Scope of CAPS Services

The Counseling Center invites all enrolled Northwestern students to make an initial phone consultation appointment to speak with one of our counselors to discuss their concerns. CAPS counselors, in collaboration with the student, will recommend services within the Counseling Center or the community and assist students in connecting to the best fit services to meet their needs.

When appropriate, students may be referred to services offered within the Counseling Center. In order to use its resources most effectively, CAPS utilizes a short-term model of therapy to assist students to address issues common in a college setting. The number of group sessions is unlimited, as appropriate.

Short-Term Counseling

Some of the goals that are commonly addressed in short-term counseling at CAPS are:

  • Coping effectively with immediate life stresses
  • Having a positive brief, first experience in therapy before engaging in longer term individual work or transitioning into group therapy
  • Gaining new skills to deal with new challenges
  • Finding greater understanding and new perspectives on life experiences

Students needs may best be served by a referral to community resources. CAPS provides referral services after the phone consultation or personalized care plan meeting or as the benefits of referral become more apparent during the course of services. CAPS provides referral options that we believe will best meet a student’s needs. The CAPS counselor will also work with the student to be sure the connection to services is made and to offer additional assistance in finding resources as necessary.

Needs Outside the Counseling Center

Some of the reasons a referral to services outside of the Counseling Center would be the best resource for a student include:

  • Need for specialized or more intensive care
  • Other mental health providers or resources are a better fit for a student
  • A student is graduating or otherwise leaving the area soon and would benefit from getting connected with providers in the community
  • A student would benefit from open ended rather than structured support and/or more frequent and/or flexible appointments
  • A student may get an appointment in the community more quickly, and this is important to them
  • A student is not a full time and degree seeking student