Brief Individual or Couples Therapy & Single Session Therapy
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers in-person and remote individual, couples, and group therapy to currently enrolled USF students residing within California.
At CAPS, USF students can be seen for brief, intermittent individual therapy to address a variety of concerns. The first step in connecting with CAPS is typically a short triage phone screening appointment, which can be scheduled by calling CAPS or online. In the initial triage appointments, CAPS therapists assess risk, identify primary mental health concerns, and recommend appropriate next steps for treatment, whether it be at CAPS or elsewhere on or off campus. If CAPS brief individual therapy is the right fit for a student’s needs, the next step is typically a 45 minute intake appointment. The intake process begins prior to the appointment, with the student completing paperwork to help the therapist better understand their background, history, and reason for seeking help. During the appointment, the student and therapist talk about the student's concerns to determine what next steps make sense; these may involve additional therapy appointments at CAPS, a group or workshop at CAPS, referral to other CAPS or USF resources, referral to off-campus resources, and/or steps the student can take outside of therapy.
Therapy typically involves talking about concerns to build the student's insights and provide new perspectives, building coping and wellness skills, providing information about mental health and treatment options, and/or helping the student set and work toward goals for change.
Due to high demand for services at CAPS, the number of sessions per academic year is limited, and meetings are typically spread out every 2 weeks or longer.
Students seeking a one-time meeting with a counselor to get focused help and advice about a specific concern may wish to schedule a Single Session Therapy appointment rather than a brief therapy intake appointment (see Single Session Therapy section).
Like individual therapy at CAPS, brief couples therapy can address various concerns. Both members of the "couple" (who may be romantic partners, roommates, siblings, friends ...) must be current USF students. Couples therapy can address common concerns, such as issues with communication, trust, finances, responsibilities, boundaries, and conflict.
The first step in connecting with CAPS is typically a short triage phone screening appointment, which can be scheduled by calling CAPS or online. If CAPS is the right fit the next step is typically a 60 minute intake appointment. The intake process begins prior to the appointment, with both students completing paperwork to help the therapist better understand their background, history, and reason for seeking help. During the appointment, the students and therapist talk about the couple's concerns to determine what next steps make sense. These next steps may involve additional couples therapy appointments at CAPS or referral to other resources on or off campus. Sometimes the therapist may recommend that one or both partners engage in individual therapy instead of or in addition to couples therapy. As with individual therapy at CAPS, the number of couples therapy sessions per academic year is limited, and meetings are often spread out every 2 weeks or longer.
Couples seeking a one-time meeting with a counselor to get focused help and advice about a specific concern may wish to schedule a Single Session Therapy appointment rather than a couples intake appointment (see next section).
What Is It?
Single Session Therapy (SST) is a service CAPS began offering in fall 2019. SST appointments are designed for students who would like to meet a therapist on a one-time basis to talk about a specific concern in a very focused way. Many students find that a single session is effective in providing what they need. SST can be used by individual students or couples (as long as both students are currently enrolled at USF; the members of a "couple" may be romantic partners, roommates, or friends).
What Happens During a SINGLE SESSION APPOINTMENT?
You will meet with a therapist for about 60 minutes. You and the therapist will work together on clarifying your needs and goals for the session. The therapist will provide skills and strategies focused on your strengths to help you address your concern. You will leave with a personalized action plan and/or other resources.
Students are eligible for two SST appointments per semester, which count toward the maximum number of individual or couples appointments per academic year a student can access. Examples of concerns for which SST may be a good option include:
- Challenges with time management, study skills, stress, or anxiety
- Recent conflict (e.g., with a friend, roommate, partner, or family member) or a pattern of conflict
- Needing to make a decision and wanting to talk it through with someone objective
- Needing information about mental health and treatment options at CAPS, or about therapy in general
- Getting advice about off-campus referrals for ongoing therapy or other mental health services
- Concerns about how to help a friend or loved one who is having a hard time
- Be ready 60 minutes early for your initial intake appointment or 30 minutes early for a Single Session Therapy appointment to fill out a computer assessment (please have your 8-digit USF student ID number).
- Be on time for your appointment.
- Be honest with your therapist; therapy is a safe place to tell the truth without being judged.
- Give your therapist feedback on how your therapy is going.