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CAPS Services


  • Consultation Services for Faculty and Staff
  • Initial Student Interviews and Assessments
  • Group Therapy
  • Structured Psychoeducational Groups
  • Discussion and Support Groups
  • Short-term Individual Counseling
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Psychiatric/Medication Services
  • Psychological Testing
  • Educational Programs and Activities
  • Referral Services

The University's Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays for initial interviews, consultations and individual appointments. Workshops, some group counseling and educational programs are conducted during late afternoon and evening hours.

Obtaining Services

An appointment for an initial interview can be made by calling 863-0395 or by visiting our front desk scheduling assistants at 501 Student Health Center during office hours.

When you call for an appointment, we will inform you about the availability of our services. During periods when fewer openings are available, we may put you in touch with a counselor who can speak with you by phone or in person about alternate referrals, either on campus or with therapists in the State College community in private practice.

CAPS acts as a central location for students seeking personal counseling services on campus. When a student contacts CAPS, an individual interview with a member of our staff is scheduled. During this private consultation the student has the opportunity to discuss his or her needs and concerns in addition to providing relevant background information.

Moreover, the counselor will review paperwork and questionnaires completed by a first-time client . By the end of the initial interview, the counselor may recommend group or individual counseling, suggest further evaluation, or refer the student to other specialized services on or off campus. Occasionally, some students find that this initial consultation meets their needs and require no further services.

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
501 Student Health Center University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-0395 for consultations and appointment

Outreach Workshops and Consultation

In addition to working directly with students, CAPS offers educational programs of general interest to the Penn State community. This allows our office to serve a larger number of people than would otherwise be possible. For example, the Personal Issues Series offered in the HUB-Robeson Cultural Center explores such issues as homesickness, separation and loss, acquaintance rape, and affirmation of diversity.

Programs are also presented for interest groups, including students served by the Center for Adult Learner Services, the Center for Women Students, and the Office of International Students. Finally, CAPS offers relevant programs for special campus events such as National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, Black History Month, and Gay Pride Week. If you are interested in requesting an outreach program, you can contact Mary Anne Knapp.

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
501 Student Health Center
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-0395

CAPS staff also participates on University committees to address issues such as race and diversity, eating disorders, relationship/violence, and LGBT issues. On occasion, a student, faculty or staff member may wish to talk with a CAPS professional about a student suffering from emotional stress, about counseling referrals, or other related matters. Such consultations are available by appointment or by telephone. In addition, CAPS staff members act as consultants to the Campus Life staff, student counselors, Commonwealth Campus personnel, and academic departments.

Typical Group Therapy Sessions Offered

What is Group Therapy?
Each semester the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers a number of groups. Most of the groups meet weekly for ninety minutes. The groups are open only to Penn State students. The starting dates for the groups will vary. Enrollment is free and can be made directly through CAPS, 501 Student Health Center, 863-0395, 8:00 a.m.--5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The CAPS staff is also available to assist students in making difficult decisions, resolving relationship issues, dealing with academic pressures, coping with feelings of depression and anxiety, and other personal concerns. Call 863-0395 or stop by 501 Student Health Center to schedule an appointment. Confidentiality in individual and group therapy is strictly respected.

Therapy Groups at CAPS are a form of psychotherapy, focusing on developing insight and behavior change. Five to eight group members meet with one or two group therapists once per week for 1.5 hours throughout the semester. A "group evaluation" with the group therapists is scheduled prior to a group member joining. Once a group forms, it is closed to new referrals that semester.

During group sessions, members discuss issues concerning them and offer support and feedback to one another. Personal growth stemming from these interactions is essential to the group process. Group members are committed to learning about themselves and their relationships.

  • Between Women Group
  • Biracial Group
  • Depression Group
  • Eating Disorder Groups
  • Family Issues Group
  • General Therapy Groups (Undergraduate Students)
  • General Therapy Groups (Graduate Students and
    Returning Adults)
  • Gay and Bisexual Men's Therapy Group
  • Loss Group
  • Men's Therapy Group
  • Minority Athlete's Group
  • Relationship Violence
  • Sexual Assault Recovery Group
  • Social Skills Group
  • Stress Management Group
  • Substance-Related Disorders Group
  • Women of Color Group
  • Women's Therapy Groups

Individual Therapy/Counseling

For students whose problems may be better resolved through an individual strategy, CAPS provides one-to-one counseling. The student is encouraged to explore aspects of her or his concerns with the therapist. A variety of approaches may be used to help the student gain a deeper understanding of the sources of their difficulties. These insights are then translated into plans for action that the student can carry out in his or her daily life.

Psychiatric Services

Psychiatric Services are available for those students who might benefit from
medication in addition to counseling. Students may be referred to a
psychiatric provider by a member of the CAPS staff. There is a $30 charge for each visit with a psychiatric


  ADA/EEOC © 2003. Center for Counseling and Psychological Services  501 Student Health Center  (814) 863-0395