Walden Peer Counseling was founded in 1975 and is both the oldest and longest-running peer counseling group at Yale and the oldest undergraduate peer counseling organization in the United States. It serves the Yale community as an anonymous and confidential hotline and walk-in service.
Walden counselors are Yale undergraduates who have completed at least one year at Yale. We are brought together by a talent for listening closely without judgement and by a desire to help our peers in the Yale community. We only recruit counselors who are willing to make Walden their top priority, to go through rigorous training, and to make the necessary time commitment to our services. Above all, we protect the confidentiality and anonymity of our callers.
Walden counselors begin counseling each week after a rigorous training period in the fall of each academic year.
The Walden office is located in room A-05 of the basement of Welch on Old Campus, accessible through Entryway B.
Because Walden counselors are undergraduate students, we are not qualified to make diagnoses or provide directive advice. We can offer help and support, a listening ear and place for reflection. We are here to listen, to explore feelings, to help sort out issues and uncertainties... or just to talk.
If you are seeking additional help, we also provide information about on- and off-campus resources that provide ongoing care. Our "Resources" page includes a list of some of these resources.
Walden is a book written by Henry David Thoreau, a noted transcendentalist of the 19th century. The work is part personal declaration of
independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, and manual for self reliance. Published in 1854, it details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, outside of Concord, Massachusetts.
Thoreau's intent in moving to Walden was to isolate himself from society and gain an objective understanding of it. Similarly, Walden Peer Counseling attempts to provide a respite for Yalies by providing them with an opportunity to reflect upon experiences and circumstances and consider helpful courses of action.