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Confidentiality at CAPS

Your son or daughter will be experiencing a tremendous amount of growth and change throughout his or her time at Eastern, so you can anticipate that he or she may feel overwhelmed, stressed out, anxious, or even depressed on occasion. While these feelings often resolve themselves without assistance, it is sometimes beneficial to discuss concerns with a trained professional. CAPS provides individual and group counseling services for enrolled students of Eastern Washington University. In addition, walk-in services are available most afternoons. Eastern students consider counseling for many reasons. Common concerns include feelings of depression and anxiety, interpersonal problems, family concerns, self-esteem issues, and uncertainties about personal values and beliefs. Often these problems are temporary and students recover quickly; but, if the intensity or persistence makes it hard for your student to function, it is advisable to encourage them to come to the Center. However, it usually works best to allow your son or daughter to take the initiative in accessing our services (i.e., they personally need to call or stop by our office to set up an appointment).

CAPS is a place where students can discuss concerns one-to-one with a psychologist or counselor in a comfortable and confidential setting. Confidentiality is an essential part of any counseling relationship. CAPS staff adhere to the ethical standards of their respective professions and to state and federal laws relating to confidentiality. These standards and laws prevent us from speaking with concerned parents about their student's contact with the Center, unless we have your student's written permission to do so. Without this, we cannot acknowledge whether your student has even been seen at the Center, or is making progress in counseling. This does not mean, however, that we cannot speak with you or that you cannot share your concerns with us. We can listen to your concerns and if, indeed, your student is being seen, this information can be taken into account in our treatment planning. However, without a release, we cannot 'confirm or deny' whether your student is a client at CAPS. We trust you agree that it's important for students to feel no hesitation to ask for help. Over many years of working with students, we have found that an assurance of confidentiality is vital to them.

Also, please understand that changes made through counseling could impact your relationship with your child. They may become more assertive as they attempt to move the relationship with you to an adult-adult level, or you may notice other changes as they consider new perspectives regarding themselves, their relationships, and their lives. This can be disconcerting, and may bring up issues for you as well. For students coming to Eastern from a culture in which problems are typically worked out with the aid of a family member, seeking help from another may be awkward. If this is true for your student, please respect him or her for having the courage to ask for help when it's needed, and trust that our staff will do all that we can to help your student resolve his or her concern. Open communication with your student about her/his health, safety, and medical or psychological treatment is something you need to work out together. Talk about your desire to respect your student's independence and provide loving and tangible support when needed.

We're in this together and we all want what's best for your evolving young adult.


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