How to Get the Most Out of Counseling With CAPS

Posted: November 17, 2021 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 5 minutes

How to get the most out of counselingHave you been feeling unusually stressed, anxious, depressed, or something along those lines? Is someone you know faced with these challenges? Do you or someone you know need someone to talk to? If you answered yes or even maybe to any of these questions, don’t wait. Reach out to a counselor at Southern Utah University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

What is CAPS and What Do They Do?

CAPS is a free and confidential resource for SUU students who are considering receiving counseling or seeking help with their mental health. The CAPS office offers individual, couples, and group counseling, as well as workshops and biofeedback to help you manage your mental health and do well in school.

Each member of CAPS staff is a licensed mental health professional, counselor, or social worker. They are there to help you overcome everything from the stress of everyday college life to helping treat more serious conditions. Not only do they help treat your needs, but they also are there to help you get involved on campus and in the community, achieve academic excellence, and help you attain your desired level of personal growth. Learn more about the CAPS mission and its goals toward helping students like you.

The CAPS office is a safe space for students of all ages, races, ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientations, gender identities, genders, mental and physical capabilities, and socioeconomic statuses. No matter what you’re going through, everyone is eligible to receive counseling and help from the CAPS office.

How to Best Utilize CAPS

Know What You’re Looking For

The first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of therapy or counseling you’re looking for. What are your needs, what do you need help navigating, what kind of a therapist are you looking for? These are all important questions that you need to ask yourself before you start your counseling. The most common is intake counseling. This deals with everything from relationships, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, self-esteem, anxiety and/or depression, etc.  For more advice, check out this video from the CAPS on the route to start counseling.

How to Get Started

If you or someone you know needs help, call the CAPS Office (435-865-8621) to schedule an appointment. Once you have been informed of the services available to you, you will be directed on how to access several important forms regarding what you are dealing with, a consent form, and other such information. Sign these, and you are on your way! Asking for help is hard, and you just took the first step, good job!

Being Contacted for Your First Appointment

Soon enough after booking an appointment, you will be contacted by the front desk of the office by phone or email, giving you your assigned counselor and other important information. However, it might be a little wait because there tends to be a slew of people who reach out at the very beginning of the semester. No need to worry, though! Until you are contacted, feel free to check out the Mental Health Toolkit, COVID Survival Guide, or information about other help groups.

Your First Appointment

Your counselor will spend this first meeting going over what you need, reviewing your personal history, and explaining how the counseling services work. Congratulations, you just had your first appointment! Here's a deeper look at what you should do while in counseling.

Of course, there are some logistics that you have to keep in mind.

First, you have to show up for your appointment. CAPS offices are currently in transition so appointments are taking place via Zoom. At the time of your appointment, your counselor will send you a link and go into more detail about the process. CAPS services, while free to students, are supported largely by student fees. If you have to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please give your counselor 24 hours notice. If you give less than 24 hours, or simply don’t show up, a fine will be charged to your account and your account will be held until the fee is paid.

Second, emergencies. Remember, the CAPS Office DOES NOT have 24-hour operation for phone calls and/or emails. If you or someone you know needs immediate care after hours, please call 911, contact the SUU Campus Police (435-586-1911), or go to the nearest hospital immediately. If you don’t have an immediate emergency, but you worry you or someone you know might be in danger, reach out to a professional through the SafeUT app or contact 833-372-3388 to talk confidentially about your problem. Reaching out to the right sources can save someone’s life, so if you or someone you know is showing warning signs of self-harm or suicide, contact the CAPS office or the SafeUT hotline today.

Third, wrapping up your counseling and being discharged. When is the right time to finish therapy? Look back at your experience. Have you grown to where you wanted to be? Have you solved the problem that you started therapy for? Maybe this therapist isn’t working for you anymore? These reasons, and more, are completely valid reasons to stop counseling. When you reach this point, you will likely have a “Termination Session” with your therapist to help you plan out how you want to finish up, as well as looking back at where you started compared to where you are now. Whether or not you have this session is totally up to you, but it can be very helpful. It can also be an opportunity to have an honest “goodbye” or “see you later” moment with your counselor. Watch this video for more about Discharge and Termination Sessions.


CAPS is open to any and all SUU students. They are here to help you reach your full potential academically and personally. For more information about CAPS’ goal and how to schedule an appointment, visit SUU Counseling and Psychological Services.

To learn more about how to get the most out of counseling, check out the CAPS YouTube channel for informational videos.

Tags: Student Life CAPS

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