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Tele Talk FAQs

WHAT IS Tele TALK?

Tele Talk is NU’s virtual Let’s Talk program. It provides NU students easy access to informal and confidential support and consultation with counselors at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). All NU students are welcome to utilize Tele Talk and there is no fee for the service. Students must sign up on-line to schedule their Tele Talk appointment.

What Happens at a Tele Talk Visit?

You will speak one-on-one with a CAPS counselor (via Zoom) who will listen closely to your concerns, provide support, perspective, and suggestions for resources. The meeting is confidential and will last approximately 20 minutes.

What are Common Concerns the People Bring up at Tele Talk?

Students come in with a variety of concerns; no topic is off limits. Some common concerns students talk about include:
  • stress
  • sadness
  • worry/anxiety
  • adjustment/culture shock
  • cultural or racial barriers
  • challenges related to the pandemic and other current events
  • building friendships, community; increased sense of belonging
  • homesickness
  • performance (e.g., academic, athletic, artistic)
  • difficulty concentrating or paying attention
  • family problems
  • financial struggles
  • sleep difficulties
  • romantic relationship
  • sexual orientation/gender identity

How do I schedule a Tele Talk Consultation Appointment?

Tele Talk is exclusively virtual. You can register for a confidential meeting by clicking one of the below links. Evanston Campus students please use the Evanston link and Chicago Campus students please use the Chicago link. Meetings may be scheduled up to 24 hours in advance.

How do I access my Tele Talk Meeting?

To access your Tele Talk meeting log in to Zoom a couple minutes prior to the start of the meeting using the link you received in the confirmation email. You will be placed in the virtual waiting room and the facilitator will let you into the meeting promptly at the start of the session

What should I do if I cannot log in to the Tele Talk Meeting?

Call CAPS at 847-491-2151 for assistance.

How do I prepare for the meeting?

Please make sure that you are in a private space with a reliable internet connection. You may use headphones to ensure greater privacy. To reduce distraction please put your phone on silent and deactivate sound notifications on your computer and/or smart phone.

How is Tele Talk different from counseling at CAPS?

Counselors at CAPS provide ongoing counseling, which usually consists of weekly or bi-weekly 50 minute appointments. Tele Talk is not formal counseling; it is a drop-in service where students can have a brief, informal consultation with CAPS counselor on specific topic.  Tele Talk may result in referral to help you start ongoing counseling services.  

Who should visit Tele Talk?

Tele Talk is open to all Northwestern graduate and undergraduate students. Tele Talk is the best fit for the following people:

  • Students who are not sure about counseling and wonder what it’s like to talk with a counselor.
  • Students who are not interested in ongoing counseling 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/family member 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 Tele Talk help me figure out what to do?

Absolutely. The counselor consultant will help you talk through your issues and help you determine the best way to get help. If you feel comfortable with the counselor consultant, it is sometimes possible to meet with him or her at CAPS in an on-going way.

I am on the waitlist at CAPS and would like to see someone sooner. Can I schedule a Tele Talk in the meantime?

If you believe you need to be seen sooner and you no longer can wait for services, it’s best to contact CAPS directly and explain your situation. CAPS counselor will help you get into appropriate services as soon as possible that may include getting connected to an outside provider in your area.

I went into CAPS and spoke with a counselor. She recommended a referral to a therapist in the community. Can I schedule Tele Talk instead?

Since regular counseling appointments are not available at Tele Talk, following up with the referral is a good idea. If you have questions about your referral please contact CAPS.

I am currently seeing a therapist at CAPS and I am not happy with the way things are going. Can I go to Tele Talk instead?

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

What else do I need to know?

Although Tele Talk counselor consultants are professionals, Tele Talk is not a substitute for psychotherapy or formal counseling and doesn’t constitute mental health treatment. Tele Talk counselor 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 Tele Talk counselor consultant can help you determine whether formal counseling at CAPS would be useful to you and, if appropriate, assist you in getting connected at CAPS or local referrals.

Tele Talk visits are confidential. Are there any limits to confidentiality?

Conversations with Tele Talk counselor consultants are confidential. However, one exception is that counselors may need to share information in a situation in which safety for yourself or others is a concern. Tele Talk counselor consultants 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 CAPS. In these situations, other CAPS counseling staff 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.

 Tele Talk visits are never reported on a student's official university record.

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 Tele Talk counselor consultant.