Brief Screening and Consultation Appointment (BSC)
This is the first step for most UC students seeking services at CAPS . The BSC (15 minutes) is conducted by phone. The counselor will ask a series of questions regarding your situation and concerns, and discuss various options that may be appropriate for you. These include: scheduling an intake interview with a counselor or referring you to one of our group therapy programs, another UC Office/Service, or a community mental health provider. There is no charge for the BSC.
Call CAPS at 513-556-0648 or stop by 225 Calhoun St Suite 200 to schedule a BSC.
This appointment (50 minutes) gives us the opportunity to learn about you and your concerns in more depth, and lets you learn about how we operate. You will need to complete some paperwork prior to your appointment and read some important information; you can either download the forms from our website and complete them before you arrive, or come 15 minutes early and complete them in our office. Please bring your insurance card as well so we can verify your coverage. The interview covers a broad array of topics, including your present concerns and past experiences, so that we can make a recommendation to you regarding a course of action to address your needs. This recommendation may include one or more of the following: refer you for a physical medical workup; refer you to a community provider; refer you to one of our psychiatry residents for a psychiatric evaluation for possible medication treatment; or refer you to one of our groups as an adjunct treatment in addition to your individual therapy.
In some cases we may refer you to another professional setting. We may do so if your situation requires specialized services (e.g. frequent or multiple appointments weekly; treatment for significant drug or alcohol abuse/dependence, a severe eating disorder; on-going social services) for which our treatment model is not the standard of care in our profession. We do not provide treatment or assessments that are court ordered or otherwise required by the legal system.
The primary services at CAPS are individual and group psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is not easily described in general statements. At its core is a collaborative relationship that develops between you and the therapist (and members of a group). Psychotherapy is not like a medical doctor visit. Instead, it requires a very active effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be most successful, you will need to work on things discussed in your sessions at other times as well.
Many students use individual therapy to address personal concerns. Students typically seek services for help with adjusting to new situations, managing stress, difficulties in relationships, anxiety, depression, anger, grief, family problems and personal identity. Sometimes academic difficulties may reflect an underlying problem in one of these areas.
The intake interview and first few sessions focus on clarifying your needs and goals. After the first few sessions, you and your therapist will develop a treatment plan based on a focal problem that you want to address. Most problems can be addressed in 20 or fewer sessions of therapy. In fact, most therapy lasts 6-8 sessions. Your therapist and you will probably schedule a regular meeting that lasts about 45-50 minutes.
When you have reached your goals, a termination session is scheduled in order to discuss progress made and further areas you may wish to explore through other methods. Your therapist will begin to talk with you about this termination at the appropriate time. Please make every effort to attend this final stage of therapy, as it can be just as important to you as other sessions.
Once you have ended your treatment it is possible that you may want to return to therapy in the future when you are experiencing similar symptoms or additional stresses. This is a normal and positive response to having a satisfying therapeutic experience.
CAPS offers groups to assist students in their personal and academic functioning at the University. Groups provide supportive and effective treatment for addressing students’ concerns, from treatment for specific problems to personal growth and development. Different types of group therapy address different concerns: personal growth group; substance use group; and therapy group. Aspects of groups that are believed to be helpful include setting aside a time and place to address specific concerns, learning new information and skills, sharing one’s experiences with others who have been in similar situations, and providing support to others. Most groups include three to eight members in addition to the leader(s). Groups are most effective when participants attend all the group meetings. All members are expected to maintain confidentiality regarding others in the group and all material disclosed and discussed. There is no charge for groups at CAPS. For a more detailed description, go to Groups.
Medication is an effective treatment for depression, mood swings, anxiety, sleep problems, attention deficit disorders and other conditions. It may be used alone or in combination with counseling. For many conditions, people benefit most when they receive both counseling and medication.
We have psychiatric residents available at CAPS to prescribe and monitor medication for our clients who are in active treatment with one of our counselors. It is your choice whether to use medication. If we believe medication may be helpful, we will refer you to one of our psychiatric residents for evaluation and medication management. You will have follow-up sessions with the psychiatric resident in order to monitor your progress. Since every person is different, it may take some time to know what the best regimen is for you.
The first appointment, psychiatric evaluation, is one hour in length. Subsequent medication management appointments are a half hour. Our psychiatric residents have limited time at CAPS. It is very important that you keep your scheduled appointments.
