Frequently Asked Questions

  • What services are being provided at the Counseling Service?

    CAPS provides the following services: individual, group, and couple counseling, crisis intervention, alcohol, and other drug counseling as well as referrals. We also provide a wide variety of outreach presentations on mental health topics for student organizations, residence halls, and the university community.

  • Why do we put pronouns on our meet the staff page?

    We believe all people have value and should be treated with respect. Transgender and non-binary people often experience difficulty when trying to get others to refer to them by their correct pronouns. They are often misgendered, which can be painful and suggest they are not seen for who they really are as people.

    By including our pronouns, we want to create a safe space and demonstrate that gender should never be assumed or asserted by other people. By doing so, we hope to ease the suffering transgender people experience regularly.

    Including our pronouns on the webpage and in our email signatures is an option we give our staff. We make it optional because we recognize coming out is a process that everyone should be able to do on their own terms and in their own way.

  • What can I expect from my first "visit'? 

    The morning of your appointment you will receive an email with a link to complete your intake paperwork, that paperwork needs to be completed before your scheduled appointment. If your appointment is scheduled virtually, you will receive another email with a link to connect for your telehealth appointment. At your appointment time, you will meet with a CAPS counselor who will get an understanding of your current needs, gather a brief history about you, and collaborate with you to develop a plan which will outline the next steps.

  • What types of issues do students come to CAPS to discuss?

    Students come to CAPS for a variety of reasons. These range from stress management, organizational skills, and relationship problems to significant symptoms of mental disorders, most commonly depression and anxiety. Some students may only come once as problems or symptoms arrive while others may come regularly throughout their years of schooling to manage recurrent symptoms of ongoing stressors. We are typically able to see students biweekly (once every 2 weeks). More regular sessions may be recommended based on your therapist's clinical judgment.

  • Do I need to be in CRISIS to attend CAPS?

    NO! It can be just as helpful, if not more so, to seek counseling treatment just when you are starting to feel that you could use some assistance. You don't need to wait until there is a big problem on your shoulders to talk to a counselor.

  • I am worried about a student, what can I do? 

    If the concern is life-threatening, please contact 911 or the Campus Police at 301-687-4223.

    If the situation is not life-threatening, being supportive and encouraging the student to contact CAPS is often the best first step. CAPS does not contact students who do not contact us first out of respect for their privacy and independence.

  • How are your services being provided?

    Our services are being provided through telehealth. This means that your appointment will occur via phone, Microsoft TEAMS, or Vidyo. We are committed to keeping you and the FSU community safe through this pandemic.

  • What is teletherapy?

    Teletherapy is the delivery of health care services using interactive technologies (audio and visual) between a counselor and client who are not in the same physical location. Similar to Facetime or Skype but using a more secure, HIPAA-compliant platform.

  • What are your hours of operation?

    We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Crisis services are available during the evening and on weekends by contacting University Police at 301-687-4223.

  • How will I be contacted regarding my appointment?

    The primary form of contact will be by phone and at times by email. You will receive a reminder email and a text message reminder if you choose to sign up, a few days prior to your appointment. On the morning of your appointment, you will receive an email with a link to complete your paperwork for your appointment as well as a follow-up email with a link to your telehealth appointment.

  • What is required for my appointment?

    Students should identify a private distraction-free space for their appointments. Some may decide to use headphones for additional privacy. It is asked that you give the session your full attention and avoid multi-tasking during your session. Sessions using Microsoft TEAMS or Vidyo may be accessed on a computer or mobile device.

  • How can I find privacy for my online appointment?

    Teletherapy can sometimes be interrupted here are some tips on finding a quiet space:

    • Ask the ones you're with for some private space.
    • Create some white noise. Download a free sound machine app on your smartphone to play noises. Placing your phone near a door will muffle the voices from your sessions to those around you.
    • Find a quiet spot in your yard or head to a local park, away from others, where you can focus on your session.
    • If you have access to a vehicle, make sure your car is in park and log onto your session via smartphone.
    • If you do not have a private space, please inform us when you schedule and we will work with you to identify a space on campus for your sessions.

    As a reminder, be sure you are always using a privately protected WIFI.

  • What services do minority students have available to them?

    CAPS has a diverse staff with a variety of experience and expertise. We also offer groups for students representing specific identities. For example, we have groups for Black women (I AM HER Tribe) and LGBTQ+ (LGBTQ+ Support group). Although we are not always able to match a student’s background to that of the counseling staff, we have had cross-cultural training and are knowledgeable about issues of diversity and difference. Please feel free to speak to the Administrative Assistant or request to speak to the Director to address your concern.

  • I am nervous about seeing a counselor. Is this normal?

    It’s okay to feel hesitant about unfamiliar situations, especially discussing personal feelings and ideas. Sometimes talking about this nervousness eases the conversation. We would like you to realize that each counselor has a unique style and approach that can offer a new experience for you. It is important that you feel comfortable with your counselor and for any reason, if you don't, we ask that you speak to the Administrative Assistant or request to speak to the Director to address your concern. It is okay to express these concerns and we would rather have you do this than have you not return.

  • Will my counselor tell people what is discussed in our appointments?

    Confidentiality is our most important principle. No one, either inside or outside of the College, will ever receive any information about a student unless the student gives prior written consent for us to do so using a signed release of information. Exceptions to confidentiality are made in situations in which a student is imminent harm to themself or others. It is then our legal obligation to keep that student safe and free from harm. Other exceptions to confidentiality will be addressed during your first session and your counselor can answer any other questions you may have about confidentiality at that time.

  • Will CAPS write a letter on my behalf?

    Your CAPS counselor may provide a letter on your behalf should your counselor see fit. If your counselor agrees to write a letter on your behalf a release of information must be obtained before the letter can be disturbed. However, CAPS does not write letters of any kind regarding animals (ex: service or emotional). If you are not receiving services from CAPS we recommend you reach out to your therapist, primary care physician, or other resources.