Information for Families

There’s no doubt about it: the college experience changes every student, and it is likely to alter your family dynamics as well.

Whether this is the first or last of your children to go to college, there are bound to be times when you feel anxious, frustrated, or challenged by a situation that is taking place in your student’s life. Sometimes these situations will involve the health or wellness of your child. We hope that you will help your student find his or her way to us during these times and that you will come to think of us as a partner in your student’s development.

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Confidentiality and Privacy

Counseling and Psychological Services staff adheres to the ethical standards of their respective professions and to state and federal laws relating to confidentiality. We are happy to talk with you about our services without revealing confidential client information. CAPS can not legally disclose information about an adult student age 18 or older unless the student signs a consent form allowing us to release information to you. There have been occasions when parents have been given incorrect information by students about CAPS services and appointment availability. Unless your student gives us written permission, we cannot acknowledge whether your student has been seen at CAPS or is making progress in counseling. The only exceptions occur when a student is under 18 years of age, when we are concerned that a student is clearly and imminently suicidal, when we learn of ongoing child abuse, or when we are ordered to release confidential information by a court of law.

Many students prefer to keep their counseling completely private, and such privacy is typically vital for successful counseling. Assuming your student is, however, willing to have one of the counselors discuss her or his participation in counseling with you, one good way to arrange for this is by asking your student to have the counselor call you during a counseling session. The counselor will then have your student complete and sign the necessary form. In general, counseling is best served if everything parents have to share with their student’s counselor is also shared with their student.

Even if your student doesn’t give her or his counselor permission to provide information to you, you may choose to contact a counselor to share your concerns. Such contact may make sense, for example, if you are concerned that your student is in serious danger. Note, however, that the counselor will not be able to even acknowledge knowing your student, and that the counselor will want to discuss any information you provide with your student.