If you do not give us at least 48 hours notice of a cancellation, we must charge a $25 missed appointment fee.
To be eligible for our psychiatric services, you must also be seen in regular therapy sessions here.
When you have reached your goals, a termination session is scheduled in order to discuss progress made and further areas you may wish to explore through other methods. Your therapist will begin to talk with you about this termination at the appropriate time. Please make every effort to attend this final stage of therapy, as it can be just as important to you as other sessions. Once you have ended your treatment it is possible that you may want to return to therapy in the future when you are experiencing similar symptoms or additional stresses. This is a normal and positive response to having a satisfying therapeutic experience.
Interested in a friendly, informal conversation with a member of the staff at Counseling & Psychological Services? Just walk in for a confidential consultation! Speaking with a counselor consultant can help provide support, insight, solutions, and information about other resources.
Let’s Talk is a mental health program that provides drop-in consultations for University of Cincinnati students. It’s free, no appointment is necessary, and students are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.
Let's Talk is not a substitute for formal counseling and doesn’t constitute mental health treatment but the counseling consultants can listen to your specific problems and introduce you to what it’s like to speak to a member of our staff.
No topic is off limits. Common concerns include:
- academic performance
- family problems
- financial struggles
For more information, go to Let's Talk
Sexual Assault Program
The sexual assault services program of the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers confidential crisis intervention, support group, and ongoing individual counseling services to UC students who are survivors of sexual violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and/or intimate partner violence (IPV). CAPS staff will assist students to connect with appropriate resources on campus and community for education, safety planning, academic and housing accommodation, etc. Please visit Sexual Assault Program for more information on Reporting Allegations of Discrimination or harassment, Sexual Assault FAQ and Resources for Survivors.
To access any of the services of the sexual assault services program or to request a consultation, contact CAPS at 513-556-0648 (8:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday) during office hours.
After office hours, please contact community partner, Women Helping Women at (513) 381-5610 (24 hour hotlines).
The Substance Use Assessment Counseling and Intervention Program
The Substance Use Assessment Counseling and Intervention Program is a clinical program that is provided at The University of Cincinnati Health & Wellness Center (HWC) – Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) and Student Wellness Center (SWC). This program is designed to help students explore their alcohol and drug behaviors, assess for risk factors that can lead to problems, and improve decision-making skills to reduce harmful behaviors.
Students referred through the University of Cincinnati Student Conduct Office as well as self-referred students seeking assistance on their behalf. This program does not fulfill a court diversion program or meet conditions of probation.
Getting Started with BASICS:
The program begins with the student participating in BASICS, which is the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students. BASICS is a two-session program that starts with an initial one-hour interview followed by another hour of self-report questionnaires. The first interview is then followed by a 1-2 week period of self-monitoring, and a second interview that is a one-hour feedback session that incorporates patterns of alcohol use and risks associated with alcohol use. BASICS typically takes 4 or 5 weeks to complete.
The BASICS program provides:
- A confidential service for students to openly explore their alcohol use.
- An assessment of risk for continued alcohol related problems.
- Personalized feedback to promote reduced risk for alcohol related problems.
- If referred by Judicial Affairs, a letter of completion/incompletion regarding a student’s participation in BASICS.
- Confidential recommendations to students.
The BASICS program does not:
- Do a full assessment of other drug use.
- Transmit personal information or details about a student’s participation in the program to outside referral sources. This creates a level of safety that most students need in order to honestly assess their alcohol use.
- Result in the diagnosis of a mental health or substance use disorder or a formal alcohol and drug assessment. If this is required by the courts or your probation officer, you will need to seek this service elsewhere (such as a community-based agency or with an external qualified professional).
- Fulfill a court diversion program or meet conditions of probation.
Outcome of BASICS:
Upon completion of BASICS, a student will be placed in the most appropriate track listed below:
Track one is called the Alcohol Skills Building and Education Program (ASEP) offered through the Student Wellness Center. This is a 1.5 hour educational program intended to learn information and gain skills aimed to change drinking and drug behavior and associated lifestyle habits. This one-time workshop does not involve a formal alcohol and other drug assessment or individual or group counseling sessions. The cost for ASEP is $50.00 per session.
Students who are referred to the Alcohol Skills Building and Education Program typically meet the following conditions:
- No more than one alcohol or drug violation.
