Myth: Going to A Place to Talk is like going to counseling.
Fact: While both counseling and A Place to Talk (APTT) allow people to discuss whatever is bothering them, APTT listening sessions are not psychotherapy treatment and should not be used as an alternative to professional help when it is needed. While APTT listeners are trained in over 50 hours of active listening and crisis intervention, we cannot offer the same services that clinical professionals provide.
Myth: If I go to A Place to Talk, that means that something is wrong with me or that I’m not strong enough to handle these problems on my own.
Fact: Everyone faces their own difficulties, even if they don’t talk about them. By choosing to acknowledge and discuss what’s bothering you, you are demonstrating strength and emotional maturity while allowing yourself to lead a happier, healthier life.
Myth: A Place to Talk listeners just sit there and nod because they don’t know what to say.
Fact: APTT listeners will give you the opportunity to speak about whatever you would like while asking a few short questions throughout the conversation to further allow you to explore your thoughts. When your listener nods at what you are saying in the APTT room, they are simply telling you that they are paying attention. APTT listeners are also trained to allow long silences in the conversation to avoid interrupting your thought process. Once they are certain you are done talking, they will be sure to respond!
Myth: I must have something serious to talk about if I go to an A Place to Talk room.
Fact: Many APTT visitors are ordinary students dealing with ordinary problems - or exciting accomplishments they want to talk about! Listeners are enthusiastic and equipped to listen to a wide variety of conversations, ranging from everyday frustrations, to serious concerns, to bragging and celebrating. Listeners are in our AMR I and Wolman rooms from 7pm-1am, Sunday-Thursday!
Myth: A Place to Talk listeners will just give me advice.
Fact: APTT listeners are trained specifically not to give advice. Instead, listeners will help you explore your thoughts and feelings and come up with your own conclusions. We believe that your thoughts and conclusions are intrinsically more powerful and meaningful than any we could offer to you.
Myth: If I tell the A Place to Talk listeners something, then they’ll talk about me to all their friends.
Myth: A Place to Talk listeners are just there to work on homework; I’ll annoy them if I talk to them.
Fact: You may catch our listeners reading a book when you visit one of our rooms, but not out of disinterest. Listeners are there because they want to hear what you have to say; feel free to walk right in!
Myth: Nobody even goes to A Place to Talk besides freshmen.
Fact: During the 2016-2017 academic year, there were over 650 visits to the APTT rooms. These visits were from a wide variety of students, not only freshmen.
Thank you for your interest in A Place to Talk! Our peer listeners offer a unique and invaluable service to the Hopkins community: actively listening to students without giving advice. If you believe that you have the empathy and commitment required to be a part of APTT, we encourage you to apply. We are currently not accepting applications, but please provide us with your email and check back at the beginning of the fall semester for more information about the next application cycle!