Santa Clara University

Counseling & Psychological Services

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where are you located? When are you open?

    We are located in the Cowell Building (across from the tennis courts) and are open from Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.

  2. How much do the sessions cost?

    All sessions are free of charge.

  3. How often can I meet with a counselor?

    Typically, individuals meet with a counselor once a week for 45 minutes. However, the exact number and frequency of each session depends upon the nature of your concerns and the current demand for services from CAPS. Please consult with your counselor to determine the length and nature of your treatment.

  4. How many sessions can I receive at the Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) center?

    CAPS operates under a brief therapy model. Students are eligible for up to 10 individual and unlimited group psychotherapy sessions per academic year. For students interested in receiving services beyond the 10 session limit, please discuss your concerns with your counselor.

  5. I am an SCU faculty and/or staff member. Can I use the services for personal counseling?

    CAPS does not provide individual personal counseling to SCU faculty or staff members. All faculty and staff are encouraged to contact their health insurance carrier for mental health services. CAPS does offer consultations for student related issues.

  6. How do I schedule an appointment?

    Call CAPS at 408-554-4172 during office hours, Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm or stop by the Cowell Center.

  7. How long do I have to wait in order to get an appointment?

    Typically, students can meet with a counselor within a few days of the making an appointment. In case of an urgent need, same day appointments are available. However, during peak times of the year (e.g., midterms, finals), students will have to schedule a 15 minute screening appointment and then be placed on a waiting list for the next available appointment..

  8. I met with one of the counselors and I don't feel comfortable with that person. Could I see someone else on staff?

    Occasionally, students do not feel comfortable speaking with the counselor that has been assigned to them. In these instances, students can request a change and meet with another member of the clinical staff. However, we encourage you to address these concerns with your assigned counselor before you make this change.

  9. Is what I say kept confidential?

    Yes, all the information you reveal within individual or group counseling is confidential. No information can be released without your written consent, except as required by law in the following cases:

    If a client poses a danger to him or himself, or presents a threat to others.
    If a court of law issues a legitimate subpoena for client records.
    If there is a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or abuse of a dependent elder.
  10. I might have a learning disability and/or attention deficit disorder. Do you do any testing?

    CAPS does not currently offer learning disorder or ADD testing. Please contact Disability Resource 408-554-4111.

  11. Can I have sessions via email or communicate with my counselor via email?

Unfortunately, e-mail is not an appropriate medium for personal counseling. Therefore, we do not offer internet counseling. If you are a SCU student seeking counseling or assistance with a problem, please visit our office (located in the Cowell Building) or call to make an appointment (554-4172) with one of our counselors. Office HoursMonday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Alternatively you can call the Crisis Services telephone hotline at (408) 279-3312 or (800) 784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE). They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

  12. Can I communicate with my Counselor via email?

The CAPS staff welcomes your contact. However, we take your confidentiality seriously and it is imperative that you understand the limitations of e-mail technology. Occasionally, you may receive emails regarding the scheduling or cancellation of appointments from your counselor. If we receive an email from our clients which contains clinical information, we cannot guarantee that your e-mail will remain confidential. While we do our best to keep your communications private, the university administration, like many other employers, reserves the right to monitor our e-mail usage and might therefore see the text of your message.

Email communication toCAPS should NOT be used in a crisis or emergency situation. While we try to check our e-mail regularly, there may be times that your counselor is unavailable. This means that your message may not be read immediately. Also, emails are often not checked by staff after hours or on weekends. 

If you are in psychological distress and CAPS is closed, you may contact our after hours phone service at (408)551-1760. For other emergencies, call Campus Safety at (408)554-4444 or 911 directly. 

Additional helpful numbers should you experience a crisis include but are not limited to:

Battered Women Hotline 408-279-3312
Suicide and Crisis Line 408-279-3312
Rape Crisis 408-287-3000
Parental Stress Hotline 408-279-8228
Victim/Witness Hotline 408-295-2656
National AIDS Hotline 800-342-AIDS
24 Hour AIDS/STD Hotline   800-227-8922
AIDS/STD Hotline (Spanish)   800-344-7432
AIDS/STD Death Hotline   800-243-7889

 13. I was a client at CAPS in the past and need my records sent to another provider. What is the process to release this information?  

Download the Consent for Release of Information Form. Fill it out and contact CAPS about releasing information to another provider.

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