Take advantage of these free and confidential consultations.
Speaking with a “Let’s Talk” counselor can help provide insight, solutions, and information about other resources. No appointments are necessary. Appointments are first-come, first-served. Usually there is not much of a wait.
Spring Quarter 2013 Hours
Rockefeller Chapel, Uncommon Room
|Shena Young, M.A.|
I-House, Suite 291
|Mike Pietrus, PsyD|
|5710 S. Woodlawn, Room 301||
Patty Villarreal, M.A.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is “Let’s Talk?”
A. “Let’s Talk” is a program that provides easy access to informal and confidential consultations with counselors from the Student Counseling Service. There are two “Let’s Talk” sites (see below). There is no appointment or fee necessary. If you prefer, you do not have to give your name.
Q. What happens at a visit to “Let’s Talk?”
A. The counselor will listen closely to your concerns and provide support, perspective, and suggestions for resources.
Q. How is “Let’s Talk” different from psychotherapy at the Student Counseling Service (SCS)?
A. Therapists at SCS provide short-term therapy, which usually consists of weekly 45-50 minute appointments. “Let’s Talk” is not formal therapy: it is a drop-in service where students can have an informal consultation with a counselor from time to time.
Q. Who should visit “Let’s Talk?”
A. This service is open to all University of Chicago undergraduate and graduate students. “Let’s Talk” is the best fit for the following people:
- students who are not sure about therapy and wonder what it’s like to talk with a therapist;
- students who are not interested in therapy but would like the perspective of a counselor;
- students who have a specific problem and would like someone with whom to talk it through;
- students who have a concern about a friend and want some thoughts about what to do.
Q. I think I have a problem that would benefit from therapy, but I don’t know anything about it. Would going to “Let’s Talk” help me figure out what to do?
A. Absolutely. The counselor will talk through your issue with you and help you determine the best way to get help. The “Let’s Talk” counselor can help you set up an intake appointment at SCS if you decide that you would like to pursue on-going help.
Q. I am a non-student spouse of a University of Chicago student, and I am covered by the student life fee. Can I come to “Let’s Talk?”
A. Yes. The counselor will help you with your immediate concerns and assist you with referrals should you need ongoing support.
Q. I’m currently seeing a therapist at SCS, and I would like to talk to someone sooner than my next appointment. Can I go to “Let’s Talk?”
A. This is NOT a replacement for your therapy. If your next appointment is not soon enough, it’s best to contact your therapist.
Q. I’m currently seeing a therapist at SCS, and I’m not happy with how things are going. Can I go to “Let’s Talk” instead?
A. No. The best thing to do in this situation is to talk directly with your therapist. Therapists are eager to get your feedback, positive or negative. Oftentimes an open conversation about your concern helps smooth out any wrinkles. If, after talking with your therapist, you prefer to transfer to someone else, just ask your therapist directly.
Let’s Talk Staff Bios
Patty Villarreal is an extern in clinical psychology at Student Counseling Services. She is currently in her forth year at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCS) where her doctoral clinical research focuses on culturally congruent holistic healing and health psychology. Prior to working at SCS, Patty has trained at various community mental health organizations around the Chicagoland area. Patty’s clinical interests include, issues of social justice and multiculturalism, relational/interpersonal issues, and existential, systemic, and person centered theories.
Mike Pietrus is a Staff Psychologist at Student Counseling Services. He completed his post-doctoral fellowship and pre-doctoral internship at SCS as well. Mike was awarded his doctoral degree in psychology from the the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where his dissertation focused on exploring the lived experience of individuals who have been identified as intellectually gifted and diagnosed with a mood disorders. Prior to his current position at SCS, Mike trained at the MacNeal School and at the University of Illinois Hyperactivity Attention and Learning Problems (HALP) clinic as well as in private practice, community mental health, and hospital inpatient settings.
Shena Young is an extern in clinical psychology at Student Counseling Services. She is completing her fourth year of doctoral studies at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where her research focuses on including the body in healing from sexual trauma. Prior to working at SCS, Shena trained at the Women’s Center @ Northwestern University and community mental health settings. Her clinical interests are in trauma, women’s issues, group psychotherapy, international psychology, and work with ethnic communities. As a clinician she offers therapy from an existential-relational framework and is interested in incorporating yoga to support the healing process.
The Let’s Talk program at the University of Chicago is based in part on the Let’s Talk program at Cornell University. With permission, some of the material from this website has been duplicated from the Cornell University Let’s Talk Website. We would personally like to thank Matt Boone, LCSW and Sharon Mier, PsyD for their help in the development of our program.