Counseling Model and Scope of Services


CAPS focuses on assessing your personal, social and educational concerns. We assist you to resolve or learn to cope with your concerns effectively. While the length, number and frequency of counseling sessions are determined by your unique situation, we work to help you accomplish your counseling goals as quickly as possible. Our approach is to help you view your situation in a wider context, in the here-and-now, and to use these understandings to help you make changes. 

The counselors use a variety of tools and techniques to help you remove those factors and find solutions that work. We do not believe there is one "correct" approach, but rather accept that there are many paths that may turn out to be helpful. For that reason, CAPS counselors tailor their approach to you specifically.

Scope of Services

Most students seeking services at CAPS will be accepted for treatment.  However, some students have needs more appropriately addressed by providers at other agencies on campus or in the community. The determination that a student's needs can or cannot be met at CAPS is made by our Clinical Review Team.  The different factors influencing the decision can be complex.  Most often, external referrals are based upon the student's need for longer term, specialized, or more intensive treatment.  If a referral appears to be the best way for you to receive the treatment you need, CAPS staff will do our best to connect you with a suitable provider.

Our most common clinical services include:

  • Emergent care and consultation for any student in crisis
  • Counseling (individual and group) for issues including:
    • Depression and anxiety
    • Adjustment to college life, homesickness
    • Interpersonal/relationship difficulties, loneliness
    • Family conflict
    • Grief and loss
    • Anger problems
    • Sexuality
    • Identity development and issues related to diversity
    • Spirituality concerns
    • Eating behaviors and body image
    • Alcohol and substance use concerns, relapse prevention
    • Trauma/assault
    • Academic Performance and motivation, better understanding of learning style
    • Personal growth and development, identification of coping style
  • Brief case management (providing referrals to other agencies and assisting with accessing resources in the community)
  • Psychiatric evaluation and medication management for students actively engaged in counseling at CAPS

Limits of our services:

  • Students who demonstrate a serious lack of motivation or engagement in treatment, as evidenced by poor attendance to appointments or lack of follow-through on recommendations
  • Students who are already receiving counseling services from another provider and do not end that treatment
  • Students who are seeking counseling because it is a requirement of a class, and who are not otherwise motivated for or in need of treatment
  • Students with a desire to be seen more frequently than CAPS resources can provide (e.g., more than weekly), or on a long-term basis
  • Students for whom a short-term treatment model (e.g., up to 16 sessions) would be detrimental or inappropriate to the diagnosis or clinical issues
  • Students in need of ongoing or intensive supports to treat chronic, serious mental health conditions
  • Students with a history of longstanding, seriously maladaptive interpersonal behaviors that result in severe relationship problems, requiring services beyond CAPS scope
  • Students with a recent history of numerous suicide attempts, severe self-injury, or multiple psychiatric hospitalizations
  • Students with significant or chronic disordered eating symptoms which require intensive outpatient or residential treatment and whose symptoms pose medical danger
  • Students with significant or chronic substance use which requires intensive outpatient or residential treatment, detox, or hospitalization, or whose symptoms pose medical danger
  • Students who, despite ongoing efforts of their counselor, are not achieving progress with established counseling goals
  • Students in need of ongoing medication management after termination of counseling services or case management at CAPS
  • Students whose needs fall outside the clinical expertise of CAPS staff
  • Students with active psychotic symptoms at risk for progressive deterioration of functioning and in need of intensive treatment for stabilization
  • Students seeking or attempting to meet requirements of court-mandated treatment, legal proceedings, or employment clearance
  • Students who engage in inappropriate, harassing, menacing, threatening, or violent behaviors towards CAPS staff