CAPS Services

As we begin the fall 2021 semester, CAPS will continue to offer teletherapy services and remote workshops via confidential video or phone to USF students currently enrolled in classes and residing in California. (State regulations prevent provision of therapy across state lines.)

  • Brief Therapy, Single Session Therapy: CAPS offers brief individual therapy and couples therapy through confidential video or phone to help address your personal and mental health concerns. We also offer virtual single session therapy to talk about a specific issue in a focused way. Students may have up to a maximum of 12 individual or couples therapy appointments per academic year, which include up to 2 single session therapy appointments per semester.
  • Consultations: We provide consultations to USF students about services, resources, and treatment plans, regardless of enrollment or location, via video or phone. We also consult with anyone who has concerns about a USF student's mental health and needs advice or resources.
  • Crisis Services and All Hours Line: Students experiencing a mental health crisis will be seen at CAPS the same day during business hours for crisis stabilization and to be connected with needed resources. During business hours, USF students in need of crisis services or those referring them to CAPS should call (415) 422-6352 or -6351 to schedule. After hours, students in crisis or needing other immediate mental health support or anyone concerned about the mental health of a USF student can call the CAPS All Hours line at (855) 531-0761. Additional crisis resources and hotlines are available. For mental health emergencies involving risk of harm to self or others, call 911 if not on campus and ask for a Crisis Intervention Trained (CIT) officer or call USF Public Safety at (414) 422-2911.
  • Groups and Workshops: CAPS offers a variety of teletherapy groups in fall and spring, most of which meet weekly, for currently enrolled students living in California. We also offer a range of remote one-time workshops and workshop series, open to all USF students, regardless of location.
  • Mental Health Referrals: If you need services that CAPS cannot provide, including off-campus mental health services in the Bay Area or elsewhere, we can provide case management to help you find these resources. The Dean of Students Office can also help.
  • Outreach and Education: CAPS partners with other departments and organizations at USF to provide information about our services and education about various wellness and mental health topics.

During a first appointment at CAPS, such as an initial intake, the therapist will work to ensure the student gets the appropriate services to address their concerns by recommending additional services within CAPS or referring students to services outside of CAPS. Students with concerns that can be addressed within a brief model of therapy are usually seen at CAPS, while those with concerns requiring longer-term or specialized therapy, medication prescription, or other mental health services CAPS does not provide are best addressed by professionals outside of the university.

CAPS utilizes a short-term model of therapy in order to use its resources most effectively and assist students in addressing issues common in a college setting. Some of the concerns that are commonly addressed in brief psychotherapy at CAPS are:

  • Emotional/psychological: Stress and anxiety, mild depression, anger, loneliness, guilt, self-esteem, grief and loss
  • Relationship: Romantic relationship difficulties, sexual concerns, roommate conflicts, difficulties with coworkers or classmates, concerns with family or friends
  • Developmental/cultural: Identity development, adjustment to college, life transitions, cultural concerns, discrimination
  • Academic: Performance anxiety, perfectionism, underachievement,  motivation, concerns about future school and work
  • Other: Spiritual concerns, body image/food preoccupation, healthy lifestyle choices, minor alcohol and drug use concerns, sexual assault

Students whose mental health needs cannot be met with short-term psychotherapy or who require a particular type of service not offered at CAPS, require a meeting with a clinician once a week or more, or require medication assessment or prescription for mental health needs will be referred to resources outside of the university. Students may be referred to resources and services outside of CAPS after the initial appointment or during the course of treatment at CAPS (e.g., if factors indicating a need for such services become apparent during or after the intake assessment).

CAPS' remote teletherapy services (brief individual or couples therapy, single session therapy, and group therapy) can only be provided to currently enrolled students located in California. Remote workshops and consultations can be offered to USF students not located in California or not currently enrolled. CAPS cannot provide teletherapy to students at serious risk to themselves or others or who have severe symptoms (e.g., mania, psychosis). These conditions/symptoms are outside the ethical scope of practice of remote therapy/teletherapy and outside of CAPS' regular scope of practice. Ethical guidelines and licensing regulations prevent CAPS from providing remote therapy to clients outside of California.

