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Frequently Asked Questions

Where are you located?
Do I need an appointment to see a therapist?
How do I make an appointment?
How long does it take between when I make the appointment and when I will be seen?
I am a registered student, what does it cost to use your services?
I am not a registered student for this semester; can I still use your services?
What are your office hours?
What if it's an emergency and I can't wait for an appointment?
What if I am feeling suicidal?
What if I am a student and need to talk to somebody at night or on the weekend?
What if I am a parent, faculty or staff member who would like to consult about a student of concern?
What kind of training does your staff have? Do you have students working at the counseling center?
Do you have therapists who can work with people from varying backgrounds and cultures?
Do you have therapists who are familiar with gay, lesbian, bisexual, gender identity, and questioning concerns?

How many students go to the counseling center?
What kinds of problems can I be seen for at CAPS?
Is there a limit to how long I can receive therapy at CAPS?
Is everything confidential? Can my parents or professors find out I've been to CAPS?
Is it true that you won't see some students? My friend said you wouldn't give him counseling and told him to see a private therapist.
What if I need medication?
I think I might have a problem with drinking or substance use. Can you help with that?

 

Where are you located?
We are located across the footbridge on the north side of campus in the Cowell Wellness Center (1041 Brookside Road).
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Do I need an appointment to see a therapist?
Yes, in most situations you will need to schedule an appointment to see a therapist.
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How do I make an appointment?
For an initial appointment, call 209.946.2315, extension 2 or stop by our front office in the Cowell Wellness Center.
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How long does it take between when I make the appointment and when I will be seen?
Initial appointments usually occur within one to two weeks of the student first requesting one.
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I am a registered student, what does it cost to use your services?
Our services are funded by the Student Health Fee. This means that if you are a registered full-time student there is no additional charge for services. Registered part-time students who have not paid the Student Health Fee are given the option to pay the fee and receive services.
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I am not a registered student for this semester; can I still use your services?
Students who are registered for future semesters can be seen on a fee-for-service basis for individual, group, or couples therapy appointments. Due to demand, students who are not registered are unable to see our staff psychiatrist at this time.
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What are your office hours?
We are open when the university is open. During the Fall and Spring semesters we schedule appointments Monday through Friday from 8:00 am through 5:00 pm. During the Summer semesters we schedule appointments Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am through 3:00 pm; and on Friday from 7:30 am through the noon hour.
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What if it's an emergency and I can't wait for an appointment?
We offer emergency therapy on a same-day basis as necessary. We leave the decision of whether it is an emergency or not up to you. To help you make this decision we'd like you to know the following information: An emergency appointment is a brief visit, similar to going to an emergency room. We meet with you as soon as we can on the same day you come in with the goal of stabilizing you in the moment. The following are types of concerns typically addressed by Emergency Therapy Appointments:

1. Having a current plan to attempt suicide or inflict serious bodily harm on someone else.
2. Having had any of the following experiences in the last 7 days:

  • Attempted suicide or made verbal or written threats to do so
  • Inflicted or attempted to inflict serious bodily harm on yourself or on someone else
  • Been physically and/or sexually assaulted
  • Heard or seen things that do not exist
  • Experienced uncontrollable despair, anxiety or anger
  • Been unable to provide for your own food, clothing, and shelter
  • Experienced the recent loss of a loved one

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What if I am feeling suicidal?
If at any time you are in danger of hurting yourself in the moment call Public Safety at (209) 946-3911. The Public Safety officers are trained to help students and want to help you in any way that they can.

If  during our regular business hours you are contemplating suicide, please walk in to the Cowell Wellness Center or call (209) 946-2315, ext 2 and ask for an emergency appointment.

