Making an appointment
After you complete the registration information requested, you will have the option of scheduling a triage appointment. You will receive an email confirming your appointment within one business day. If you have trouble logging in or cannot find an appointment at your preferred time, call CAPS at 979-845-4427 to request help or email email@example.com.
- Routinely, triage appointments may take up to 10 business days to be scheduled. At extremely busy times of the semester, the wait time may be longer.
- We provide goal-oriented counseling to address mental health and developmental issues. See our Scope of Practice document for details. Our average session number is 3 to 4. Over 75% of students average 1 to 5 sessions.
Appointments are available between 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday. Limited evening services are sometimes available for ongoing appointments in the fall and spring semesters.
The first appointment
Your first session is called a triage appointment. In this brief, 25-minute session, the triage specialist will conduct an assessment to get a broad idea of what’s bringing you in. The goal is for you to collaborate together on what kinds of services, either at CAPS or elsewhere, will be the most helpful for you. A triage appointment might feel more like a ‘game-planning’ session than a traditional ‘therapy’ appointment.
Getting the most benefit from counseling
Personal commitment to your own growth and change is crucial to success in counseling. You can enhance your development by being open and taking risks, such as disclosing information that is difficult to talk about, and by actively participating in sessions. You can continue the counseling process between sessions by thinking about what you have talked about and experienced during sessions, focusing on the changes you want to make, and working on specific goals discussed with your counselor.
To receive services at CAPS, students must be currently enrolled at Texas A&M University and have paid the University Advancement Fee. During the summer, Texas A&M students who are not currently enrolled in courses can still utilize CAPS services if they were enrolled in the Spring, are enrolled in the Fall, and pay a $25 bridge charge.
*If you are a new incoming student, you will be able to register for our services on the first day of class. In the meantime, explore our self-help resources.
Canceling or missing appointments
Keeping appointments and being on time is part of the personal commitment to counseling you must make. If an illness or a rare emergency causes you to be unable to keep your appointment, you must contact us and cancel the appointment as far in advance as possible so that we can offer your time slot to another Aggie. Since it is not usually beneficial to engage in shortened sessions, your appointment may be rescheduled if you are late.
A no-show/late cancellation charge of $25 will be added to your student account if you fail to notify us 24 hours in advance that you will not be attending your scheduled appointment. There will be a $50 charge for no-show/late cancellation for all psychiatric appointments. You may notify us through email (firstname.lastname@example.org), telephone (979-845-4427), or in person (Student Services @ White Creek).
No information about counseling is released outside of CAPS to anyone without a student's written authorization. CAPS makes no record of visits on academic transcripts or placement files. However, there are limits to confidentiality and they include the following:
- When there is the risk of imminent harm, therapists have a legal and ethical duty to do whatever is necessary to protect life.
- When a court of law orders a therapist to release information, the therapist is bound by law to comply with such an order.
- When any individual has reason to believe that a child or mentally disabled person or an elderly person is in danger of or is being physically, emotionally, or sexually abused, that individual is obligated by law to report such abuse to the proper authorities.
- Because confidentiality does not extend to criminal proceedings in Texas, when an individual is involved in a criminal prosecution, their file may be open for court inspection.
- When therapists become aware of incidences of sexual misconduct on the part of other therapists, they are required to report that to the state board.
Additionally, a student's counselor/therapist may consult with a supervisor and/or with other professional staff members of the CAPS for the purpose of providing the best possible service.
CAPS uses an electronic record keeping system and stores its records using state-of-the art security.
Need a Letter?
CAPS does not make recommendations to course instructors, academic advisors, or academic deans to excuse absences, allow make-up tests, grant incomplete grades, or to change an academic requirement or to take academic action.
If you have received services from CAPS and would like your counselor to write a letter to your course instructor, academic advisor, or academic dean, please note that your counselor may write a letter to:
- Confirm your attendance of counseling sessions or participation in CAPS programs.
- Provide a brief summary of your presenting concerns and the progress you made in counseling.
Your counselor may also provide a professional opinion regarding how your individual concerns might impact your academic performance. Your counselor will determine the appropriateness of providing such opinions after he/she is able to work with you for a period of time and a proper assessment has been conducted.
All CAPS services are confidential. You will need to sign an authorization to permit the release of information before your counselor can write a letter to another party revealing that you received CAPS services. Information that your counselor provides to the recipient of a letter is no longer protected by the confidentiality of CAPS and may become part of your educational record. FERPA (Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) states that certain individuals may access your educational record, such as a school official who has a legitimate educational interest; this record may also be accessed in the event of a “health and safety” emergency. Additionally, parents of students who are claimed as dependents on the federal income tax form may be able to access a student’s educational record. Only the specific information for which you provide authorization is released. All other information remains protected under the confidentiality laws of the State of Texas.
Please consult your counselor if you need a letter.
Emotional Support Animals
CAPS does not provide documentation to students that will support obtaining an Emotional Support Animal. While an animal may be able to provide comfort to students, it is not within our training or practice to provide documentation supporting the presence of a disability that substantially limits an area of major functioning to an extent that requires the presence of an animal.