Counseling Center’s new program “Cookies with Counselors”


Graphic by Jessica Mouton

The Nicholls State University Counseling Center implemented a new program called “Let’s Talk: Cookies with Counselors.”

This program provides students with the opportunity to have a free walk-in consultation with a staff member from the Counseling Center; cookies are provided as well.

The “Let’s Talk” program started at Cornell University some years back. The Associate Vice President of the Office of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Michele Caruso, came across an article on Cornell’s program and contacted the Director of the University Counseling Center, Adrienne Bolton.

Caruso and Bolton collaborated to make this program because they decided together that the need for counseling on campus is substantial, and they realized that few students feel comfortable going to traditional counseling.

The goal of the “Let’s Talk: Cookies with Counselors” program is to “decrease the stigma around seeking mental health services,” as well as eliminate “barriers to access of care,” Bolton said.

Additionally, the program is designed to help students feel more comfortable speaking to counselors—it is in an informal setting and requires no commitment to come back. The program is not constructed like traditional counseling.

“It gets the counselor out of their office [and] makes them more approachable,” Bolton said.

This will be an ongoing program, as long as the demand for and interest in the program remains. The only time the program is not offered is during breaks and university closures.

The program is currently being offered in Ellender Residence Hall in the evening hours, but Bolton plans for the program to expand to other areas of campus.

“One of the main structures of counseling that makes it so successful is the relationship that’s built there with the counselor and the client. And I think today, we’re seeing a lack of true, authentic relationships, [which] contributes to a lot of concerns: a lot of loneliness and other issues. So this is an opportunity to experience that engagement with another person…This allows you the time to meet face-to-face and have actual personable interactions with someone,” Bolton said.