- Minor alcohol or drug violations.
- Could benefit from education to prevent further alcohol or drug problems or violations.
The Alcohol Skills and Training Program does not include or provide:
- A comprehensive alcohol and other drug assessment.
- A court diversion program or meet conditions of probation.
Track two is called the Extended Alcohol and other Drug Services (EADS) offered through Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). Track two is designed for students mandated through U.C. and who have been determined to need a more comprehensive approach as a result of more serious alcohol and other drug problems. Track two includes a minimum of 5 individual counseling sessions and 5 group counseling sessions and can include more specialized assessments. Track two does not fulfill a court diversion program or meet conditions of probation. The cost for this track is $200.00.
Student who are referred to track two typically meet the following conditions:
- Have two or more alcohol or drug violations.
- The student has a pattern of academic problems related to alcohol or drug use including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.
- There are major consequences related to alcohol and/or drug use, such as violent outbursts and physical assaults, disorderly conduct, OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired), or other major legal consequences.
- Require more than education to help prevent further problems.
Track three is a comprehensive alcohol and drug assessment and referral track and is designed for students who have severe alcohol or other drug problems and need a more intensive approach that is beyond the scope of service at CAPS. Referrals are made to an alcohol and drug program in the community for more intensive treatment. The track three program will provide case management services to ensure students are connected with a treatment program and other needed resources.
Student who are referred to track three typically meet the following conditions:
- Three or more alcohol or other drug violations.
- Have not been able to change drinking or drug behaviors through CAPS.
- Have withdrawal symptoms or other life threatening health problems associated with alcohol or other drug problems.
Students in Crisis
We provide onsite emergent services on Monday through Friday from 1 – 4 pm. You may walk in or call our office between those hours at 513-556-0648, to let us know that you need to see someone immediately.
After Hours Crises Call
Evenings, weekends, and other times when we are closed, you may call our direct number at 513-556-0648 and press 1, to speak with a counselor 24/7. You may also call these outside resources for immediate assistance:
- Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433
- Psychiatric Emergency Services, University Hospital: 513-584-8577
- Mobile Crisis Team (for residents of Hamilton County): 513-584-8577
You can also call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room
For clients who have other needs, we provide case management services, helping them identify on-campus or community resources. This may include financial, legal, academic, or housing issues.
UC has many offices that assist students with academic and personal needs. These include Educational Services, Women's Center, Ethnic Programs and Services, Center for Access and Transition, Career Development Center, Campus Ministry, Financial Aid, University Health Services, Impact Solutions, Disability Services, Judicial Affairs, and others.
Sexual Assault Services Program
The sexual assault services program of the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers confidential crisis intervention, support group, and ongoing individual counseling services to UC students who are survivors of sexual violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and/or intimate partner violence (IPV). CAPS staff will assist students to connect with appropriate resources on campus and community for education, safety planning, academic and housing accommodation, etc. This program is provided at no cost to UC students. Please visit Sexual Assault Program for more information on Reporting Allegations of Discrimination or harassment, Sexual Assault FAQ and Resources for Survivors.
To access any of the services of the sexual assault services program or to request a consultation, contact CAPS at 513-556-0648 (8:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday) during office hours. After office hours, please contact our 24 hour Sexual Assault Support Helpline at 513-556-0648 and press 1 for a consultant.
Please contact our community partner, Women Helping Women at (513) 381-5610 (24 hour hotlines) for additional assistance.
The Mind Body Wellness Rooms
CAPS Wellness Rooms FAQs
What are the CAPS Wellness Rooms?
CAPS welcomes student to utilize two new Wellness Rooms free of charge: The Meditation Room and the Biofeedback Room.
The Meditation Room provides a quiet, tranquil space where students can meditate using chairs or traditional meditation cushions (zafus and zabutans). Students can utilize guided meditation audio and/or attend an introduction to meditation workshop to support them as they develop their meditation practice.
Biofeedback is an alternative medicine approach which uses digital feedback to assist users in practicing body and thought control as they develop relaxation and concentration skills. The Biofeedback room provides three different computerized games controlled by players through the use of finger sensors. Bio (meaning body) and feedback (meaning information) uses information from the body (such as heart rate and skin conductivity) to help players learn to control their breathing, reduce muscle tension and think positively. The Mind Body Wellness Room