Need Help Now?

If you would like to speak to a clinician immediately, please call CAPS at 805-437-2088. If you reach the voicemail, select option 1 to access 24/7 phone counseling.

 Table of Contents

Where is Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) located? [top]

CAPS is located in Bell Tower East 1867.

How do I make an appointment[top]

Call 805-437- 2088 or email and we will get back to you within one business day.

What if I make an appointment and decide I don’t need help? [top]

Pressure that prompts you to seek help can ease a bit and it may seem unnecessary to go for counseling. However, these same issues tend to recur until resolved. If you need to miss an appointment please call to cancel as soon as possible.

Is CAPS just about counseling sessions? [top]

No, not at all!  A major part of a college education is the ‘life lessons’ we receive through experience.  CAPS offers educational services to help students with “Life 101.” In addition to providing individual, couples and group counseling, CAPS conducts workshops and is available to work with any campus group or organization. This includes lectures in classes and working together with many campus offices and programs to support students’ learning in the classroom and in life. Any issue, big or small, is appropriate to discuss.

When should I visit CAPS? [top]

Here are some examples of when you should definitely visit CAPS:

  • When you feel trapped or that there is nowhere to turn
  • When you worry all the time and never seem to find the answers
  • When the way you feel is affecting your sleep, your eating habits, your job, your relationships, your classes, and how you take care of yourself in everyday life
  • When you feel depressed and can’t seem to pull out of it

What if I need psychiatric medication? [top]

CAPS contracts with a board-certified psychiatrist on a limited basis for those students that require evaluation and administration of psychotropic medication. Additionally, CAPS maintains a referral list of psychiatrists in the local area.  The CSU Healthlink student insurance program covers psychiatric visits for certain conditions. 

What can I accomplish in short-term counseling? [top]

Our goal is to help you learn how to help yourself.  We’re familiar with the University and what it’s like to be a student here, both the good and not-so-good parts.  This gives us the inside track in supporting you as a person and as a student.  You might be surprised at how much can be accomplished.  CAPS can work together with outside therapists, too, for your benefit.

How can I refer someone for counseling? [top]

Faculty, staff, friends or family will often notice changes in a student before he/she does, resulting in concern and a desire to refer them for counseling. We suggest that you first talk with the student, express your concerns and encourage the student to call or visit CAPS to make an appointment. If appropriate, you may make the call and let the student schedule a session. If desired, you may walk the student over to the office and provide support. You can also call and consult with a counselor regarding how to refer an individual who may be reluctant to seek help.

Who provides the counseling? [top]

All counseling services are provided by licensed Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW). There are also clinicians in our practicum training program who are completing graduate degrees and are closely supervised by licensed clinicians.

Are there after-hours or emergency services? [top]

A CAPS counselor can be called to assist in an emergency during business hours.  A student cannot call a counselor directly after hours.  University staff would make the call.  If you have an urgent or after hours situation, call University Police at 805-437-8888.  When not on campus, call 911 or have a family member or friend take you to a local emergency room or urgent care clinic.

Where can I find more information about privacy practices? [top]

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is staffed by a team of mental health professionals to assist you in addressing your mental health concerns. In order to provide you with the highest quality of care we utilize an integrated treatment approach. Our interdisciplinary team of clinicians works collaboratively to optimize your wellness through seamless prevention and intervention. We value the privacy of our clients and the confidentiality of the personal and health information entrusted to us. In order to protect your personal health information, we have policies and procedures regarding disclosure of your Personal Health Information (PHI). For the full notice of privacy practices (PDF, 99KB) .

 I have a question not covered here in the FAQ – who should I ask? [top]

Call Counseling and Psychological Services at 805-437-2088. You may also email questions to CAPS at However, we do not offer counseling sessions via email.

When to Ask For Help [top]

Sometimes personal or psychological problems require more assistance than can be found within your own circle of support. CAPS offers counseling for students who are struggling with issues related to family, social and romantic relationships, life transitions, sexuality, grief, stress, sexual assault, anxiety, loss of motivation, depression, eating disorders, and substance use concerns. If you are dealing with any of these concerns or need professional help in general, please come in or call for an initial consultation.