Counseling and Psychological Services
CAPS is one of five clinics within the Department of Student Health, along with General Medicine, Gynecology, the Students with Disability Access Center (SDAC), and Health Promotion. The CAPS staff consists of 13 psychologists, 1 clinical social worker, 3 professional counselors, and 3 part-time psychiatric providers. Our training programs at CAPS include 3 full-time doctoral psychology interns, 3 graduate practicum students, and intermittent fourth year psychiatry residents.
CAPS offers undergraduate and graduate students a continuum of mental health services, including diagnostic and developmental assessment, brief individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, outreach and community consultation, clinical consultation, treatment with medication and crisis intervention. The Students with Disability Access Center (SDAC), which is affiliated with CAPS, provides learning, cognitive and personality assessment as well as a variety of support services to students with disabilities.
CAPS provides services to students with a wide range of presenting concerns, developmental issues and problems in living. While some students seek CAPS’ services regarding a specific situational incident, others present with adjustment problems, affective or anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse issues, or identity difficulties. We are also highly engaged with the University community, through on-going liaison relationships with departments and schools, daily consultation with faculty and deans, and scheduled presentations to a wide range of university constituents.
CAPS primarily utilizes a brief psychotherapy treatment approach with individual students. Duration of psychotherapy is generally 5 to 10 sessions. Clinical efforts are focused on assisting students to returning to the level of functioning required for successful academic and personal achievement. In most instances in which students' needs do not fit a brief therapy approach, referrals are made to alternate clinic sites or Charlottesville community psychotherapists. In situations in which a community therapist referral may be problematic or contraindicated, exceptions to a brief treatment approach are made on a case by case basis. Those specific circumstances are explored in detail with students once they are seen for an appointment at CAPS. Students participating in group therapy remain for the full duration of the group, which may extend over the course of several weeks to a full academic year.