Making & attending the first appointment

Step 1: Call CAPS at (657) 278-3040 to request an "Initial Consultation Appointment"

Step 2: Give the front desk staff your CWID and availability. If appointments are available, you will schedule over the phone. If no appointments are available, the front desk staff will provide you with further information; you can also scroll down for ideas on what to do while waiting for an appointment!

  • Initial Consultation appointments are offered on different days at different times to maximize flexibility and availability for students
  • These appointments are approximately 30-50 minutes in length

Please note: Initial Consultation appointments take place via Zoom

Step 3: Your therapist will send you a Secure Message in your Titan Health PortalOpens in new window with further instructions, and with the Zoom link/meeting information.

  • Please do not use email to contact CAPS. All correspondence should take place via sessions, phone calls, and, when necessary, via Secure Messages through your Health Portal. This is to protect your privacy.

Step 4: An hour before your appointment, you will have 2 items of paperwork available to complete in your Titan Health Portal. This paperwork must be completed prior to your appointment. If you need assistance, please log on to Zoom at the time of your appointment, and your therapist will help you.

  • Complete the "Questionnaire", found under the Appointments section/tab of the Health Portal
  • Complete the "CCAPS Survey", found under the Survey section/tab of the Health Portal

Step 5: Log on to Zoom (via the invitation sent in your Titan Health Portal Messages) to meet with your therapist! You can ask questions or get further information at that time.

What to Expect from your initial consultation appointment

During the Initial Consultation, the therapist will ask questions, listen attentively, and gather information about the student's concerns, worries, and thoughts on their situation. They will typically have a conversation to begin to understand more deeply. Once the therapist has a better understanding of the student's concerns, they can make recommendations on how to best address and resolve the student's concerns.

This can be accomplished in many ways; many times, a student would likely benefit from ongoing therapy at CAPS. CAPS provides short-term services (most students use about 6 counseling sessions per academic year) that are typically spaced apart by a couple of weeks, and the therapist can schedule the next appointment with the student during the Initial Consultation appointment to begin working toward the student's goals for their mental health.

Sometimes, a student would have a better chance of getting their needs met through group therapy. CAPS provides this as well!

In other cases, depending on the student's symptoms, concerns, history, or preference, longer-term or weekly counseling is indicated, and the therapist will offer referrals to outside providers and resources. This option will give students the opportunity to not have to worry about limits to the number of sessions they can use, or would allow them to get counseling support on a more frequent basis.

what to do while Waiting for your appointment

We know that waiting can be frustrating! While waiting for your first CAPS appointment, you might find yourself eager to start getting some help or relief.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call CAPS (657-278-3040, available 24/7) and ask to speak with the on-call therapist. (Examples of a crisis situation include thoughts of suicide or homicide, self-harm, hallucinations, recent traumatic events, or feeling completely unable to manage your current situation.)

We have several suggestions for ways to help yourself through the waiting period:

  • Log on to YOU@FullertonOpens in new window ! This is our online, confidential wellness platform that allows you to set goals for your mental health, and suggests articles, videos, coping skills, tips & tricks, and more, all tailored to your unique situation.
  • Check out the CAPS Instagram page. We post a lot of information, share resources, and give tips on coping and wellness.
  • Peek through the CSUF Student Wellness YouTube pageOpens in new window , which has several videos on mental health and wellness topics.
  • Feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed? Try using your body to focus on the present moment with a technique called 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding. This YouTube videoOpens in new window will guide you through it!
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation helps us release physical tension from our bodies, which can help calm our mind as well. Try watching this videoOpens in new window to lead yourself through it and notice the difference.
  • Changing our breathing can actually help lower our heart rate and calm a racing mind. Watch this video on box breathingOpens in new window , which is a technique to help us control and slow our breathing, and take about 5 minutes to practice on your own afterward!
  • Don't forget about journaling and talking with friends! These are great options to seek support, get your thoughts and feelings out, and create a little space inside for other things as well.
  • If you're having a hard time getting out of bed or attending to basic daily tasks, make a list of 1-3 things that you have to get done today, and commit to doing them before the day is over. These things can be simple, like get a snack, drink a glass of water, text a friend. If you have a little more energy, they can be a little bigger, like sending an email to a professor, cleaning a section of your room, or going for a walk. The key is to be realistic and pick just 1-3 things that you can narrow your focus on to. By doing just the things we committed to doing, it helps our brain re-establish self-trust, self-confidence, and coming through for ourselves. It doesn't matter if today is harder or easier than the day before, just be realistic and start somewhere.