We are a team of professionals dedicated to mental health, emotional well-being, and a sense of belonging. At CAPS, we understand that these are not one-size-fits-all matters. We welcome students of all identities, including all ethnicities, racial identities, genders, gender expressions, cultures, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, national origins, ages, sizes, disabilities, and/or socioeconomic statuses. Our free, confidential resources are based upon a model and philosophy of care called Stepped Care 2.0, offering a variety of services that can be individualized to match your needs.
Scope of Practice
The Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is here to assist and support students with managing their Mental Health and Wellness goals as they strive to be successful at Ithaca College.
We strongly encourage students, their families, and support systems to have a candid discussion about expected or desired support/treatment needs prior to coming to school. CAPS staff can assist with identifying, and facilitating connection to, local specialized providers who may remain a resource to students during their time at IC. Please call us to consult if you are unsure of what local support will be needed.
If you are a New York resident, you may also be able to continue to receive treatment services through your existing providers via Telehealth. Parents and students are encouraged to speak to current treaters to see if this a possibility so that effective, current, treatment relationships do not have to be interrupted with the transition to College.
We are open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm daily. We do not see students on the weekends and on holidays but we provide an after-hours, on-call, service so that students can reach a live counselor after our office is closed for the business day.
When our office is open, we provide initial consultation and screening; short-term individual, relationship, and group counseling; consultation about mental health concerns; crisis intervention and response; and referrals to other on- and off-campus services. Our model of care is called Stepped Care 2.0.
All enrolled Ithaca College students are entitled to an initial consultation, and options for future services will be discussed in your first appointment. Our range of services will be reviewed and we will recommend the most clinically appropriate service from what we offer. Most students are seen for 4 or fewer sessions of intervention but students may access us as needed across their academic years on campus. There are no session limits on Individual or Group Therapy. Sessions lengths can vary from 15 minute check-ins to 30-45 minute appointments.
There are periods each semester, when the demand for scheduled, non-crisis, appointments may temporarily exceed staffing resources. During those times we may stagger appointments and, depending on your circumstances, you may be offered referrals to therapists in the larger Ithaca community. We can also offer other resources on the Stepped Care spectrum.
Limitations of Our Services
At CAPS, our responsibility is to accurately assess and meet the needs of all IC students. However, there may be some specific limitations to what we can offer. While many of our counselors have specialized training and skill in a variety of clinical treatments, a college counseling center approaches services from a Generalist perspective. That is, we can help most students on campus with managing their mental health symptoms and Wellness goals. However, there may be cases where the recommended best care is to refer a student to a specialist in treating a certain disorder/set of symptoms or to make a referral to a more comprehensive or specialized level of care (i.e. Inpatient Hospitalization or a Psychiatric Day Program). Examples of this include:
- Symptoms of moderate to severe Eating Disorders where medical oversight and nutritional counseling and supervision are required or the student’s medical health is potentially or imminently jeopardized
- Psychological symptoms related to a medical condition that are best addressed by a medical or neurological specialist
- Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that requires specialized clinical interventions such as immersive exposure therapy
- Substance use/abuse/addiction that interferes with a student’s ability to engage not only in their academic responsibilities but that requires a higher level of treatment (such as Medical Detoxification or Rehabilitation)
- Symptoms of psychosis, mood instability, behavioral impulsiveness, or sensory impairment that substantially prevent a student from exercising reality-based judgement, exhibiting safe self-care, or that potentially jeopardize a student’s own safety or the safety of others
- A pattern of recurrent self-injury or maladaptive coping behavior that substantially interferes with attendance to academic or social goals or that disrupt the campus community in some manner
In cases such as these, we can offer an initial assessment of symptoms and then work with the student, and often with their family, to identify an off-campus provider or program that best meets the clinical need.