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Cowell Center

Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides SCU students with a wide range of mental health and wellness services.

Even if you've never been to a counseling session before, we'll help you feel comfortable and achieve your goals.

Navigate here to Counseling Services
Navigate here to Counseling Services
Navigate here to Counseling Services
Counseling Services

We offer 10 counseling sessions per academic year. The first six sessions are free and the remaining four sessions cost $20 each. Call Cowell to schedule an appointment.


Navigate here to Crisis Counseling
Navigate here to Crisis Counseling
Navigate here to Crisis Counseling
Crisis Counseling

If you need to talk to someone ASAP, you can walk into Cowell or call at any time during weekday hours to speak with a crisis counselor. Our new After Hours program also offers therapy services for students in crisis from 5 p.m. - 8 a.m.


Navigate here to Case Management
Navigate here to Case Management
Navigate here to Case Management
Case Management

A case manager will work with you to identify the services and community resources that best fit your needs.


Navigate here to Outreach Services
Navigate here to Outreach Services
Navigate here to Outreach Services
Outreach Services

Our goal is to demystify counseling, educate the campus on mental and physical well-being and inform people about our comprehensive services through workshops and events.


Navigate here to Peer-Led Support Groups
Navigate here to Peer-Led Support Groups
Navigate here to Peer-Led Support Groups
Peer-Led Support Groups

Peer-Led healing circles are both a social and primary group of students who share similar age, background, affiliation, or social status. They are facilitated by a fellow student (undergraduate or graduate) who is trained to listen empathically and are dynamic by nature, meaning the topics discussed involve the intersectionality of each affinity group, their unique experiences, and needs.


Navigate here to Group Therapy
Navigate here to Group Therapy
Navigate here to Group Therapy
Group Therapy

Group therapy sessions are facilitated by CAPS clinicians. SCU students can attend an unlimited number of group therapy sessions each year.


Make An Appointment

Call Us to Make or Cancel an Appointment: (408) 554-4501

You may not schedule a CAPS appointment online. You must call or come to the Cowell Center to schedule an appointment. If you would like to discuss your concerns and options for getting help, please call CAPS during normal hours of operation (M-F, 8:30AM to 5:00PM). You will be scheduled for an initial consultation (triage) appointment, which consists of a 20 to 25 minute phone call with a counselor at CAPS. 

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Getting Started at CAPS

At CAPS, we use a short-term model of therapy to best help you work through issues common in a college setting. During the initial consultation (triage) appointment, you will talk privately with a CAPS counselor about your concerns and collaboratively develop a plan that will best meet your needs.

Learn More

Other CAPS Resources

Navigate here to Student Ambassadors
Navigate here to Student Ambassadors
Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors aim to destigmatize seeking mental health services and strive to serve as a bridge between the Cowell Center and the SCU student body. They are committed to offering knowledge and guidance when it comes to finding the resources you need.


Navigate here to Professional Training
Navigate here to Professional Training
Professional Training

CAPS is an APA-accredited site and offers training opportunities for advanced practicum students, interns and postdoctoral fellows.


Counseling FAQs

SCU is committed to keeping our campus community healthy, safe, and informed. Below you will find answers to many of your frequently asked questions. 

While individual counseling can be important to address problems of certain types, experience has shown that group counseling can often be more effective to address these issues. Perhaps it is the opportunity to see that some of what we regard as our most terrible secrets or distasteful aspects are really common human experiences that is so helpful.

Embarrassment or shame keeps many people from taking advantage of group counseling. Overcoming these feelings about aspects of ourselves is an important part of living our lives more successfully. Group counseling is very helpful in this respect.

Each individual is unique as are their concerns. Still, as people we have a great deal in common. (We all grow up in families. We all react to hurt in similar ways. We all have the same basic capacity to grow and change.) While the problems people bring to counseling can be quite different, the underlying issues which produce these problems are often similar.

Groups provide a special setting in which we can learn about ourselves, about others, and about ourselves in relation to others. This can help us to be more effective in our relationships with others and with ourselves outside the group. It takes time, helpful observations and support from others to recognize and change our ways of living.

The most important question is the one you will ask yourself: How do I feel about this person? Do they seem comfortable and compatible for me? Do they seem empathetic? Naturally, you will feel somewhat anxious with each of the therapists you meet, but there will be differences in your feelings toward each. Pay attention to these feelings. (Don't ignore your feelings. If you have a creepy or uncomfortable feeling, choose someone else.)

There are several questions that you should be sure to have answered when you make the appointment or during the first session. Be sure to write down notes about the answers to your questions so you can remember better later. Try to get at least some of your questions answered on the phone before scheduling an appointment so that you can follow up and spend more time on other issues in your meeting. The answers to some questions may actually determine whether you want to include a counselor in your list of several to meet.

You want to make sure that you do not spend more than about one-third of the meeting discussing the therapist. It is very important to spend time talking about you and your problems and hearing what the therapist has to say about you.

Unless your situation is an emergency, after you finish with your questions, make it clear to therapist that you would like them to spend some time during your first meeting demonstrating how they would actually work with you in therapy (in addition to asking you questions or simply describing their approach).

It is important to attend each meeting from beginning to end. Be early or on-time. Regular meetings are important to the effectiveness of counseling. If you become ill or have a conflicting obligation and must miss an appointment, you should call your counselor as far in advance as possible to reschedule. Counselors have different policies about charges for missed and canceled meetings. Be sure to get information about the policy of your counselor.

At the SCU Counseling Center, all appointments are free of charge if you are an enrolled SCU student. Off campus, experienced therapists charge a minimum of $50 - 60 per hour--often more--with some psychiatrists charging up to $150 per hour. Average fees charged by experienced therapists are about $75 - 100 per hour. Group therapy costs considerable less, often about $40 per meeting.

Some therapists offer 'sliding scale' fees (low income clients are charged less). You should inquire if your income is moderate to low. Clinics often have lower fees than private practitioners. Training institutes have low fee referral services or clinics where therapists are receiving additional training in a specific treatment approach. (Sometimes these trainees can be quite experienced, but can also be newly trained. Be sure to ask.)

Most therapists accept insurance. Most insurance covers only part payment of therapy fees. Many therapists will ask you to pay first and submit bills for reimbursement by your insurance company.

Give therapy a chance. Consider the first couple of months as a trial period. It usually takes at least that long to experience progress, depending on your problems and issues. Progress is usually inhibited by changing from one therapist to another frequently. On the other hand, if you have been in treatment for a year or more and are not making progress, you might consider making a change. You should discuss this issue with your current therapist. Although you might find this embarrassing, they may be able to point out areas of progress that you have not been focusing on.

In considering when to discontinue treatment, ask yourself whether the problems that caused you to seek therapy have been resolved and whether any additional problems or issues have come to your attention that you may wish to resolve. Also consider the advice of your therapist. A frank discussion of the advisability of terminating treatment is usually useful. Remember that no decision about counseling or psychotherapy is irrevocable. While you may seek advice from others, decisions to begin and end treatment and the choice


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