with us to bring this program to UWL. 

The above information was adapted with permission from Cornell University and UW-Eau Claire.  Their dedicated efforts to provide innovative services to students and willingness to share these resources with other universities are deeply appreciated.

Updated 09/29/2014