Let's Talk

Let's Talk Logo 2.8 in

Talking can help.

Whether it is stress, sadness, relationship problems or academic trials, sharing your concern with another person can make a positive difference. Now, just imagine that the person you are talking to has experience in dealing with your issue and may know some solutions. Then talking may really help! And that’s what Let’s Talk is all about.

What is Let’s Talk?
When is Let’s Talk?
Where is Let’s Talk?
How is Let’s Talk different from counseling?
What happens in a Let’s Talk session?
Who should visit Let’s Talk?
Meet the Let’s Talk Consultant

What is Let’s Talk?
Let’s Talk is brief consultation that is available to all current graduate and undergraduate students at Notre Dame. It is confidential and completely free. Just walk-in during the times listed because no appointments are necessary! Let’s Talk is a place where you can talk about concerns and receive expert suggestions about solutions and resources or just have someone who listens well and can offer support. No topic is off limits, but common concerns are:

  • Stress
  • Sadness
  • Difficulty adjusting to school
  • Academic concerns
  • Family problems
  • Financial struggles
  • Relationship concerns


Every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the academic year when the University is in session.


Mondays, 1-2 pm: Room 220, LaFortune Student Center (starting September 30)

Wednesdays, 3-4 pm: Room 258, Fitzpatrick Hall (Engineering)

Thursdays, 2-3 pm: Room 229, Coleman-Morse Center

How is Let’s Talk different from counseling?

It is brief consultation (approximately 15 minutes)

  • There is no paperwork to complete
  • It takes place outside of the University Counseling Center
  • No appointment is necessary
  • It is free.

What happens in a Let’s Talk session?

The Let’s Talk consultant will carefully listen to your concern, will mostly 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 upon your needs, the consultant will offer you suggestions for addressing the concern. You are welcome to return to Let’s Talk at another time, but this decision is up to you.

Who should visit Let’s Talk?

Let’s Talk is open to all current Notre Dame students. However, Let’s Talk is best suited for the following people:

  1. Students who are not sure about counseling and are trying to figure out what it is like to talk with a counselor;
  2. Students who are not interested in on-going counseling but would like the perspective of a counselor;
  3. Students who have a specific problem and would like someone with whom they could talk;
  4. Students who have a concern about a friend and would like some perspective on what to do.

Limits to Confidentiality
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.

Please remember…
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 is 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 our interim coordinator for the fall 2012 semester, Josephine Dickinson, Ph.D., at 574-631-7336.


Meet the Let’s Talk Consultant

Megan Brown, Ph.D., is a licensed counseling psychologist in the state of Indiana and has worked in counseling and consultation for over 10 years. She is the Let’s Talk coordinator. She says that if she had free time, she would travel the world and learn languages. She has lived in Canada, Alaska, Scotland, France, and the People’s Republic of China. But don’t ask her to speak too much French, and her Chinese is limited to market negotiation. However, with little free time (and money), she is content to meet students from around the nation and around the world and help them have happy and meaningful university experiences. Megan’s areas of expertise include adjustment to new life situations, cross-cultural problems, life balance, relationship problems, increasing happiness, and academic success.

Arlen Epp

Arlen Epp, MDiv, MSW, LCSW, is a licensed clinical therapist in the state of Indiana as well as a life and relationship coach. He has 22 years of experience helping individuals with a wide variety of concerns. Arlen’s life and work has taken him to many geographical places in the world and in the lives of individuals who have sought his services. Arlen spent three years teaching secondary school in Nigeria as a new college graduate. He has traveled extensively in Africa, Europe, the British Isles, and the United States and enjoys camping, backpacking, canoeing, and working with creative wood projects. Arlen grew up on a farm and over the years worked with a wide variety of individuals who worked in various trades and professions. This rich diversity has given Arlen the opportunity to address a wide array of human problems and the opportunity to work with various individuals who found themselves skeptical about counseling. Arlen has enjoyed this diversity of people and life experiences that these individuals have shared with him. He discovered that his appreciation for them provided opportunities to work with them (even many skeptics) and to help them with the difficulties and rewards that their lives hold. Arlen has come to realize that each individual is a complex system both individually and corporately. He enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families to help them discover and realize their potential in life and in relationships.


Josephine Dickinson, Ph.D., HSPP, is a licensed psychologist in the state of Indiana and has worked in counseling and consultation for five years. She is the main consultant for the Let’s Talk site in the LaFortune Student Center. Josephine has lived and studied in Spain and enjoys opportunities to improve her Spanish and French speaking abilities. With more time, she says that she would like to do more traveling and learn other languages. Some of her favorite activities include: writing poetry, listening to various genres of music such as jazz and soul, attending local cultural events, and meeting people from all over the nation and world. Josephine’s areas of expertise include individual and group counseling, adjustment issues (broadly defined), and promoting optimal well-being with an interest in integrating alternative medicine into counseling.


Karen Baer-Barkley, Ph.D., HSPP, is a licensed psychologist in the state of Indiana and has worked in counseling and consultation for fifteen years. She is the Let’s Talk consultant at LaFortune Student Center (room on Thursday afternoons from 3:00-4:00). Karen is a ND alumnus (1985) and was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. Although she has lived in her hometown all of her life, she has traveled abroad on several occasions and values the opportunity to meet people from other cultures and countries. Karen worked in a nursing home setting after graduation while getting a master’s degree at Indiana University. She learned much about life and how to live it from those entrusted to her care. A few years later she started on her PhD at Andrews University in Berrien Springs which had a very diverse culture with students from around the world. She commuted daily to Western Michigan University for her PhD Internships while raising two (or three counting her husband!) boys. Some of her favorite activities include: time with family, friends, pets; reading and being a beach bum. Karen’s current areas of clinical interest include adjustment issues, ADHD, and depression.

The University Counseling Center (UCC) at Notre Dame is deeply indebted to the counselors at the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Cornell University who pioneered and modeled Let’s Talk and made it such a successful service at Cornell. Sharon Meir, Psy.D. and Matt Boone, L.C.S.W. of CAPS were generous and inspirational in sharing the concept and name of Let’s Talk with the UCC. Their support and consultation on starting Let’s Talk at Notre Dame was invaluable.

See Also:
Outreach Services
Consultation Services & Programs
Inner Resources Room

Back to top