CAPS Services

USF Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) provides individual, couples (both parties must be enrolled at USF), and group counseling for students, as well as consultation and outreach services to support students’ wellness and success. Detailed information can be found throughout this website.

The Scope of Our Services

CAPS invites students to schedule an initial intake appointment with a CAPS therapist. During this initial intake, our therapists will assist students in obtaining the appropriate services to address their concerns by recommending services within CAPS or in the community. Student concerns that can be addressed within a brief model of therapy are usually referred to CAPS, while concerns requiring longer-term or specialized therapy and/or medication are best addressed in the community.

CAPS utilizes a short-term model of therapy for individual and couples sessions 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 short-term counseling at CAPS are:

  • Personal: Stress and anxiety, mild depression, anger, loneliness, guilt, self-esteem, grief and loss
  • Relationship: Romantic relationship difficulties, sexual concerns, roommate conflicts, difficulties with coworkers, concerns with family or friends
  • Developmental: Identity development, adjustment to college, life transitions, cultural concerns
  • 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, discrimination and oppression

Service Limitations

Students whose mental health needs cannot be met within short-term counseling or who require a particular type of service not offered at CAPS, need to meet with a clinician more than once a week, or need to be assessed for or prescribed psychotropic medication are referred to community resources. Students may be referred to resources and services outside of CAPS on or off campus after the initial intake or during the course of treatment at CAPS (e.g., if factors indicating a need for services CAPS can't provide become apparent during or after the intake assessment).

Concerns best served in the community are those requiring seeing a therapist once a week or more or seeing a therapist for more than 8 to 12 counseling sessions, and/or concerns that require comprehensive or specialized services; these commonly include the following:

  • History of multiple psychiatric hospitalizations
  • Chronic suicidal plan and/or intent and/or self-injury behaviors; history of suicide attempts within the past 2 years
  • 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
  • Manifestations of psychotic symptoms without willingness to remain on medication for stabilization of symptoms
  • Inability or unwillingness to provide the necessary information to thoroughly assess symptoms
  • Other issues requiring specialized services not available through CAPS, such as
    • Significant 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 and for testing for the purpose of employment clearance or other nonacademic needs
    • Services to fulfill students’ court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements
    • Noncompliance with treatment recommendations

Please note, CAPS clinical staff members are unable to provide documentation for disability accommodations, release of Residence Hall contracts, emotional support animals, or study abroad clearance.

CAPS After Hours

Free and reliable after-hours consultation service

If you have an issue for which you need some confidential consultation and support, CAPS After Hours is available to you for free! When you call our main number (415-422-6352) Monday through Friday between 5 pm and 8:30 am or any time on weekends and holidays, you can press option 2 during the automated message to be connected with an on-call counselor.

You can call CAPS After Hours as many times as you want. The on-call counselor’s job is to consult with you and try to help with your problem. If they believe that you are in need of counseling, they may refer you to CAPS. CAPS After Hours is available to the entire USF community (USF students, their families, faculty, and staff). All consultations are confidential; only the licensed staff at CAPS can view a report and follow up.

If the on-call counselor fears for your safety, they will contact the appropriate emergency services.

CAPS All Hours

Free support and consultation to students at USF's additional locations.

USF students at locations other than the hilltop campus can call 24 hours a day, including weekends and most holidays at 855-531-0761 to consult with a counselor by phone.

Information in Languages Other Than English

Counseling for Faculty and Staff

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