Counseling and Psychological Services
CAPS is one of five clinics within the Department of Student Health, along with General Medicine, Gynecology, the Students with Disabilities Access Center (SDAC), and Office of Health Promotion. CAPS staff consists of 13 psychologists, one clinical social worker, three professional counselors, and three part-time psychiatric providers. Our training programs at CAPS include three full-time doctoral psychology interns, two-three graduate practicum students, and 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 Disabilities Access Center (SDAC), affiliated with CAPS as a partner section within Student Health, provides learning and cognitive assessment screenings 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 highly engaged with the University community, through ongoing 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 four to 10 sessions. Clinical efforts are focused on assisting students to returning to the level of functioning required for personal well-being and academic success. 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 a first 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.