In addition to utilizing to faculty, staff and peer social networks, many students find that counseling is an effective way to help alleviate concerns and learn to manage personal challenges, psychological problems, and situational crises.CAPS offers several counseling options, including:
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.
Meeting individually with a Counseling and Psychological Services staff member for a series of sessions provides the opportunity to explore your concerns and to discover ways to implement possible solutions.
We offer confidential and free professional services to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at Penn. The goal is to assist students in their adjustment to college life and to help them take full advantage of the academic and social enviornment at the University. By utilizing our service, students can learn to manage personal problems and situational crises effectively, learn strategies to cope with academic stress, and develop self-awareness, personal responsibility, and skills for life-long learning.
Our staff is comprised of psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers of diverse backgrounds who specialize in working with college students. We welcome all students regardless of race, sex, ethnic background, religion, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or physical status.
You may be referred to our Group Program during the Initial Assessment or at intake if the intake counselor believes that your needs would be best met in a group setting.
Couples counseling is available pending staff availability. At least one member of the couple must be a University of Pennsylvania student and must first schedule an individual initial appointment.
If you are in an urgent situation or cannot wait until the first available appointment during business hours, please call CAPS at 215-898-7021, or walk into our office and ask for the On-Call Counselor. If you need to refill your prescription, please call our office during normal working hours. If it is after office hours, including weekends, please call our main number at 215-898-7021 and ask for the CAPS Counselor On-Call
The Sexual Trauma Treatment Outreach and Prevention (STTOP) Team is a multidisciplinary team of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) clinicians dedicated to providing confidential care, support, and advocacy to students who have experienced sexual trauma during their academic career. The culture of silence surrounding sexual assault and rape on campus and within our culture as a whole deters reporting, isolates victim-survivors, and undermines the safety and public health of all members of a community. The STTOP Team is committed to providing immediate support to students in need and to promoting awareness and change through active participation in campus outreach and collaboration with community partners.
I CARE Gatekeeper Training
The I CARE gatekeeper training teaches members of the Penn community (students, faculty, and staff) necessary skills and resources to intervene in situations of student stress, distress, and crisis. Full-day and half-day in-person trainings involve intensive role-playing opportunities to practice the communications techniques and receive feedback. This training can benefit those who interact often with students. Click here for more information about upcoming I CARE trainings and/or to register or request a session.
Personal Wellness and Career Workshops
Worried about whether your future career goals are right for you? Confused about finding a career that fits your interests and talents? Through a series of interactive workshops co-sponsored by CAPS and Career Services, we assist you in your career discovery process through a guided exploration of your values, strengths, and interests.
The symptoms of ADHD present first in childhood and often persist into adulthood. There are three main variations of ADHD: hyperactive, inattentive, and combined type. A person with untreated ADHD can face difficulties in managing daily tasks in different aspects of life.
CAPS Referral Services is serious about providing quality care by helping Penn students understand and organize the referral they may receive at CAPS. Students usually obtain a referral after their first appointment at CAPS or after they have worked with their CAPS counselor for some period of time. The CAPS counselor obtains thorough information so that a sound decision can be made as to which resource would be most clinically helpful for the student.
Outreach and Prevention
CAPS' Outreach and Prevention Services uses a public health approach to prevention efforts on Penn's campus. The goals of this program include making CAPS' services known and accessible, providing education around mental health topics, reducing stigma, promoting social justice advocacy and dialogue, and enhancing inter-connectedness throughout the community. CAPS' Outreach and Prevention Services encompasses an extensive program of orientations, workshops, and trainings, as well as a collaborative network between CAPS and students, faculty, and staff. CAPS is dedicated to assessing and evaluating its programs to ensure the most quality programming. Click below for a description of Outreach and Prevention activities.
International Student Programs and Resources
International students are a significant part of the Penn community. CAPS recognizes international students as a diverse population with unique needs.
Return from Leave of Absense
All requests to return from a leave of absence begin with your academic advisor. After you make contact with your advisor, you may be directed to CAPS as part of the return from leave process. If you require our involvment in this process, please click the link below to download the checklist and required forms.
Return From Leave Paperwork
CAPS will provide a record or summary to a third party, such as an insurance carrier, or to another treating professional providing mental health services. There is a process to help you with your request.
Emotional Support Animal Poilcy
In an effort to practice within the expertise of our licensed professions in the most ethical way, CAPS staff does not provide assessments regarding the need for emotional support animals. A staff clinician does have the discretion of providing a clinical summary, with the permission of the client, which will identify presenting symptoms and other clinical data that are within the scope of our practice. CAPS staff will provide this clinical summary only for active clients.
CAPS offers professional training in psychology, social work, and psychiatry.