Initial Consultation (IC) Protocol
IC staff members will be available each working day to speak with students who contact CAPS requesting an initial appointment by telephone, or walk in.
The IC Team consists of the entire senior staff, Psychology Interns and Post-doctoral Psychology Fellow trainees. The IC Coordinator oversees the activities of the other team members, leads a weekly team meeting to discuss clinical and logistical issues related to the team's work, and monitors coverage to ensure all hours of the day are covered.
When students call or walk in to schedule an appointment, they speak with an IC Team member who conducts a brief screening. The screening consists of questions, including demographics (e.g. age, year in school), presenting problem, treatment history, substance usage, and academic concerns. Based on client responses, students are assigned to CAPS senior staff and trainees for an initial appointment.
If a student comes in on a more urgent basis, they are similarly assessed by an IC Team member. If the client's need is urgent the IC Team member will attempt to help them in the moment and, if necessary, hospitalize them. IC Team members may also schedule students for follow-up IC meetings until the date of their scheduled Initial Assessment (IA).
IC Team members assign cases based on multiple variables including, presenting issue, diagnostic information, diversity of trainee caseload, level of trainee experience, schedule, trainee interest, and client's preferences.
Some types of clients may be inappropriate for assignment to trainees depending upon their developmental level, for initial assessments based on their responses during the IC screening session. These include the following:
- Those presenting as actively suicidal/homicidal as indicated by their answers on the
initial assessment assessment instruments.
- Psychotic clients
- Mandatory referrals from the Office of Student Conduct
A 15-20 minutes phone or in-person screening will be completed. The data form for this is in Titanium.
At the conclusion of this screening, the clinical information gathered, coupled with the student's availability could be used in scheduling an initial appointment with a therapist; or if the student requires immediate attention, the student will be directed to return to meet with IC at a specified time; or the student could be referred to a clinical provider outside of CAPS. When scheduled for an initial assessment at CAPS, clients are asked by the IC counselor to arrive at the office 15 minutes prior to their appointment to complete forms, or to complete most of them in advance using the link they receive in their email reminder.
- When a student who has already been assigned a therapist presents at CAPS as a walk-in:
Therapist will be contacted and informed that one of their clients is in the waiting area. Therapist will consult with IC counselor regarding how to proceed.
- Students who have been assigned a therapist and are scheduled for an initial appointment who call to change initial appointment time:
These students will be directed to the assigned clinician who can work directly with the student to reschedule.
There will be two or more IC counselors available throughout each weekday from opening to closing.
Doctoral interns will devote 2 hours per week, and postdoctoral fellows will devote 4 hours per week to the triage team.