If it is afterhours and you are contemplating suicide and need to talk to someone, please choose one of the following options: call our regular business number at (209) 946-2315, extension 2 and then choose option 4. This will connect you with a therapist who will speak with you about your concerns. There are also hotlines that are specifically designed to talk to individuals who are feeling suicidal or thinking of harming themselves: 800.273.TALK (8255) or 800.SUICIDE (784.2433)
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What if I am a student and need to talk to somebody at night or on the weekend?
If you are a student and need to speak to someone at night or on the weekend call 209.946.2315, extension 2 and then choose option 4. This will connect you with a therapist who will speak with you about your concerns. This after-hours therapist will let us know during the next business day that you have called, the nature of your call, and if you would like a follow-up phone call.
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What if I am a parent, faculty or staff member who would like to consult about a student of concern?
If you are a parent, a faculty member or a staff member who would like to speak to someone about a student of concern and it is during regular business hours please call our regular number (209.946.2315, extension 2) and ask to speak to an available CAPS Staff member about your concern. If it is after hours please call the same number (209.946.2315, extension 2) and leave a message. We will return your phone call within two business hours.
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What kind of training does your staff have? Do you have students working at the counseling center?
All members of our senior staff have finished their degree programs. We have psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, and a staff psychiatrist. We also have three trainees on staff each year who are doctoral psychology interns who come to us with considerable counseling experience. They have finished all requirements for their doctorates in psychology with the exception of the current internship (and possibly their dissertation). No undergraduate students work at CAPS.
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Do you have therapists who can work with people from varying backgrounds and cultures?
Yes. Our therapists are trained to work with students from many cultures. We respect racial and cultural diversity.
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Do you have therapists who are familiar with gay, lesbian, bisexual, gender identity, and questioning concerns?
Yes. Our therapists are trained to work with gay, lesbian, bisexual, gender variant and questioning clients. Our therapists respect sexual and gender diversity and affirm gay, lesbian, bisexual, gender variant and questioning individuals.
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How many students go to CAPS?
Most years, we see about one in ten undergraduate and graduate students.
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What kinds of problems can I be seen for at CAPS?
We help students with a variety of problems, ranging from homesickness to severe mental illness. For example students with symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, we see couples with relationship difficulties, individuals with mental illnesses such as Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, and students adjusting to living away from home for the first time are all typical of the types of issues or concerns that we handle on a daily basis.
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Is there a limit to how long I can receive therapy at CAPS?
Yes. Since we try to serve as many students as possible, in most cases we limit the number of sessions you can be seen each year. The therapy we offer is in most cases intended to be short-term. If you think you want or need longer term therapy, you will need to discuss your therapy needs with your therapist.
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Is everything confidential? Can my parents or professors find out I've been to CAPS?
The records at Counseling Services are totally separate from the rest of your records at Pacific. For the most part, the fact that you have come to CAPS and what you discussed here is confidential and will not be revealed to anyone outside of CAPS. There are rare exceptions, however. For example, if you tell us that a child or someone over the age of 65 is being abused we have to report that to the appropriate agency. If you tell us that you plan to seriously hurt yourself or someone else, we may have to intervene to ensure everyone's safety. We also sometimes work in conjunction with medical staff at Pacific Health Services and/or with the Student Victim Advocate. These exceptions are detailed in the Informed Consent statement you will be given during your first appointment. Additionally, the therapist you see will answer any further questions you have about exceptions to confidentiality.
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Is it true that you won't see some students? My friend said you wouldn't give him counseling and told him to see a private therapist.
We will meet with any student for an initial assessment. There are circumstances in which the therapist determines that an individual's needs are beyond the scope of the services offered at CAPS. In these instances, we will offer a referral to other sources of help on or off campus.
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What if I need medication?
We have part-time psychiatric services for those who need psychiatric medication. Initial appointments usually occur within three to four weeks of the student first requesting one and are only available on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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I think I might have a problem with drinking or substance use. Can you help with that?
Yes. We have therapists on staff who help students who have alcohol or drug related concerns. Often students also benefit from meeting with one of the counseling staff to discuss personal concerns that may relate to the substance use.
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