Services for Students FAQ
Am I eligible for services?
Counseling and Psychological Services is a mental health resource where currently enrolled UTEP students can receive assistance with issues such as adjustment, anxiety, depression, loss, relationship concerns, as well as a variety of other concerns. The Counseling Center is staffed by psychologists and mental health counselors who provide developmentally based counseling, assessment, and crisis intervention services.
Students currently enrolled and taking classes on campus are generally eligible to receive services. CAPS is funded solely through Student Service Fees. Students who do not pay Student Services Fees as part of their tuition are not eligible for ongoing services at CAPS. These students, however, are more than welcome to come in and talk with one of our counselors who can help provide assistance with referrals to the community.
What are your office hours?
Fall and Spring Semester
- Monday and Tuesday: 8am to 7pm
- Wednesday through Friday: 8am to 5pm
- Saturday and Sunday Closed
Summer 1 and Summer II
- Monday through Friday: 8am to 5pm
- Saturday and Sunday Closed
- Monday through Friday: 8am to 5pm
- Saturday and Sunday: Closed
CAPS is close for University Scheduled Holidays and from the last week in December to the first week in January. Call CAPS at (915) 747-5302 for more detailed information on office hours and dates.
Does CAPS offer drop-in counseling?
CAPS does not offer drop-in counseling. Studies have shown that much of the success of counseling has to do with the therapeutic alliance between the counselor and the client. This basically means that the better the rapport between the counselor and the client, the better the chances of a successful outcome. Therefore, we recommend that students work with an individual counselor to address concerns. CAPS does provide same day crisis counseling/assessment to UTEP students. See crisis services at CAPS and the within the El Paso Community for more information.
Why do I have to wait up to three weeks to see my counselor for Individual sessions?
CAPS does not charge for counseling sessions. While the free services are helpful for our UTEP students, it also means that many UTEP students seek our services, especially during peak times like midterms and finals. Please know that we are doing the best we can to meet the demand we have without compromising the quality of our services. If the wait time seems to be too long, please consider our group counseling program which meets weekly throughout the semester.
Who is informed that I am coming to counseling?
The counseling process is confidential which means that we cannot release any information about a student except under certain legally prescribed conditions. In addition, counseling records do not become a part of a student’s academic record. Conditions that would require a counselor to break confidentiality include imminent danger of self-harm or harm to others; suspecting any abuse of minors, the elderly or individuals with a disabilities; a signed court order by a judge. If you have any questions or concerns regarding confidentiality, please ask a CAPS counselor.
Why are there session limits for individual counseling?
CAPS does not charge students for counseling sessions. This usually means that demand for services are very high. In an effort to meet this high demand and see as many student as we can, we have adopted a short term model for individual counseling designed to target specific concerns and develop treatment plans to address these concerns. We work collaboratively with students to determine if counseling within the session limits is sufficient to have a positive therapeutic benefit based upon the student’s presenting concern. It is important to note that there are no session limits for group counseling. If you are interested in longer-tem counseling, please talk with one of our counselors about joining a group.
Why was I referred to a community provider?
Our counselors are trained to assess the type and level of care that you need based upon your presenting concern(s). We typically refer students when they need or request services that are outside the scope of what CAPS can reasonably provide. For this reason, we have developed relationships with local community providers who can provide you the services you need.
Who is going to be my counselor?
Our licensed counselors are comprised of psychologists, Clinical Social Workers, and Professional Counselors who offer a broad range of interests and experiences but who also practice primarily as generalists. CAPS is also a training facility for doctoral level post-docs and interns, as well as masters and doctoral level practicum students, who all work under the supervision of our licensed training staff. CAPS holds a weekly clinical meeting where new clients are presented and assigned a counselor. This assignment is largely based upon availability and expertise.
Why do some of the counselors at CAPS record their sessions?
Some of our counselors are in the final stages of their graduate programs; therefore, despite having previous experience, they are not yet licensed and need to record their sessions. These sessions are only reviewed internally and with a supervisor. Recorded sessions are erased regularly.
Supervisors make sure that supervisees have the requisite experience and training to work with a client’s presenting concerns. There is an advantage to working with a trainee:
- Trainees are capped at a certain number of clients. This means that they are usually available to provide appointments more frequently than the clinical staff.
- All trainees are being supervised by an experienced supervisor who meets with them weekly. Although the focus of the supervision session is on the performance of the trainee, the client has the benefit of two individuals consulting about their case rather than just one.
- These graduate trainees are still students which provides them with a bit more understanding of the current concerns and complications that arise in a student’s life.
Can I get a letter for a comfort animal or a medical withdrawal?
There are some types of letters that are outside the scope of our services. This would include letters for comfort animals.
Providing medical withdrawal letters (Medical WIthdrawal Policy) is a service that must occur within the context of an on-going therapeutic relationship. CAPS does not provide letters based solely on an intake or initial visit. On rare occasions, a CAPS clinician may provide a medical withdrawal letter to an ongoing client. This decision depends on the nature of the letter requested, the time frame, compliance with therapy, and the counselor’s professional opinion.