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Couseling and Psychological Services FAQs

Where are you located and when are you open?

CAPS is located between the Malley Fitness and Recreation Center and the tennis courts on the east side of campus. We are open Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm and closed on weekends and all University holidays.

Is there a fee for counseling or group sessions?

Fee schedule coming soon.

How often can I meet with a counselor?

Students can meet with a counselor up to once a week for 45 minutes. In a crisis situation, the frequency of sessions can increase depending upon the nature of the concern and the counselor’s availability. If you are experiencing a crisis, please call or immediately come to CAPS.

How many sessions can I receive at CAPS?

CAPS operates under a brief, short-term therapy model. Students are eligible for up to 10 individual and unlimited group psychotherapy sessions per academic year. Students in need of receiving services beyond the 10-session limit will be referred to the off-campus community resources. Counselors are available to assist with these referrals.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Call CAPS at 408-554-4501 or stop by the Cowell Center, Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm.

How long do I have to wait to meet with a counselor?

Typically, students can meet with a counselor within a few days of making an appointment. Although counselors do all within their power to meet with students, when the demand for services is high, the wait to see a counselor can be much longer. In the case of a crisis, same-day appointments are available.

I met with a counselor and didn’t feel comfortable. Can I switch to another counselor?

In counseling the therapeutic alliance is critical to good work. Occasionally, students do not feel comfortable working with the counselor that has been assigned to them. When this occurs, students may request to work with another counselor. However, we strongly encourage all students to address these concerns with the assigned counselor before requesting a change.

Is what I say kept confidential?

Yes, all the information you reveal within individual or group counseling is confidential. Cowell services are strictly confidential as required by state and federal law. California state law and the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 protect the confidentiality of communication between health professionals and their clients. This is different from Family Educational Rights and Privacy Acts (FERPA). No information can be released without your written consent except as required by law in the following cases:

I think I may have a learning disability and/or attention deficit. Does CAPS do any testing?

CAPS does not currently offer testing to diagnose learning disabilities. Please contact Disabilities Resources at 408-554-4109.

Can I have counseling sessions via email?

Unfortunately, email is not an appropriate medium for personal counseling. Therefore, we do not offer internet counseling.

Can I communicate with my counselor via email?

Yes, but we take your confidentiality very seriously. If we receive an email from our clients which contains clinical information, we cannot guarantee that your email will remain confidential. The university reserves the right to monitor email usage and might therefore see the text of your message. Occasionally, you may receive an email from your counselor regarding the scheduling or cancellation of appointments.

Can I email CAPS or my counselor if I’m in a crisis?

This is strongly discouraged. Email communication to CAPS should not be used in a crisis or emergency situation. While we try to check our email regularly, there is no guarantee that your counselor will be available to receive your email. Also, emails are often not checked by staff after hours or on weekends.

Does CAPS offer counseling assistance after hours?

CAPS is unavailable for counseling after hours. After business hours, if you would like the assistance of a counselor, please call Campus Safety and/or the student's Resident Directorand have them to call the CAPS After Hours Counselor-On-Call. Alternatively, you can call the National Suicide Life Line at 1-800-784-2433 or 911 directly.

I was a client at CAPS in the past and need my records sent to another provider. How do I do this?

You can download the Consent for Release of Information form here. Fill out this form and return it to the Cowell Center.