Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is the main mental health campus agency designated to provide culturally and trauma-informed services, free of charge, to currently enrolled-health-fee paying students. We seek to strengthen student success by minimizing the interruption of learning caused by mental health concerns. During normal operations, CAPS offers initial assessments, brief individual counseling, group therapy, workshops and educational presentations on a variety of topics, crisis intervention, and professional consultations to staff, faculty, students, and parents. CAPS offers daily walk-in services in an atmosphere that is welcoming and comfortable for all students regardless of race, gender, ethnic background, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, citizenship, or physical status.
What is Brief Therapy:
Brief therapy is aimed at helping a student begin the therapeutic journey of working on one’s personal difficulties by acquiring the necessary skills, attitudes, coping, and knowledge to succeed in the college environment and create a satisfying and productive life. Students can make significant progress in a short time by talking about challenges and learning to manage the stress of competing demands of school, family, work, and friends. Most students only need a few sessions to get back on track.
Scope of Practice and Eligibility:
CAPS uses a short-term counseling model for currently enrolled health-fee-paying students. Students are eligible for an initial assessment to explore their problem and assess if CAPS is the right place to address these issues. Most issues can be addressed in this short-term model, but not all clinical issues are appropriate. Students whose concerns are best served in a short-term model can receive an average of 4-6 individual therapy sessions a year, being seen every other week. (some need less, and some use a few more). If students are needing more individual therapy sessions beyond this short-term model, students have two options. CAPS will help students connect with a community provider for longer-term ongoing care, or transfer students to a CAPS weekly 90 minute therapy group, if that is appropriate. A CAPS therapist will take many factors into consideration to decide what is the best next steps for each student. Some students may begin treatment in group therapy, as group therapy may be a more effective mode of treatment for a specific clinical issue. For more information on groups and workshops , go to the group’s page.
Remember, CAPS has daily walk-in appointments and offers single-solution focused sessions.
Sometimes students present with needs that are beyond CAPS’s scope of practice and are best addressed in longer-term therapy or by a therapist with a particular specialty. In these cases, the CAPS therapist will provide community referral options and will support the student in connecting with an appropriate community provider off campus.
Some situations that may be appropriate for referral for longer-term therapy include but are not limited to:
- A longstanding or severe mental illness that requires longer-term or continuous treatment.
- Issues that may require a student to be seen more than once per week.
- Issues that may require support or recurring treatment over the course of the student’s academic career.
- Issues that require a type of treatment that is not within the scope of practice of current CAPS therapists.
- Students experiencing significant levels of distress, who need immediate inpatient or intensive outpatient care, and/or are suffering a severe disruption in their ability to function.
- Students whose schedules do not fit with CAPS hours of operation.
- Court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements beyond CAPS’s scope of service.
- Students who are already engaged in therapy with another provider.
- History of multiple psychiatric hospitalizations.
Our CAPS staff is comprised of licensed (or license-eligible) psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists, and graduate-level therapists-in-training who provide a confidential environment in which students may explore and address any issues of concern.
CAPS therapists speak and offer therapy in the following languages: English, and Spanish (ask if other languages are available).
Students seek services at CAPS for a variety of concerns, including:
- Panic Attacks
- Family Concerns
- Relationship Problems with Friends or Romantic Partners
- Procrastination/Work Blocks/Loss of Motivation
- Academic Difficulties
- Adjustment to College or Homesickness
- Loss of a Significant Other
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- Alcohol/Substance Abuse
- Low Self Confidence/Self Esteem/Shyness
- Anxiety or Stress
- Eating/Appetite Concerns
- Sleep Problems
- Suicidal Feelings/Behavior
- Impact of oppression/microaggressions
CAPS Mission, Vision and Purpose
To serve as an essential mental health resource for UCF students by providing high quality culturally competent, clinical and outreach services and a nationally renowned training program.
To enhance the lives of students by reducing the impact of phase of life and mental health challenges, elevating resiliency and minimizing the interruption of their academic pursuits.
CAPS Values and Strategic Plan
Provide high quality, barrier-free clinical services that minimize interruptions to student learning and aid in the development of skills needed to function optimally while enrolled and after graduation.
Student voices are heard and are at the heart of the development and implementation of our programs and services. Develop and train graduate students and other emerging professionals, who are ethical, versatile, clinically and culturally competent and aware and who provide highly skilled services to a wide range of clients.
CAPS works together with on-campus stakeholders as well as community providers and other Counseling Centers both locally and nationally to foster meaningful and collaborative liaison and consultative relationships with relevant offices, colleges, student leaders and organizations. Provide excellent primary prevention through mental heal education and student development programming.
CAPS strives for professional excellence and high quality ethical care and promote scholar-practitioner identity by developing and expanding CAPS research and scholarly activities that inform our clinical practice and contribute to the field of collegiate mental health.
Positive Work Environment
CAPS will create a workplace infused with creativity, collaboration, professional satisfaction, positivity, growth opportunities, and strong intra-unit communication.
Be a leader in promoting inclusive excellence in programming, service provision, recruitment, curriculum involvement, and advocacy.
CAPS is committed to growth through creative and innovated ideas that are guided by best practice, scholarship, and conscientiousness.
CAPS takes a holistic wellness approach to treating a person’s mental health issues through mind, body and spirit and considers alternative approaches to treatment.
At the student’s request, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will facilitate access and reasonable accommodations to enrolled eligible students to ensure services, programs and activities sponsored by CAPS are accessible.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is accredited by the International Accreditation of Counseling Services, Inc. (IACS) since 2004. This means that UCF CAPS meets the highest standards of university counseling center practices and professional services. Due to this accreditation standard, we do not do mandated counseling.