Make An Appointment

Counseling And Psychological Services can be a valuable tool in helping you to gain insight and provide an opportunity to explore feelings, thoughts, and conflicts in order to obtain a deeper understanding of how they impact your choices and behaviors.

How to make an appointment:

Please call us at 925-631-4364 or email caps4364@stmarys-ca.edu to make an appointment. You can also schedule non-urgent appointments online by clicking on the "Online Scheduling" button on our homepage. Please review these appointment descriptions to help you determine what type of appointment you need. Regardless of your unique concerns, there are experienced, understanding therapists at CAPS who will listen and are willing to help.

Counseling & Psychological Services 

Solution Session: At this one-time individual appointment, you have the opportunity to meet with a therapist to discuss your immediate concerns and to potentially find concrete solutions to the specific concerns that brought you into CAPS. These sessions are typically scheduled within 1 week, and they last 45 minutes. 

Initial Consultation: This 45 minute individual session is for those seeking to begin brief treatment or attend group therapy. During this type of session, the therapist will gather more of your history and will work collaboratively with you to determine the best course of treatment. These sessions are typically available within 2 weeks.

Urgent Appointment: If this is an urgent matter (see red column, below) and you would like to speak to a therapist today, please call our office at 925-631-4364. We are open from 9 am to 5 pm M-F, closed daily 12-1 for lunch.

Couples Therapy: A couples therapy appointment can be scheduled for any relationship-focused need when both members of the couple are present. Both members of the couple are required to be SMC students to schedule a couples therapy appointment. 

Group Therapy: Please check back in September for a listing of group offerings. 

Don’t Know/Not Sure: If you are unsure of what type of appointment you need, please call CAPS at 925-631-4364.

Confidentiality

CAPS staff maintain the highest level of confidentiality in accordance with California Law and ethical guidelines established by the American Psychological Association. CAPS staff cannot confirm or deny that a student is being seen at our center OR release any information about them to anyone without their written permission. CAPS records are completely separate from a student's academic record.

On rare occasion, we are required by law to notify the appropriate parties if: 

  • a student presents imminent risk of harm to themselves or an identifiable other
  • a student reports child abuse (including viewing of child pornography) or abuse of a dependent adult
  • a student is considered "gravely disabled" and unable to meet their most basic needs because of a mental illness

Who qualifies for CAPS?

CAPS is the primary provider of psychological services for full-time undergraduates and graduate students at Saint Mary's College. Full-time undergraduates and graduate students can receive individual, group, or couples counseling by a psychologist or therapist. Part-time students are seen on a limited basis for evaluation and referral to a community practitioner. Faculty and staff are welcome to use our consultation and referral services.

Late cancellation and missed appointment policy:

CAPS has a limited number of counseling appointments available; therefore, we encourage you to keep your scheduled appointments. If you cannot keep an appointment, please cancel by calling our office at (925) 631-4364 at least 24 hours before the appointment (you may leave a message on our voice mail if you call after office hours or on weekends).

Specific to missed appointments, we will assume that you have discontinued treatment and we will not automatically reschedule you for another appointment. You will need to speak to your therapist directly in order to reschedule. Repeated cancellations or missed appointments may result in a loss of eligibility for CAPS services and referrals to mental health providers in the community may be provided.

What we DO NOT do:

- Perform psychological testing or IQ testing.
- Provide court-ordered evaluations or treatment.
- Authorize emotional support, or services animals.
- Share information about you without your written consent.

How to make a referral:

If you are concerned about a student, we suggest that you encourage him/her to come into CAPS and make an appointment with a therapist to discuss the situation. Here are some helpful ways to refer a student:

  • Suggest that the student come into CAPS, Monday-Friday 9:00-4:30 p.m. (CAPS is closed daily from noon - 1:00 p.m.).
  • Call the receptionist at CAPS while you are with the student in order to facilitate contact. You may leave the student's name and indicate when they might come into CAPS.
  • Walk the student over to CAPS. At that time, an appointment can be made, or if a counselor is available, the student can be seen immediately.

Please remember that the communication between a counselor and client is confidential. We cannot and do not discuss the details of a student's situation or even the fact that counseling is being received without the student's written consent.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to phone ahead and alert the CAPS Staff in the event of a student emergency.

 

Scope of Services:

  • Initial consultation to determine if the student's needs fall within our scope of services. There is no charge for the initial consultation or individual psychotherapy sessions.  Sessions cannot be rolled over to the following academic year.
  • Group Psychotherapy - no session limit.
  • Students who miss two or more appointments without notifying their clinician in advance will not be retained in the clinician’s schedule, and might be reviewed to determine whether continued care is feasible.
  • Graduating students are encouraged to work with their clinician to arrange for transfer to off campus mental health services as part of their termination process.
  • Over the summer, psychotherapy will be limited due to staff availability. Brief services are provided to students enrolled in summer school through the month of June only. No psychiatric services are offered during the summer.
  • CAPS staff reserves the right to refer a student to off campus mental health providers should we determine their clinical needs would be best served with a referral.
  • Students who withdraw from the college are ineligible to continue services with CAPS for the remainder of the semester.
  • Students on disciplinary suspension are generally not allowed on campus and not allowed access CAPS.
  • Students who have been academically dismissed and/or involuntarily withdrawn for academic reasons are not eligible for services.
  • Students who have completed a medical withdrawal will not be eligible for services until their return to classes.

 

The following are examples of student clinical concerns that are typically viewed as being beyond the scope of CAPS services:

  • A clinical presentation with severe physical symptoms (e.g. severe eating disorder, severe depression, severe substance) that requires medical/psychiatric treatment and is best addressed by a comprehensive/team treatment approach.
  • A clinical presentation with an extensive history of severe symptoms and/or suicidality. Evidence that the client is prone to experience frequent crises (e.g. client requires 24 hour monitoring; high number of clinical professionals involved in maintaining client’s stability or managing client’s case).
  • An extensive history of past clinical treatment with little indication of symptom resolution.
  • Clinical indicators suggest intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization or hospitalization would be the most appropriate level of care.
  • Situations in which it is determined that treatment available at CAPS would be detrimental to the student or to the proper functioning of the center.
  • Students who are non-compliant with treatment, as defined by two no-shows for any services, repeated stops and starts to therapy, and/or repeated requests for a different clinician.
  • Students who want or require an open-ended, potentially long-term treatment relationship.
  • Students presenting with concerns that fall outside staff expertise and/or CAPS' mission, including but not limited to court ordered, forensically oriented assessment (including alcohol and drug assessments).
  • Students who exhibit inappropriate, harassing, menacing, threatening or violent behaviors toward CAPS staff.
  • Providing treatment would place a clinician into a dual or conflicting role.
  • Situations in which it is determined that treatment available at CAPS would be detrimental to the student or to the proper functioning of the agency.
  • Topics include transition and change, relationship issues, identity, grief/loss, substance abuse, body image/issues with food, depression and anxiety. We also offer a broad array of workshops.