Your Initial Consultation

It isn’t always easy to ask for help or to tell someone your story. We hope to make your first contact with CAPS as welcoming and collaborative as possible and we invite your questions about our policies and services. 

CAPS counselors are licensed or license-eligible mental health clinicians, social workers, or psychologists. They are skilled mental health and student affairs professionals who have expertise and interest in working with college students and the demands of an academic environment. 

Your initial consultation session involves a conversation with a counselor to identify treatment recommendations that will best meet your needs. Counseling can be seen as only one part of a greater array of services available to students. Counselors approach treatment recommendations with a focus on all available services to provide students with greater options for high quality, tailored care, as well as to enable CAPS to maximize the resources that it has available. 

Making your initial consultation contact

Most services at CAPS are by appointment with the exception of our drop-in spaces which you can sign up and receive a Zoom link to your appointment. 

To schedule an appointment please call (607) 274-3136 during our business hours: 8:30 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.

 You can access your appointment time, initial paperwork, consent forms, and appointment Zoom links through your health portal.  

When you schedule, you are not required to describe specifics of your concerns. 

If you are in a crisis or emergency where your safety or that of another person is at risk, then you may need to explain the urgency of your situation to the front desk staff who will give you information about CAPS’ Same Day Crisis Services (SDCS). If this service is right for you, then you will have an appointment for the same day that you call or come in. 

What to expect in your initial consultation appointment

Checking in 

Your first appointment will take about 45-60 minutes. This gives you time to complete our intake forms so that a clinician can review your information and be able to meet with you for about 45 minutes. If your first appointment is for Same Day Crisis Services, then you will meet with a counselor in the order you came into our Center. These appointments are brief, typically 30 minutes, and are designed for assessment of crisis, problem-solving, and recommendations. 

If you are 15 minutes late to your initial appointment without making prior arrangements, you may be asked to reschedule in the next available opening. 

Check in with the Front Desk staff who will instruct you on completing your forms on an iPad or through the myICHealth portal on your own device.  All initial paperwork will need to be completed through the MyICHealth portal.

Our consent form (Scope of Practice and Policies) explains how we conduct business and most importantly, describes our policies about confidentiality. Confidentiality is essential for your honest sharing of personal information, and we make every effort to keep your personal information and records confidential and secure. Please ask if you have questions about confidentiality or other CAPS policies. 

You will be asked to sign a statement of consent before receiving services, and we want you to be informed about our services, your responsibilities as a client, and about relevant laws and ethical guidelines for your protection.  For the use of Telehealth services, you will sign an additional statement of consent giving us permission to provide counseling services via Zoom.

When your paperwork is complete, you will have a few minutes before meeting your counselor. You may think about what you want to say to your counselor, read, listen to music, or just chill.

Meeting with your counselor

Understanding your history and reasons for seeking counseling are important components of identifying the best resources to meet your needs. If you have had prior counseling or psychiatric experiences, we’ll want to know about that. We may ask for your permission for us to receive or share information with other providers. If you are taking prescribed medications, please know the names and dosages of those medications. 

We appreciate having the opportunity to help in times of difficulty or in reaching your personal and academic goals. Successful counseling depends on an environment of trust, your active participation, and a sense of good fit between you and your counselor. 

The first appointment is meant to establish a safe and welcoming environment and a collaborative relationship to help meet your needs. By the end of the first appointment, you should have an idea about the next steps you need to take. 

Wait time for counseling services 

  All enrolled students are eligible for an initial consultation where treatment recommendations will be made.  There is no waitlist for this but it is subject to when appointment times are available.  Following your initial appointment, our goal is to provide some level of immediate service.   If our recommended service does not meet your needs, we can discuss alternatives to CAPS. 

Students seeking Same Day Crisis Services may also experience slight wait times as the counselor sees students on a first come first served basis.