What types of services are offered?

CAPS offers short-term individual, group and relationship counseling, consultation for faculty, staff, parents, and students, and educational programs to the campus community. Comprehensive services are available during the academic year (fall and spring semesters), and limited services are available during summer sessions. 

What is meant by "short-term" counseling?

Any enrolled student can make an appointment for an initial visit with a counselor to assess clinical needs and recommendations and to  identify appropriate resources. After the initial visit, counseling sessions at CAPS will be scheduled depending on individual need and available resources. Sessions are time-limited and solution-focused.  Students who want or need more frequent or longer-term contact with a counselor are referred to off-campus resources. Students may use group counseling as an adjunct or primary form of treatment. Group sessions are only limited by the number of groups available and the number of times any group meets. 

What types of problems are commonly encountered by the counselors?

Students seek counseling for a wide range of concerns. Many have issues related to normal development, such as identity or relationship issues. Others are dealing with more specific psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, bereavement, substance abuse, or eating and body image issues. Some students aren’t sure what the problem might be—they just know they are having a hard time studying, eating, sleeping, or otherwise functioning. A counselor can help sort out what’s wrong in order to help get students back on track. 

What are the qualifications of CAPS staff?

CAPS is committed to providing the highest quality of psychological services to its students. To that end, full-time licensed or license-eligible psychologists and social workers staff the center. The center also serves as a training site for area colleges and universities and uses some graduate counselors-in-training under the close supervision of licensed or certified staff. In addition to the credentials of individual staff members, the Center is fully accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS). 

Can your staff prescribe medication if it might be helpful?  

No. Medication can only be prescribed by psychiatrists and other medical personnel. CAPS staff refers students to local psychiatrists and/or medical professionals in the Hammond Health Center for evaluation for medication, prescriptions, and follow-up as needed. 

What is the cost of your service? 

Services are FREE. 

Can students use CAPS while maintaining a relationship with a counselor or psychiatrist at home?

We encourage students to maintain existing therapeutic relationships and to find appropriate on- and off-campus supports as needed.

How does a student make arrangements to see a counselor?  

Appointments are required (except for emergencies) and can be made in person at CAPS (located on the ground floor of the Hammond Health Center) or by calling 607-274-3136. Business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  

What about emergencies? 

Counselors are on-call 24 hours a day during the academic year. For crises or urgent concerns during business hours, call 607-274-3136 or stop by CAPS for assistance.  For emergencies after business hours, contact the Office of Public Safety (607-274-3333).

What if a parent, another student, or a faculty/staff member is concerned about a student?

Counselors are available during business hours to consult about the well being of an Ithaca College student. Strategies for helping the student and, if appropriate, getting the student in to see a counselor can be discussed. CAPS staff members do not contact students to inquire about their mental health or ask them to come in for an appointment. It is our belief that counseling is most effective when it is voluntary, and many students often contact us at the urging of family, friends and advisors.

If you are concerned about the immediate safety of a student, contact the Office of Public Safety (607-274-3333).

Can a third party, such as a parent, be kept informed of a student's progress in counseling? 

By law, and according to ethical principles, information about counseling is confidential except in rare circumstances. No information can be released, including whether or not a person is attending counseling, without the informed written consent of the client. If it seems that there would be a therapeutic benefit to release information to a third party, a counselor will discuss this with the client and come to a mutual understanding about the nature of such a release.

Where can I get additional information about counseling services?

Explore our web site for more information and self-help links or call us at (607) 274-3136.