As I grow older, part of my emotional survival plan must be to actively seek inspiration
instead of passively waiting for it to find me.
~ Bebe Moore Campbell
And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom.
~ Anais Nin
Welcome to Western Carolina University’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center (CAPS). CAPS provides consultations and psychological counseling to students (and a one time consultation for faculty/staff) on a short-term basis at no cost. If, following your initial appointment, CAPS staff determines that your needs do not match the services available, or if longer-term counseling is recommended, you will be referred to other resources (e.g. specialized treatment, academic advising, career counseling).Our CAPS case manager can provide assistance in linking with these resources, if desired
** CAPS is proud to introduce our Walk-In Clinic, a streamlined initial services process. Our walk-in process is a NEW way for CAPS staff to better serve students. As a staff we thank you for your patience and understanding as we make these changes.
HOW TO GET STARTED
If you do not have a current counselor this semester, you can come by CAPS during our Walk-In Clinic. Hours available are Monday –Friday between 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm when you can come into CAPS and see a counselor on a first-come, first-served basis. Clients must arrive by 2:15 and paperwork must be completed in a timely manner or we will need to have you come another day. When you initially arrive, you will be asked to complete important information, so please allow yourself an extra 20-30 minutes. During the Walk-In session itself, which normally lasts 20 minutes, a counselor will work with you to determine how and where your needs can be best met. You may be referred to an individual counselor, to a group, or referred to another agency on campus or in the community, if appropriate. Please be sure that you understand the next steps before you leave. If you are uncertain, please call 828.227.7469.
If you've used on-going counsleing services in the past, call the office to schedule a session as usual.
CAPS also offers after-hours on-campus emergency coverage for trauma and life-threatening situations such as suicide and sexual assault. To activate the system, call the Campus Police Department at 828.227.8911 and ask for the counselor on-call.
During the Fall and Spring semesters, our walk-in hours are:
- Monday - Friday 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. Clients must arrive by 2:15 and paperwork must be completed in a timely manner or we will need to have you come another day.
- If a student is unable to come to CAPS during these times, please contact CAPS to make special arrangements .
- Phone 828.227.7469 for additional information
During the summer sessions, our walk-in hours vary. Please contact us at 828.227.7469 for details.
Short-Term Goal Oriented Counseling Services
We provide several forms of brief counseling services including individual and group. Individual counseling involves meeting with a counselor for approximately 50 minutes (be aware that a theraputic hour is about 50 minutes and if your therapist has not taken you back by 10 minutes past the hour please talk to the front desk). You and your counselor determine how frequently both of you will meet. It is common for students to meet with a counselor weekly, but many meet every other week or even once a month. Due to high demand and limited resources, you’ll work together with your counselor to try to achieve limited goals in a short period of time. If long-term or specialized services are most appropriate we may refer you to a more appropriate service off-campus.
Group counseling involves meeting with approximately 5-8 other students on a weekly basis. Group meetings generally last for about an hour and a half and are often led by two counselors. Groups are an excellent vehicle for students who have concerns with shyness, fear of rejection, assertively expressing themselves, feeling anxious around others, and have difficulty communicating. As a result, this is an opportunity for a student to experiment with different ways of expressing her/himself, receive feedback from others on how they perceive her/him, receive support and encouragement, and offer support to the other group members.
Groups address a variety of student needs: women's experiences, men's experiences, body image & eating disorders, enhancing relationships, trauma and abuse recovery, self-esteem, stress management, GLBT support and substance abuse among others. See the current semester group schedule (Fall 2013) for more information.
Case Management Services
Short-term case management services are offered to WCU students needing referrals to community resources and/or intensive follow up following a crisis or psychiatric hospitalization. If you or someone you know needs case management services, call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to request an appointment with the Case Manager.
Faculty, staff or students who desire professional consultation regarding concerns about others may make an appointment. At various times this option has been utilized by clubs, teams, groups of roommates or friends, as well as individuals. Our staff will talk with you about your concerns, offer you our professional view of the situation, and make recommendations when appropriate.
Students whose disordered eating conditions are diagnosed as appropriate for university services will be offered one or more of the following: individual and/or group therapy through CPS, psychiatric evaluation and follow-up by a consulting nurse practitioner, medical evaluation and medical follow-up through Health Services, and referral to a nutritionist. Health Services and Counseling and Psychological Services offers a multidisciplinary team approach comprised of counselors, nurse practitioners, physicians and physician assistants, and nutritionist and may invite, as needed, professionals from the campus and surrounding community such as Residential Living, Athletic Department, or Campus Recreation Center staff. If the student already has a counselor or other eating disorder professional working with him/her in the community, another option is to use that professional in consultation with the other disciplines available on campus. In the event that the student’s condition warrants more intensive or long-term care, the student will be given an appropriate referral outside the university.
If you have been referred to consult with our psychiatric nurse practitioner for further assessment and treatment recommendations they will work closely with our staff to devise a comprehensive treatment plan which ideally will assist you in addressing the issues that brought you to counseling. Psychiatric appointments are scheduled one day and a half each week during fall and spring semesters. As an enrolled Western student, you may be eligible for assessment and follow-up sessions. All appointments with the psychiatric nurse practitioner will be charged to your health insurance. Co-pays are due at time of service and vary due to your specific insurance coverage.
When school is in session, all WCU students are eligible for emergency services. If a student receives emergency services, they will also have a follow-up session with a CAPS counselor as directed. As we do not operate as a crisis center, we try to ensure proactive care and follow-up that is sensitive to the student's needs. .