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Frequently Asked Questions

There seem to be so many places where students can go to get help. What does Counseling and Psychological Services do?

CAPS offers personal counseling to students for a wide range of issues, including depression, anxiety and stress, relationship/roommate difficulties, eating disorders, motivation problems, etc. If your student comes to the Center, s/he will meet with a counselor one-on-one to determine what resources best match your student's concerns. These may include individual counseling with a professional counselor or psychologist, relationship counseling, group counseling, books (bibliotherapy), and/or referral to other offices on or off campus. CAPS works closely with Residential Life, the Office of Student Life, and other campus and community resources. CAPS counselors are also available for consultation if your student is worried or concerned about a friend or roommate. In case of after hours emergencies, students may contact First Call For Help (509-838-4428) to speak with a professional on-call.

How does my student make an appointment?

As entering into counseling is a personal choice, students need to make appointments themselves. They can set up an initial appointment (called an intake) by calling the Center at 359-2366 or by stopping by our office at 225 Martin Hall. If they decide to continue with counseling, they will set up subsequent appointments through their counselor and our receptionist. At certain times of the year, CAPS becomes so busy that a student may be placed on a waiting list after the initial appointment. We do everything we can to ensure that the wait for ongoing counseling will not be long. We can also help a student find a counselor off campus, should they prefer not to wait. In addition, CAPS offers walk-in counseling/consultation services Monday through Friday, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

How much does counseling cost, and how many times can my student see her/his counselor?

Individual counseling services are provided at no charge to enrolled Eastern students. Counseling groups and walk-in sessions are also provided free of charge. There are fees for psychological testing services, although generally less than 10% of what such services would cost in the private sector. In terms of length of counseling, your student and his/her counselor will determine how often they will meet and for how long. Sessions typically last fifty minutes, and students generally participate in counseling once per week for five to ten sessions.

If I'm really worried about my student, how can I find out what's going on?

The best way to find out what's happening is to talk with your student. For effective counseling to occur, we offer students a safe and confidential atmosphere in which they can explore themselves and their relationships without fear that others may find out what they've said. This means that no faculty, staff, administrators, friends, or even parents can get information about a student's counseling sessions. The only exceptions are when there is a situation of imminent, life-threatening harm to self or others, or if the student signs a release of information. With this said, you may nonetheless consult with counseling staff regarding concerns you may have about your student. If you have information about your student that you think is necessary for his/her counselor to be aware of, simply call the Center. Although our counselors cannot share even whether your child is being seen at the Center, we can receive your information and utilize it as necessary. We at CAPS recognize that confidentiality may feel like a troublesome barrier, however it is essential to providing effective counseling and therapy services.

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