Drop-In Talkin' FAQ

Drop-in Talkin’ provides students with easy access to informal, confidential, and free consultations with clinicians (counselors) from the MHC Counseling Service. There is no appointment necessary.

When and Where are Drop-in Talkin’ hours?

Wednesdays from 6-8 PM and Fridays from 2-4 PM in Blanchard 216.

What happens at a visit?

Appointments are first-come, first-served. Usually there is not much of a wait. The counselor will listen closely to your concerns and provide support, perspective, and suggestions for resources.

How is Drop-in Talkin’ different from the Counseling Service?

Clinicians at the Counseling Service provide ongoing, individual, couple’s or family therapy using a brief therapy model. These meetings usually consist of weekly or bi-weekly 50 minute appointments. Drop-in Talkin’ is not formal therapy. It is a drop-in service where students can have informal consultation with a clinician from time to time.

Who should use Drop-in Talkin’ Consultation?

The service is open to all enrolled Mount Holyoke undergraduate and graduate students. Drop-in Talkin’ is a good fit for 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 to talk it through with someone
  • have a concern about a friend and want some thoughts about what to do

 What is the difference between Drop-in Talkin’ and Urgent Care at MHC?

Drop-in Talkin’ is an informal drop-in service to provide support at a satellite location in Blanchard. Urgent Care takes place in the Counseling Service offices at the Pattie Groves Health Center and is a service for students in acute crisis who need immediate therapeutic support. For example, students who express serious concerns about their own safety or the safety of others, students with severe psychiatric symptoms, or student who have experienced recent trauma are more appropriately seen for urgent care appointments. If a student presents to Drop-in Talkin’ in crisis, the counselor will assist the student in receiving the necessary services. This might include walking the student to the health center to meet with an urgent care clinician or accessing other emergency treatment.

I think I have a problem that would benefit from counseling, but I don’t know anything about counseling. Would going to Drop-in Talkin’ help me figure out what to do?

Absolutely. The counselor will talk through your issue with you and help you determine the best way to get help. If you feel comfortable with the counselor, it’s sometimes possible to meet with him or her at the Counseling Service in an ongoing way.

I called the Counseling Service for an initial appointment which was scheduled 10 days business days from now. Can I stop by Drop-in Talkin’ in the meantime?

If you would like to consult with a counselor about a non-clinical, non-urgent issue, you are welcome to stop by the Drop-in Talkin’ hours. If you believe that you need to be seen sooner than the appointment you were given, it’s best to contact the Counseling Service at: 413-538-2037 to request to speak with the urgent care clinician to explain your situation.

I called the Counseling Service and spoke with a clinician. She recommended a referral to a therapist off campus. Can I go to Drop-in Talkin’ instead?

Since routine clinical appointments are not available at Drop-in Talkin,’ following up with the referral is the best idea. Unfortunately, the Counseling Service cannot provide ongoing, long-term therapy to students.

Are Drop-in Talkin’ meetings confidential? Are there any limits to confidentiality?

Conversations with Drop-in Talkin’ counselors are confidential. However, one exception is that counselors may need to share information in a situation in which safety for you or others is a concern. Drop-in Talkin’ counselors keep brief written notes of their contacts with students only in the event that there is an emergency, or when a student is referred to the Counseling Service for treatment. In these situations, other Counseling Service clinicians may see these notes. 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. Drop-in Talkin’ visits are never reported on a student's official university record. We do not 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 Drop-in Talkin’ counselor.

What else do I need to know?

Although Drop-in Talkin’ counselors are licensed clinical professionals, Drop-in Talkin’ is not a substitute for psychotherapy or formal counseling and does not constitute mental health treatment. Drop-in Talkin’ counselors provide informal consultations to help students with specific problems and to introduce them to what it’s like to speak with a counselor. Your Drop-in Talkin’ counselor can help you determine whether formal therapy at the Counseling Service would be useful to you and, if appropriate, assist you in scheduling an appointment.

FAQ information was adapted with permission from Cornell University. Their dedicated efforts to provide innovative services to students and willingness to share these resources with other colleges and universities are deeply appreciated.