CAPS offers a variety of counseling services to help students adjust to college life, cope with personal challenges, gain self-awareness, and address psychological concerns. Students may meet with a counselor for an initial screening and evaluation to determine how the student’s mental health needs can best be met.
Students with presenting issues that are best addressed at CAPS can participate in brief individual, couples, or group counseling. Concerns frequently addressed in brief counseling at CAPS include stress management, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, body image, concerns related to cultural background or identity, and concerns about family, romantic, or interpersonal relationships. If it is determined that the student’s needs will best be met by another agency, the counselor will provide the student with appropriate referrals or resources.
CAPS also offers psychiatric services (if a counselor determines that a psychiatric evaluation is warranted) and crisis counseling to assist with emergencies or serious crises related to psychological concerns.
Students who are interested in receiving mental health services are asked to come to CAPS for a fifteen minute Initial Screening session with a counselor during the following walk-in hours:
Fall and Spring Walk-In Hours
|Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday||8:30am – 11:30am; 1:00pm – 4:15pm|
|Thursday||1:00pm – 4:15pm|
|Friday||Urgent Care Only|
Summer Walk-In Hours
|Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday||9:00am – 11:00am; 1:00pm – 3:00pm|
|Thursday||Urgent Care Only|
|Friday||Urgent Care Only|
No appointment is necessary to attend an Initial Screening session. During the Initial Screening, the counselor discusses with the student her/his concerns. The counselor also asks the student a series of questions designed to help the counselor determine how to best meet the student’s mental health needs. The counselor then determines how to assist the student most effectively. This may include scheduling an in depth Evaluation appointment with the student to gather additional information or providing the student with referrals to local mental health agencies/providers for long-term or specialized treatment.
Evaluation appointments are up to 50 minutes in length and scheduled by appointment only. During the Evaluation, the counselor will gather further information about the student’s concerns, history, and background. The counselor will then make recommendations to the student on how the student’s mental health needs can be best addressed. If the counselor determines the student would benefit from CAPS services, the counselor will assist the student in scheduling their first counseling session.
In brief individual counseling, a student meets one-on-one with a counselor for sessions that are typically 45-50 minutes in length. Counseling is a collaborative process where the counselor and student will work together to help the student reach specific goals. Most clients can be helped significantly in as few as 3-4 sessions. Students interested in beginning individual counseling at CAPS should first attend an Initial Screening during CAPS walk-in hours.
Brief couples counseling is available to students if both partners are enrolled students. In couples counseling, a counselor will meet with both students together for sessions that are typically 45-50 minutes in length. The counselor will help the couple reach mutually agreed upon goals such as improving communication and problem-solving skills. All CAPS counselors are members of the CSUF Safe Space program and provide LGBT affirmative counseling. Couples interested in beginning couples counseling at CAPS should first attend an Initial Screening during CAPS walk-in hours.
Groups are a form of counseling where students come together and work on life issues in a shared way. Groups are typically run by a leader who is knowledgeable in group process and in helping individuals with the life issues that s/he wants to focus. Unlike individual counseling, groups provide a unique opportunity as they allow for group members to learn from each other, support one another, and help each other work on an issue. CAPS typically offers multiple groups each semester on topics such as romantic relationships, social confidence, and self-esteem. Group sessions are typically 60-90 minutes in length. Groups are private and confidential. What members disclose in group sessions is not shared outside of the group. The meaning and importance of confidentiality are reviewed with group members at the first meeting and every time a new member joins the group. A list of current group offerings can be found here. Students interested in participating in group counseling may contact the group leader directly to schedule a group screening or attend an Initial Screening during CAPS walk-in hours.
If a counselor determines that a psychiatric evaluation is warranted, the counselor may refer the student to the CAPS psychiatrist. Students are required to first have an Evaluation with a counselor before a psychiatric evaluation may be scheduled. The psychiatrist typically meets with students for a 45-50 minute evaluation appointment to determine the most appropriate treatment. Students who begin a medication regimen can continue to meet with the psychiatrist periodically for follow-up appointments until the student is referred to a community provider. Some medications prescribed by the psychiatrist can be filled from the SHCC pharmacy at reduced rates for students.
CAPS counselors are available 8:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday to assist with emergencies or serious crises related to psychological concerns. Students in crisis may walk in to CAPS during these hours and will be seen quickly by a counselor. For mental health emergencies after business hours, call 911 or CSUF Police at x2515 (657) 278-2515.
CAPS staff members are required by law and professional ethics to protect the confidentiality of all communications with clients. Client information and client records cannot be released to anyone outside of CAPS without the client’s written permission. Client records are kept separate from academic, administrative, disciplinary, and medical records. No information about a client’s contact with CAPS (including whether a student is a client at CAPS) is released without the written consent of the client. Legally mandated exceptions to confidentiality include:
CAPS counselors may also consult with other CAPS counseling staff so that clients are given the highest quality of care.