Concerns best served in the professional community outside of CAPS are those requiring visits with a therapist once per week or more, requiring more than 8 to 12 psychotherapy sessions, and/or those that require comprehensive or specialized services, as well as situations including, but not limited to, the following:

  • History of multiple psychiatric hospitalizations
  • Chronic suicidal plan and/or intent, chronic or severe self-injury behaviors, and/or history of suicide attempts within the past year
  • Indications that short-term therapy may be detrimental or non-beneficial, as specified by the treating clinician
  • Evidence or risk of significant deterioration in mental or emotional functioning, requiring more intensive intervention
  • Psychotic symptoms or mania without a willingness to remain on medication for stabilization of symptoms
  • Inability or unwillingness to provide the information needed for CAPS to thoroughly assess symptoms
  • Other issues requiring specialized services not available through CAPS, such as
    • Significant and/or high-risk drug and/or alcohol problems, such as substance dependence and/or past failed treatments
    • Significant or longstanding eating disorder with no period of remission, no previous treatment, or that may pose a medical danger
    • Request for formal psychological evaluation or testing
    • Services to fulfill students’ court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements
    • Noncompliance with treatment recommendations

Documentation Letters

Please note that CAPS does not provide letters to verify a need for emotional support animals. If you need such a letter, a mental health or medical clinician off campus who has treated you previously may be able to provide it, or you should seek services from a new mental health clinician off campus.

Also note that CAPS can't provide accommodation letters for students we have seen fewer than three times for assessment and therapy in an academic year. Students seeking such a letter who are not existing CAPS clients should seek services with a mental health clinician off campus or ask an off-campus clinician who is currently/has recently assessed and treated you.

Medication (psychiatry services)

CAPS does not offer medication services. Contact your primary doctor and/or your insurance company for information about psychiatric service providers nearby who take your insurance. CAPS or the Dean of Students Office can also provide information on and guidance in finding off-campus medication services using your insurance or for low or sliding-scale fees if needed.

Ongoing and Specialty Therapy Services

CAPS offers brief, intermittent therapy. If you are seeking ongoing and/or weekly therapy, treatment for serious mental health conditions, or specialized services such as intensive eating disorder or substance use treatment, please contact your insurance company for information about providers in the area who accept your insurance. Contact information for your insurance company can usually be found on their website or insurance card. CAPS may refer you for off-campus services after initial assessment or at any point during treatment if we determine our services will not meet your needs, per our Scope of Services.

If you have concerns about a USF student for which you need confidential consultation and support or you are a USF student with mental health concerns that would benefit from talking to a professional therapist or are experiencing a mental health crisis, CAPS All Hours is available to you for free! When you call our All Hours line at (855) 531-0761, you will be connected with a professional therapist. This line is available to serve USF students on our main Hilltop campus and other campuses.

The on-call therapist’s job is to assess your safety and to consult with you and try to help with your concerns. All consultations are confidential, with information being given only to the All Hours Line staff and CAPS staff in most cases. Note that if the on-call therapist believes that there is an imminent risk of harm to the caller or other parties, they will contact the appropriate emergency services.

CAPS therapists are available to consult with faculty and staff who have concerns about a USF student. Call CAPS during business hours at (415) 422-6352 or -6351, or call the All Hours Line at (855) 531-0761 any time, 24/7, to speak with a professional therapist about your concerns. Note that unless we have a release from the student you're calling about, we can't disclose any information, including whether they are being seen at CAPS. However, we can always receive information from you and give general advice and resources.

Our website provides helpful information for faculty and staff about supporting students and when and how to refer students to CAPS.

USF faculty and staff in need of counseling services can contact the CONCERN Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at (800) 344-4222.

Services outside CA

Information in Languages Other Than English