Individual counseling is a safe, confidential place where you can slow down, think out loud, get support and start finding solutions during a difficult time.
- Learn new ways to manage stress
- Get a fresh, new perspective
- Learn better coping strategies
- Get connected with resources to help you with your concerns
- And much more
These services are offered at no charge to students who have paid the University Program and Facilities Fee.
What to Expect During Your Counseling Appointments
- First, know that it is OK to feel nervous about your first virtual appointment. Our staff understand that it can be hard to talk to someone you don’t know about your personal concerns, especially over the phone or Zoom. Our staff will do our best to make you feel comfortable throughout this process as you adjust, such as discussing ways to help it feel more natural.
- If you call to discuss services and are new to CAPS, you will be scheduled for a remote initial evaluation appointment where you can talk about services with a counselor to determine the best fit for your needs at the time, such as individual counseling, consultation, group, or obtaining community referrals. Learn more about what different types of appointments look like.
- For telehealth appointments at CAPS, each appointment will start with the counselor you are meeting with asking you for your NU ID number, current address and emergency contact information. This is done at the beginning of each appointment to follow telehealth guidelines and to ensure we have the correct information as you check-in.
- In your first appointment scheduled at CAPS, the counselor you meet with will either share their screen with you (via the Zoom option) or verbally discuss an informed consent related to telehealth appointments. If you have any questions related to this, be sure to ask.
- Telehealth therapy sessions can feel very different than in-person sessions. Some things to expect include the following:
- Potential delays or technological difficulties.
- A less “natural” feel in comparison to in-person therapy; however, Zoom video sessions are very helpful in feeling like you are meeting with your counselor as normal.
- Your counselor will ask you to be sure that you are in a confidential area. This is so it wouldn't feel like being in the same room as another individual during your therapy session in-person.
- Your counselor might ask more questions than normal to check-in, as they are unable to see visible signs, such as crying or smiling and overall body language, especially when meeting by telephone.
- If telehealth does not feel like a good fit, please talk with your counselor about potentially receiving referrals for community providers who can meet in-person at this time.
Guidelines and Expectations for a Successful Experience
In order to help protect privacy online, the following is requested of clients at CAPS:
- Be in a private setting, alone and with the door closed.
- Headphones/earbuds are recommended so that information shared is more protected.
- Should someone enter your room alert your counselor, immediately cover your screen and reduce the volume to 0. If the disruption is not brief, you may need to exit the appointment until you are alone again. If you are unable to return the appointment before the end, please email the counselor to inform them of the reason you were not able to return.
- Use a secure Wi-Fi/internet connection rather than a public or free Wi-Fi.
- It is required that you do not record or take screenshots of the sessions with Zoom appointments.
Tips to Help You Feel the “Presence” of your Counselor
To enhance your experience in a Zoom session, we recommend that you do the following:
- Please connect using both video and audio, unless you make prior arrangements with your counselor.
- Try your best to eliminate distractions: put “do not disturb" on your door, turn off your cell phone/phone.
- Limit potential distractions such as children, email, pets, etc. during the session.
- Look at the screen/camera to show you are attentive.
- If possible, sit at a desk with your device at face level.
- If possible, use a larger screen than the size on a cell phone.
- Dress and prepare for the telehealth session similarly to an in-person session.
- Refrain from using the chat feature on the platform and communicate directly with your counselor.
- Sit with the light source behind your camera, so that your face is visible. Try to avoid sitting with your back to a window because it will lead to too much shadowing.