Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know whether I should go to counseling?
Each year 1 in 5 students come to CAPS for help. While just about anyone could benefit from taking the time to reflect on his or her life to gain insight or to increase self-awareness, there are many people for whom participating in therapy or other CAPS services would improve their quality of life (see also Common Student Concerns). 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.
How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
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 walk-in hour from 2-3pm (no appointment needed).
How much does counseling cost?
Counseling Center services are free for enrolled students. This includes between breaks when continually enrolled.
Is counseling confidential?
All sessions are confidential. University staff, faculty, law enforcement officials, parents, potential employers, and others have no access to any of your records without your written permission. Additionally, your legal status will never be included in your records. Please note, your counselor is a mandatory reporter and may have an ethical and legal obligation to break confidentiality if you are a threat to harm yourself or others, or if current abuse of a child or elder is suspected. Feel free to ask if you have questions or concerns about confidentiality and for more information please see the CAPS confidentiality policy.
Will coming to counseling prevent me from obtaining my Merchant Mariner Credential or Coast Gaurd license?
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. Search the word ‘Psychiatric' to locate the subsection on mental health conditions.
How can I get the most out of counseling?
1. Attend all of your appointments or let your counselor or SHS know if you have to miss one, 2. Between appointments, be mindful of the issues you are working on, 3. Write down feelings, thoughts and insights about to your issues and share them with your counselor, 4. Complete homework assignments, if given, 5. Be open to new ways of thinking and approaching challenges, 6. Give feedback, especially if your expectations are not being met, and 7. Know Your Rights: A guide for students who want to seek help for mental illness or emotional distress.
What if I'm concerned about a friend?
We encourage students to call (707-654-1170) and ask for our advice whenever they are concerned about another person and are unsure as to how to help.
Will my parents, faculty, and/or others be informed that I am being seen at CAPS?
No. Only if you have signed a written release of information for CAPS to communicate with a specific person(s). The only exception would be if you are a danger to yourself or others. Please see the CAPS confidentiality policy for more detail.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
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.
Does CAPS prescribe psychiatric medication?
The psychologist in CAPS cannot 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 just looking for medication management, check with your insurance company or give us a call and we can assist you with locating a psychiatrist in the community.
Can CAPS help me find a therapist off campus?
One of the services CAPS provides is assisting students in connecting with appropriate services in the community. Please call us for information and assistance. We will be happy to help you find a therapist or psychiatrist who will best be able to address your needs. We can also help you find a provider who may accept your medical insurance.