Counseling and Psychological Services frequently asked questions.
What psychiatric services does CAPS not provide?
CAPS does not provide the following services:
- Mandated court-ordered treatment.
- Disability assessments or paperwork.
- ADD/ADHD psychological testing.
- Services for injectable psychiatric medications.
What types of documentation requests does CAPS not verify?
CAPS does not write letters of verification for the following:
- Learning disability
- Disability due to a mental health diagnosis
- Verification of the need for an emotional support animal or a comfort animal
CAPS provides brief, short-term counseling. It is outside the scope of our practice to provide the rigorous assessment, diagnostic interviewing, and therapy that is merited when providing these types of documentation.
What are some common concerns that students talk about in counseling?
Students talk about many different concerns in counseling that can range from concern about getting along with a roommate to concern about addressing symptoms of bipolar disorder. It is not possible to identify all of the different types of concerns that students address in counseling, but the following list provides a general sample of issues addressed: Anger management, anxiety, career goal uncertainty, depression, domestic violence, eating disorder, gender identity concerns, grief, history of sexual abuse, loneliness, romantic relationship concerns, substance abuse issues, suicidal thoughts, family relational difficulties, and uncertainty about sexual orientation.
What are some tips that can help you focus on your overall wellness?
If you are feeling stressed or experiencing other negative emotions, this is the time to increase your self-care. It may seem counter-intuitive because when you’re busy the natural inclination is to push yourself to do more. It can seem like there is no time for self-care. However, self-care is a way to recharge your batteries. This may even help you accomplish other tasks more efficiently.
- Exercise: Making time for exercise, even if it’s brief, can help improve your mood and reduce stress.
Make sleep a priority - Lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your mood and on your ability to concentrate. It’s important to develop a regular sleep schedule that you can commit to. The longer you stick with this routine, the easier it will be for your body to get used to relaxing at that time and transition to sleep mode.
- Talk it out: While your friends may not be able to advise you on how to solve the problems that are concerning you, the simple act of talking about your concerns can provide you with some emotional relief. Also, when you talk about it you may begin to find avenues of hope from within
- Get out: When you are feeling negative emotions, it can be easy to isolate yourself from others. This can make the feelings feel more intense. It can also make it harder to fulfill commitments that matter to you. That is why it’s important to maintain the structure of getting out and being around other people each day. Once you’re out the door, even if it’s just going to grab a cup of coffee, you’re more likely to stay with that inertia and make it to class. Even the small talk you make with others during the day can offer a little break from the negative thoughts and emotions that may be taking up a lot of space in your mind.
- Set limits with others: Each project, job, or academic course you choose to be involved in means that you will have that much less time to devote toward other commitments. This also means you will have less time to devote to self-care. Ask yourself whether each commitment is worth the time it is taking away from other priorities in your life. Give yourself permission to say no.
Is there a limitation to how many appointments I'm allowed per year?
Yes and no. Due to the significant demand for counseling services, there are session limits for individual counseling, couples counseling and biofeedback. Students are eligible for up to 12 individual therapy sessions per academic year. The academic year begins with each fall semester and ends at the end of the summer term. Additionally, students are eligible for up to 12 couples therapy sessions and 12 biofeedback sessions while they are a student at UWF.
In general, if you require individual therapy or crisis counseling services outside the scope of a short-term model of treatment, your therapist will provide you with referral information for community resources that can better meet your needs. If additional individual therapy sessions are needed within the same academic year, your therapist may appeal to an internal review committee. Many factors will determine the outcome of this appeal, including client need and staff resources, but in general, students will be granted no more than fifty (50) individual therapy sessions from CAPS during their academic tenure. Crisis evaluations, initial assessment appointments, and participation in group therapy are unlimited based on need.
You've had your intake appointment. What's next?
If you have seen a counselor for an intake appointment and are on the waitlist for ongoing counseling, we will call you when an appointment slot becomes available. If we call you three times and do not reach you or get a return call from you we will assume you no longer have interest in remaining on the waitlist. If your symptoms worsen while you are on the waitlist please call us at 850.474.2420 and let us know. Once you are off the waitlist and have an assigned appointment time and counselor, that will be your regular appointment time. You and your therapist will work together to determine how many appointments you will need.
If you would like referrals to counselors in the community, call our office and we will be happy to provide you with referral information.
Does CAPS provide mandated counseling?
CAPS does not provide mandated, court-ordered counseling.
If a university official refers you to see a counselor, we can meet with you for an initial assessment appointment. Students can also be referred for an alcohol use assessment and feedback session. University officials do not mandate ongoing counseling at CAPS. However, students initially referred by a university official may choose to receive counseling on a voluntary basis.
What should I do if I am interested in participating in a specific group?
Call or come by Counseling and Psychological Services and ask the support staff to add your name to the group list that you are interested in. The group facilitators will contact you to schedule a group screening. Group screenings are often not conducted until a facilitator has determined that enough individuals are interested in that particular group for the group to begin.
What occurs during a group screening?
During a group screening, you will receive more in-depth information about the group you are interested in. This will be an opportunity for you to ask questions about the group and for you and the facilitators to determine together whether the group will meet your needs.
What types of groups does Counseling and Psychological Services offer?
Counseling and Psychological Services offers a variety of free counseling groups at the main campus to UWF students. Group formats include short-term, semi-structured groups focused on particular topics, long-term process groups focused on interpersonal relationships, and support groups.
Short-Term Semi-Structured Groups
In semi-structured groups, interaction among group members is focused on supporting one another and facilitating self-exploration. In some semi-structured groups, you may participate in group activities designed to increase your self-awareness or teach you new ways of coping with your problems. Participants may also be encouraged to try new skills outside of group meetings and discuss their success and setbacks with group members.
Long-Term Process Groups
Participation in a process group offers you the opportunity to gain immediate feedback from group members and the leaders. By learning how others perceive you, you increase your self-awareness and intentionally focus energy into the aspects of your life you wish to change. Participation in a process group also gives you an opportunity to try new behaviors, express your feelings and experiment with new ideas. Get more information on our Current Therapy Groups.
Support groups are usually developed around a particular problem area, and members share thoughts and feelings about themselves and their concerns. Sharing with and listening to others generates a variety of viewpoints from which to examine issues and develop a feeling of commonality among members. Support groups enable people to learn that other people struggle with the same issues, feel similar emotions and think similar thoughts.