Frequently Asked Questions

Each year 1 in 5 students come to CAPS for help. While just about anyone could benefit from taking the time to reflect and gain insight or self-awareness, there are many people for whom participating in therapy or other CAPS services would improve their quality of life. We recommend that a student contact CAPS if distress in your life has recently increased or if your overall life satisfaction is not where you want it to be.

We are committed to assuring that students are seen as quickly as possible. Appointments are often scheduled within a day or two from the time of the initial request. During peak times of the semester it may take a little longer to schedule an appointment. Students who are in crisis are seen immediately, including the use of a daily drop-in hour from 2-3pm (no appointment needed).

Health services at the Student Health Center, including mental health services, are free for eligible students and paid for by student health fees.  

All sessions are confidential. Only CAPS counselors have access to CAPS records. Others outside the Health Center, on or off campus, do not have access to your health records without your written permission. Additionally, your legal status will never be included in your records. Please note, CAPS counselors are mandated reporters in certain situations (see Confidentiality for more information). 

No. Counseling in and of itself will not prevent credentialing or licensure. The medical and psychiatric guidelines used to review credentialing and licensure applications are contained in the Navigation and Vessel Inspection NVIC 04-08: Medical and Physical Evaluation Guidelines for Merchant Mariner Credentials(see Psychiatric section p. 28-30).

  1.  Attend all of your appointments, and when needed cancel at least 24 hours in advance. 

  2. Between appointments, be mindful of the issues you are working on, even tracking or writing notes between session.

  3. Write down feelings, thoughts and insights about to your issues and share them with your counselor.

  4. Set realistic and specific counseling goals.

  5. Be open to new ways of thinking and approaching challenges.

  6. Give feedback to your counselor, especially if your expectations are not being met.

  7. Know Your Rights when receiving healthcare.

We encourage students to call (707-654-1170) and talk with a CAPS counselor about your concerns. They will share information and resources as well as help you identify options for how best to help. 

No. Only if you sign a written release of information for CAPS to communicate with a specific person(s) will anyone else be informed of your attending counseling. For exceptions to confidentity visit the Confidentiality page.  

Both psychiatrists and psychologists work in the mental health field. A psychiatrist possesses a Medical Degree (MD or DO) and can prescribe medication, whereas a psychologist earned a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology and provides talk therapy.

CAPS counselors do not prescribe medication but can provide referrals and recommendations for medications that can alleviate mental health concerns. Referrals may be within Student Health Services or in the community. If you're only looking for medication management, check with your insurance company or give us a call and we can assist you with locating a provider in the community.

One of the services CAPS provides is assisting students in connecting with appropriate services in the community. Our Referral Information page is a good place to start. You may also call us to discuss further. We can assist you in locating a therapist or psychiatrist who will best be able to address your needs.

There can be barriers to meeting with a mental health professional. However, they can often be overcome. Check out 10 Reasons Why People Don't Go To Counseling  to learn more about common barriers and how to not let them prevent you from seeking help.