Short-Term Counseling


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Confidential & Caring Support For Whatever You're Going Through

CAPS offers brief, solution-focused therapy. In just a few counseling sessions, you'll focus on your specific goals, explore solutions to your concerns, and learn strategies to help you achieve your goals.

What happens in brief counseling? 

At your initial visit, you and your counselor will talk about your short-term goals. Your counselor may also recommend additional tools and services from CAPS Care Pathways to help you along the way.

You and your counselor will check in on your progress and update your Care Plan as you go. If different services and/or longer-term treatment is needed, your counselor will discuss options.

Whether you're in crisis, just getting started, or starting again, there's a path for you and a counselor that can help.

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How do I know if I need therapy? 

At CAPS, we believe you're the only expert in you, and it's never the wrong time to seek support. If you think it could help to talk to a counselor, you're right. People start therapy for many reasons, from checking in periodically or talking through a stressful situation to seeking support for a specific diagnosis.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, stuck, having difficulty with daily life events, or just not feeling like yourself, it can help to talk it out with a counselor. Other signs that therapy could be a good step for you are changes in eating or sleeping habits, difficulties with mood, energy, and attention, or thoughts that cause you distress. What's most important is that you listen to yourself and don't wait until it's a crisis before you ask for help.

Is there anything I should do before my therapy session?

The relationship you have with your therapist is a working relationship, and like all working relationships, you'll get the most out of it when you're an active participant. One of the easiest ways to do this is coming to your sessions with a flexible agenda. To do this, consider your therapy goals, the changes you're ready to address, and anything going on that you'd like to process. Take notes between sessions on new insights or challenges, recurring patterns, or questions you'd like guidance on. 

It's also helpful to apply what you've learned outside of your sessions. This might involve completing a homework assignment your therapist has suggested or making up one of your own. Find small ways to approach situations with a new perspective, try out new behaviors, or respond to your emotions in a new way.

What do you do in a therapy session?

What happens in your therapy appointment depends on your goals and concerns. CAPS counselors take a collaborative and individualized approach to your care. Generally, you will share your concerns, questions, and goals with your counselor, and together, you'll come up with your next steps. 

Depending on what comes up in a session, your counselor can help you: 

  • organize your thoughts
  • understand the basis of fears or beliefs you may have
  • share new coping skills and strategies
  • provide education on emotional wellness
  • give you suggestions on how to practice new skills and strategies

CAPS therapists are all licensed and participate in continuing education on a variety of topics like ethics, cultural diversity, and new treatment methods. Each counselor has their own specialty areas to meet a variety of student needs. 

How can I be sure my therapist and I are a good match?

Research has shown that the biggest predictor of positive outcomes from therapy is the relationship between the client and the therapist. That's because you have to feel safe, heard, and understood in order to get the most out of therapy. While you can't always predict how good of a match you and a therapist might be before you meet, there are a few ways you can set yourself up to find the best match possible. 

  • Identify the most pressing and concerns you'd like to address. If you have the option, choose a therapist who specializes in those or similar concerns. Whether you have the option to choose a therapist based on a specialty area or not, let your therapist know what those concerns are and discuss how the two of you can work together to address them.
  • Think about the kind of support you're looking for right now. Do you want a safe space where you can sort out your thoughts or are you looking for specific skills you can apply to a challenging area in your life? Sometimes, you can get a feel for how a therapist works by reading their bio or professional website. If you already have a therapist, talk to them about the kind of support you need right now. Conversations like this can shape the work you do together or help them identify a therapist who may be a better match.
  • Consider the identities that feel most comfortable. Depending on your concerns or current life circumstances, you may feel more comfortable working with a therapist of a particular identity (i.e., gender, age, race/ethnic identity). You can research therapists with your preferred identities or let referring providers know your preferences. 

Find out more about how to know if you and your therapist are a good fit. Looking for a CAPS therapist or want to learn more about a CAPS therapist you're seeing? Meet the CAPS staff.

Additional Resources