Frequently Asked Questions

This section of the CAPS website is devoted to answering questions that students, faculty, staff, parents and friends often have regarding our services or when seeking mental health services in general.

If your concern is urgent, please call 303-492-6766 and ask to speak to our walk-in counselor.

General FAQs

Who do you see?

All eligible CU-Boulder students for individual, couple, and /or family counseling.

How much does it cost?

Our counseling sessions are free of charge.

What will I receive?

The delivery of services from CAPS to you shall be contingent upon whether the CAPS staff determines that the services are appropriate given the needs and conditions presented.  Should you become a client at CAPS, you are allotted up to 6 sessions, as appropriate, after intake for brief therapy per academic year.  If it is decided that CAPS is not the appropriate place to meet your needs, you will be given referrals to more appropriate resources on campus or in the community.

How do I get started?

Come by C4C S440 during our Walk In hours for a brief initial interview session with a counselor. Walk-in times are from 10 am to 4 pm.

What happens when I first arrive?

You will be greeted by our front office staff and asked to fill out some forms. You will then have the opportunity to meet with the walk-in counselor to discuss your situation. At that time, the counselor will provide you with a future appointment at Counseling and Psychological Services and/or a referral to another agency to assist you with your needs.

Groups and Workshops FAQs

How can group counseling be as effective as individual counseling? I’m concerned I’ll “lose out”.

Most individuals are pleasantly surprised at how much they gain from participating in group. Unlike individual counseling, group counseling provides invaluable opportunities for you to connect with others who might have similar problems, practice new interpersonal skills in a group context, and gain multiple perspectives on your concerns from different group members.

What does a typical group session look like?

Groups vary significantly in session format. Many groups are structured or semi-structured; our Theme groups are somewhat similar to experiential workshops in that most group sessions focus on a particular topic. Each session usually consists of brief lectures by the group leaders, group discussions, and experiential activities. CAPS also offers Personal Exploration groups that are typically much less structured. There isn’t necessarily a specific topic for each group session. Members are welcome to bring any issues to the group that feel are important, and the primary focus of therapy in the group is on the interactions among group members. This occurs as members give each other feedback on their interpersonal styles and identify ways in which they feel more connected to one another.

Do I have to reveal all my deepest secrets and feelings to the group?

No, you don’t have to do that! You decide how much you want to share and no one can force you to reveal your secrets or feelings. Most group members tend to share more about themselves when they feel safe in the group. While we recognize that sharing can sometimes be uncomfortable, we also know that many members report getting more out of group when they decide to share more personal aspects of themselves. We encourage you to be aware of your pace for group involvement and to share when you feel comfortable doing so.

Because there are so many group members, I’m afraid that I’ll have few opportunities to talk.

Figuring out how to get your needs met in group is a very common concern among members. If you find yourself needing more time in the group, we recommend that you bring it up within the group or with the group facilitator. Group is an excellent place to work on assertiveness!

I am shy by nature; I won’t be able to talk as much as other group members.

That’s really ok. It’s normal that some members will talk less than others in the group. You can tell the group that you’re shy. We encourage group members to be respectful of individual differences. You can take your time to open up to the group.

What if a member of the group is my friend or classmate?

We recognize that it might be awkward to be in the same group with a friend/classmate. Please let group leaders know immediately if you have an existing relationship with someone else in the group. If that happens, the group leaders, in consultation with the group members, will decide how best to resolve this situation. It may work out to have both of you stay in the same group, or it may be best to have one of you find a different group to join. In the latter case, leaders will consult with you or your friend/classmate and do our best to find another appropriate group that matches your needs and schedule.

If I don’t like the group, can I get out of it?

Yes, it’s possible to leave the group if you’re uncomfortable with it. We know that group is often uncomfortable at the beginning – if you feel this way, you are not alone! We also know that group members report feeling more comfortable after a few sessions, so most group leaders encourage their members to remain in the group for at least a few sessions before they decide to leave.

How many people are in a typical group?

Most groups have between 6 -10 students; however, each group varies. Feel free to ask the group facilitator how many members will be in the group you intend to join.

What kind of people join a group?

Only CU students are eligible to join our groups. Students who join our groups do so with different needs and concerns. In our Theme groups, group members usually identify with a specific concern related to the group theme. Our Personal Exploration groups are made up of members with a variety of concerns, including anxiety, depression, relationship problems, and self-esteem issues.

Group leaders guide and facilitate self-exploration, give feedback and support, provide comments on interpersonal issues in the group, and encourage group cohesion. In our structured groups, group leaders take a more active role ups by providing instruction on specific topics related to the group theme.

Outreach FAQs

What is outreach?

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is committed to getting out into the campus community and developing relationships with students, staff, and faculty. Outreach can take on many different forms –providing basic information, screenings, development of campus community relationships, and presentations for academic departments, campus groups, and residence halls and Residential Academic Programs (RAPS).  We see ourselves as part of the campus community at large and outreach allows us to connect and meet the needs of our various campus partners.

To request programming please complete an outreach request here.

What are CAPS Volunteers and how do we connect with them?

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Volunteers and Peer Educators are undergraduate students with an interest in making a positive impact on the campus community. Volunteers can be found throughout the campus promoting our counseling and educational services as a way to improve students’ wellness and mental health.  Please feel free to explore our Volunteer Programming Menu and request our volunteers at your event or meeting! 

Get more information about applying to be a CAPS volunteer on our Apply to be a Volunteer page.

Consultation FAQs

Does there need to be a crisis to seek consultation?

A crisis is not required in order to seek consultation. Students, parents, and faculty/staff frequently consult with Counseling and Psychological Services on a wide range of topics such as home sickness, academic struggles, or relationship issues. We welcome questions and collaboration with the campus community. And, we are always available for consultation and support during crisis situations.

Who can consult?

Anyone and everyone! We welcome all students, parents, faculty and staff to consult with Counseling and Psychological services.  You may consult with us about a student 24-7 by calling 303.492.6766.