We are a team of licensed therapists, graduate-level psychological trainees, and mental health professionals dedicated to promoting students’ well-being through short-term therapy, crisis support, groups & workshops, and more. At CAPS, we are committed to the values of multiculturalism and social justice, and are dedicated to providing mental health services that are open to and accepting of every student we serve. Come as you are—you are welcome here.
Learn more about the CAPS team here: Meet the Staff - Cowell Center
Getting Started at CAPS
If you’d like to connect with a therapist or discuss your options for getting mental health support, call us at the Cowell Center at (408) 554-4501 Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Appointments are available weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
CAPS appointments through the Cowell Health Portal are limited to Therapists in Residence appointments for undergraduate students living on campus.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, please see our Contact the Cowell Center page for information about accessibility.
- If you need to speak with a therapist today, you will be scheduled for a crisis appointment at CAPS or directed to CAPS 24/7 for same-day support.
- If you do not need immediate support and this is your first time seeking services at CAPS or you have not engaged in services with CAPS in over a year, you will be scheduled with a CAPS therapist (usually the same week) for a phone consultation to assess your needs.
What Happens in a Phone Consultation
A CAPS therapist will call you and speak with you for approximately 15-30 minutes. They will explore your needs and review appropriate resources and options available to you. This may include participating in a group or workshop, meeting with a CAPS therapist for short-term therapy, or connecting you with a CAPS case manager to help you find specialized resources or ongoing support.
Please note, the Phone Consultation is not a therapy appointment, but a way to gather information and determine what services or resources are most appropriate for you.
- If it is determined that short-term therapy at CAPS is a good fit, then your phone consultation therapist will help match you with an available therapist at CAPS. We will do our best to connect you with a therapist based on your personal preferences, if possible. After you have been assigned a therapist, they will contact you through the Cowell Health Portal to schedule you at the soonest available date for your initial therapy session.
- If therapy at CAPS isn’t the right fit for you or it is determined that you would benefit from long-term or specialized therapy, we may offer to schedule you with a CAPS case manager for support in connecting you with off-campus providers. Alternatively, we will provide you with information about CAPS 24/7 and the process of getting connected with a CAPS 24/7 Navigator for referral support that can best fit your individual needs.
Learn more about our mental health and wellness services:
Session limits and fees for counseling sessions have been eliminated for students. If additional support is needed beyond a short-term model (e.g., weekly appointments, assessments, or specialized treatment), the therapists or the Case Manager can help find a community referral.
Staff Openings: Searches are currently underway for a Director of CAPS, Assistant Director for Therapist in Residence Program, and Therapist in Residence. All staff openings can be found here.
CAPS Individual Appointments: Are currently available in-person and/or via Zoom.
Frequently Asked Questions
Call the Cowell Center at (408) 554-4501, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, Monday through Friday. Appointments are available weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. In order for CAPS to provide clinical services to SCU students, students must be actively enrolled at SCU and in the State of California at the time of services being provided (e.g. a student actively enrolled at SCU but visiting family in New York would need to wait until returning to campus or the State of California to utilize CAPS). The student can use CAPS 24/7 services until they return to campus or the State of California
Typically, students can speak with a therapist within a few days. When the demand for counseling services is high, the wait to see a therapist may be longer. In a crisis situation, same-day appointments are available. Students wishing to schedule a counseling appointment are also able to contact CAPS 24/7 by calling (408) 554-5220, and will be able to speak with someone immediately or schedule a future appointment.
Yes, all the information you share in individual or group counseling is confidential within the Cowell Center. California state law and the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 protect the confidentiality of communication between health professionals and their clients. No information can be released without your written consent, except as required by law in the following cases:
- If a client poses a danger to self or presents a threat to others.
- If a court of law issues a subpoena for client records.
- If there is a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or abuse or neglect of an elder or dependent adult.
- If a client discloses that they are viewing, distributing, manufacturing, or in possession of child pornography.
CAPS clinical services are only for registered students. Faculty and staff may request consultation or outreach presentations from CAPS staff by calling the Cowell Center or reaching out directly to a CAPS therapist. Faculty and staff interested in starting therapy may access benefits through SCU’s Employee Assistance Program; please contact Human Resources for more information.
Yes, but we take your confidentiality very seriously. If you send an email that contains sensitive information, we cannot guarantee that your email will remain confidential. The university reserves the right to monitor email usage and might therefore see the text of your message. Occasionally, you may receive an email from your therapist regarding the scheduling or cancellation of appointments. To ensure confidentiality, please send messages through the Cowell Health Portal.
Email should not be used in a crisis situation. While we try to check our inboxes regularly, there is no guarantee that your therapist will receive your message right away. The CAPS 24/7 crisis hotline is available every hour of every day at (408) 554-5220. If you are currently having a medical or psychiatric emergency or are unable to stay safe, please call 988, 911, or Campus Safety at (408) 554-4444, or go to the nearest ER for immediate help.
- Be on time for your appointments.
- Be honest with your therapist; therapy is meant to be a safe place to tell the truth without being judged.
- Give your therapist feedback on how your therapy is going. We want to hear what is working for you, and we want to hear what could be improved.
CAPS does not write letters for ADHD, learning disabilities, emotional support animals, housing accommodations or exemptions for the live-on requirement. If you need a letter, talk to your CAPS therapist. If you are seeing a medical provider or an off-campus therapist (including through CAPS 24/7), that provider may be able to provide you a letter. We can offer letters of attendance for excused absences and sometimes support letters advocating for you with International Student & Scholars or the Office of Accessible Education however these are letters of support and CAPS cannot enforce, designate, or recommend specified accommodations for disabilities or exceptions for SCU policies or programs. Eligibility for support letters are determined on a case-by-case basis in coordination with a CAPS therapist. A student must be actively engaged with CAPS and had at least 3 recent therapy sessions at CAPS.