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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.

No, but a case manager at CAPS can help you connect with community referrals. Call the Cowell Center (408) 554-4501 to schedule a case management appointment. Alternatively, you can call CAPS 24/7 at (408) 554-5220 to connect with a Patient Navigator who can provide referral support.

  • 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.