Therapists at the University Counseling Center provide short-term therapy, which usually consists of 45 minute, virtual appointments via Zoom. (During Fall 2020, all counseling appointments are virtual, click here for more information.) Let’s Talk is not formal therapy; it’s a drop-in service outside of the University Counseling Center where students can have a brief, informal consultation with a counselor from time to time. No appointment or paperwork is necessary.
The Let’s Talk consultant will carefully listen to your concern, will most likely ask you some brief questions, and will work to understand your goal for coming to Let’s Talk. Once your problem and goal are clear, depending on your needs, the consultant will offer you support, perspective, and suggestions for addressing the concern. You are welcome to return to Let’s Talk at another time, but this decision is up to you.
Let’s Talk is open to all current undergraduate and graduate students at JCU. However, Let’s Talk is best suited for the following people:
- Students who are not sure about counseling and are trying to figure out what it’s like to talk with a counselor;
- Students who are not interested in on-going counseling but would like the perspective of a counselor;
- Students who have a specific problem and would like someone with whom they could talk;
- Students who have a concern about a friend and would like some perspective on what to do.
Conversations with Let’s Talk 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 to 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 students accessing help. If you have further questions about confidentiality, we encourage you to discuss them with a Let’s Talk consultant.
Although Let’s Talk consultants are also mental health professionals, Let’s Talk is not a substitute for psychotherapy or formal counseling and does not constitute mental health treatment. Let’s Talk is for consultation about a specific problem. Most students come to Let’s Talk only once or twice. It’s 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.
If you have any questions about Let’s Talk, please contact the coordinator, Mark Onusko, at email@example.com or 216-397-4283.
Mark Onusko, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist and the director of JCU’s Counseling Center. He completed his doctorate in clinical psychology at Adler University in Chicago which focuses on social justice and mental health. He has worked in a number of settings including community mental health centers, hospitals, a halfway house for recently incarcerated individuals, high schools and university counseling centers. His university counseling experiences include Northwestern University, University of Pittsburgh and University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Some of his professional interests include treatment of anxiety and depression, adjustment to college, identity development, LGBTQ+ issues, multicultural issues and working with international students.
Alia Lawlor, LPPC-S, CCMC completed her psychology degree at Kent State University and her Master’s in Counseling at Cleveland State, and is a licensed supervisor for Master’s level counseling interns. Alia has worked with college students of all ages at different universities for more than 10 years. In addition to college counseling settings, her work settings include private practice, corporate settings, and owning her own businesses developing webinars, training programs and other educational outreach programs. Alia’s experience is in, but not limited to, anxiety, depression, diversity issues & international students, sexual & emotional abuse, LGBTQ+ issues, women’s issues, athletic performance, couple’s counseling, existential concerns, meditation, and mindfulness
Amanda Groves, CT, is an intern at the JCU Counseling Center, studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Amanda earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Bowling Green State University and a Master's degree in Higher Education from Baldwin Wallace University. She has worked for various colleges and universities across the United States supporting student's diverse needs. Responding to crisis and emergency situations on college campuses has taught her how to provide compassionate care to those she works with.
JCU’s Counseling Center is deeply indebted to the counselors at Cornell University’s counseling center who pioneered and modeled Let’s Talk and made it such a successful service at Cornell. Their staff were generous and inspirational in sharing the concept and name of Let’s Talk with JCU’s Counseling Center.