Session Limit Statement

VP Patricia Telles-Irvin speaking to students

Dear Northwestern Students,


I am writing with news about the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses. During the fall quarter, a task force, consisting of CAPS leadership, the Dean of Students, and various student leaders, was formed to review CAPS longstanding session limit model.


Based on the findings and recommendations of the task force, CAPS has made the following decisions to take effect in fall 2016:

  1. Decisions regarding student treatment plans will no longer be based on a 12 session limit.
  2. CAPS will remain a short-term counseling service, like a vast majority of counseling centers across the country;
  3. All students who come to CAPS will receive a personalized care plan tailored to their specific needs. Care plan meetings will be used to determine the best fit between students’ needs and all available CAPS and community resources to ensure the best possible treatment outcome. A personalized care plan may result in one or more of the following outcomes:
    1. Short-term individual counseling at CAPS;
    2. Group therapy at CAPS;
    3. Connection to other on-campus programs/services;
    4. Connection to specialized and optimal community providers/care, facilitated by a CAPS provider

Opportunities for further clarification of the new policy will be offered in the coming weeks and months.
I would like to thank the Task Force Members for all of their hard work in helping to continue to improve an essential student service for Northwestern.

The members of the Task Force are listed below:

  • Dr. David Shor Chair of Task Force and Director of Clinical Services, CAPS
  • Dr. Todd Adams, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students
  • Chris Harlow, SESP Senior
  • Shannon Grogans – WCAS Senior and Co-President NU Active Minds
  • Emily Lane – TGS Student and Graduate Leadership and Advocacy Council
  • Wendy Roldan – McCormick Senior and Vice President Associated Student Government

Warm regards,

Patricia Telles-Irvin
Vice President for Student Affairs