Contact CAPS for an Initial Consultation

CAPS offers free and confidential professional counseling services to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at Penn.

Your treatment at CAPS begins with an Initial Phone or In-Person Consultation.  When you call or walk into CAPS for an Initial Consultation you will have a brief conversation with a clinician  lasting approximately 15 minutes.  This conversation often involves a discussion of personal and private information.  For this reason, please be in a place where you feel comfortable doing this at the time of the contact with CAPS.  This assessment will allow the clinician to proceed to the next step which may include an iInitial appointment at CAPS, referral to a CAPS group, or connecting you with other resources on campus and/or in the community.  If we fail to reach you by phone, we will send an email inviting you to contact us again at your convenience.

Call Us
Walk In
Online Request
Call 215-898-7021 during normal business hours. Please have your PennID number available.
Come to 3624 Market Street, First Floor West during normal business hours.Complete an Online Initial Consultation Request.  A CAPS Clinician will return your call by the end of that business day.

Please note:  email is not used by CAPS for this purpose.

What to Expect in Treatment at CAPS

The clinicians at CAPS are licensed professionals that have been trained in a variety of theories and modalities of psychotherapy. Regardless of the theoretical orientation, most of the treatment we practice will be a brief model of psychotherapy. For some students this might mean 2 - 3 sessions to get some ideas about how to manage difficult situations or personal experiences. Other students might have a trial of 6 - 8 sessions to gain insight into their emotional experience and learn some strategies to inhibit distressing symptoms. Still others may benefit from a full semester to begin to manage their current distress. Most students experience some symptom relief after 4 sessions and the average number of sessions is about eight. In keeping with our brief model of treatment, students may receive a referral to a private practitioner in Philadelphia. This might happen during the initial consultation or after a brief trial of treatment, depending on the symptoms presented. For more about our referral services please check that page of our web site.

What to Expect During Your Initial Assessment

Should you be scheduled for an Initial Appointment at CAPS here is what a student can expect.

You will receive an email and/or text message confirmation  24 hours before your initial appointment.  Please arrive for your Initial Appointment 15 minutes early as there are several forms that need to be completed before your session begins.

During the Initial Assessment, the clinician will gather additional information from you, get a clearer picture of your needs, and begin to plan with you, the most appropriate course of action. At times, this could involve a referral to group therapy, individual therapy, a community agency or professional who may better serve your needs.