What to Expect
CAPS cares about you and your mental health!
CAPS' Service Model
CAPS’ primary function is to support students’ mental health needs in order to meet their academic goals within a time window framed by service eligibility, class schedules, student obligations, CAPS resources as well as our Scope of Practice document. As such, CAPS services are short-term and goal-oriented and align with the TAMU academic semester calendar. Our average session number is 3 to 4. Over 75% of students average 1 to 5 sessions. We strive to wrap up services with students once classes have ended and as finals begin. However, when clinically indicated due to significant mental health concerns, we may extend treatment beyond the parameters of the semester calendar.
Making an appointment
To begin the process of making an appointment, log into the Student Portal. There you will be directed to some registration paperwork, and after that is completed, you will have the option of scheduling an initial phone consultation. 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 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request help. Routinely, initial appointments may take up to 10 business days to be scheduled. At extremely busy times of the semester, the wait time may be longer. Check out resources to utilize while you wait.
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 appointment will be a consultation that occurs over the phone. The counselor will likely call you from a number with no caller ID, so it is important you ensure your device is able to receive such calls. During this appointment, the counselor will verify your current address and emergency contacts, discuss the privacy of your current location, and inquire about any questions you might have about the required paperwork. For this appointment, it is important that you be in a quiet, private place that is free of distractions and that you refrain from multitasking, such as driving, during the time of your appointment. You may be asked to reschedule your appointment if you are unable to participate in a private, distraction-free space. The counselor will gather information about your concerns and discuss treatment options that will be most helpful for you. Options may include ongoing individual telehealth, group telehealth, self-help and self-guided resources, and/or other resources located within your local community.
Read more about What to Expect in your Telehealth Appointments.
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.
Cancelling 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 the student portal, email (email@example.com), telephone (979-845-4427), or in person on the 4th floor of the Student Services Building.
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.
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.
In addition, CAPS does not provide referrals for these types of documentation. CAPS is unable to endorse an approach for making such recommendations, making it unethical to recommend any specific provider or course of action to secure such documentation.
NOTICE TO CLIENTS
The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council investigates and prosecutes professional misconduct committed by marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, psychologists, psychological associates, social workers, and licensed specialists in school psychology.
Although not every complaint against or dispute with a licensee involves professional misconduct, the Executive Council will provide you with information about how to file a complaint.
Please call 1-800-821-3205 for more information or visit the BHEC website.
Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council
333 Guadalupe St., Ste. 3-900
Austin, Texas 78701
Tel. (512) 305-7700
1-800-821-3205 24-hour, toll-free complaint system
The Texas Board of Nursing website addresses their process for filing complaints.