A Place to Talk

Private peer listening at Johns Hopkins University
Sunday-Thursday, 7pm-1am, BLC 4010 and Wolman

A Place to Talk (APTT) is the peer listening group for the Johns Hopkins community. We offer a cozy environment for anyone to discuss anything, from everyday frustrations to serious concerns. Peer listeners are undergraduate students who have been selected and trained in 50 hours of active listening skills and crisis intervention through the JHU Counseling Center. We are trained to listen and respond without giving advice. We'll help you explore your thoughts and feelings and come up with your own solutions.

If you have any questions or concerns about A Place to Talk, please email us. We take privacy very seriously. All phone calls, e-mails, and visits to A Place to Talk are kept private. Please read our complete privacy policy here.

Why elephants? At A Place to Talk, just like elephants, we're all ears!

Myths vs. Facts

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.
Fact: APTT is a private service, which means all our listeners have committed to never repeat what has been said in the room to anyone unless there are safety concerns. In the case of a safety concern, information will only be shared on a need-to-know basis. We do not keep a record of who visits our rooms. You can read our complete privacy policy here.

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 2017-2018 academic year, there were over 450 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!


2018-19 Executive Board

  • Supervisor: Amani Surges Martorella
  • Co-Director: Anna Koerner
  • Co-Director: Andrew Hellinger
  • External Training: Youlim Song
  • Internal Training: Sonal Singh
  • Co-PR Chair: Gabi Swistara
  • Co-PR Chair: Jaylyn Gillis
  • Co-Selections Chair: Janice Wang
  • Co-Selections Chair: Natasha Hughes
  • Co-Room Chair: Eda Incekara
  • Co-Room Chair: Liresa Hearn
  • Finance Chair: Swati Gayen
  • Historian: Tina Huang
  • Social Chair: Ray Kung

  • 2018-19 Members

  • Alexa Cilia
  • Aria Wei
  • Caroline Kim
  • Cecilia Vorfeld
  • Celine Arar
  • Chris Leung
  • Claire Gorman
  • Corina Zisman
  • Daryl Chin
  • Defne Alver
  • Diego Luna
  • Ellie Damstra
  • Emily Tatum
  • Gemma deCarvalho
  • Harena Haile
  • Ivan Liao
  • Jack Liu
  • Jillian Bukstel
  • Junsu Lee
  • 2018-19 Members

  • Kenny Vitty
  • Leta Ashebo
  • Linda Krasniewski
  • Madhura Shah
  • Marc Jiang
  • May Wai
  • Michelle Rodriguez
  • Nancy Zhang
  • Omar Azmeh
  • Patrick Little
  • Paula Granston
  • Rosa Shi
  • Ryan Bae
  • Ryan Campbell
  • Sehej Parmar
  • Stephanie Haenn
  • Tihitina Aytenfisu
  • Trevor Lee

  • Contact

    Counseling Center

  • (410) 516-8278
  • Mon-Fri 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • 3003 N. Charles St. Suite S-200
  • For immediate assistance, please call campus security at (410) 516-7777 to be connected to the counselor on call.
  • Sexual Assault

  • Sexual Assault Response Unit (SARU): jhusaru@gmail.com
  • Peer Crisis Hotline: (410) 516-7887
  • Counseling Center Sexual Assault Safeline: (410) 516-7333

  • Crisis/Referral Services

  • Baltimore Crisis: (410) 752-2272
  • Grassroots Crisis: (410) 531-6677
  • Grassroots Youth: (800) 422-0009
  • First Call for Help: (410) 685-0525
  • Suicide Hotline: (800) 784-2433

  • Connect With Us


    External Training

    We're more than a place to talk; we also offer empathetic listening training to Johns Hopkins student groups. To request training or to get more information, please fill out this form.