Skip to main content

Counseling & Psychological Services

Attention Catamounts

In order to minimize the risk of spreading a potentially infectious illness, all clients for WCU Counseling & Psychological Services must call and schedule an appointment. 

To make an appointment, please contact the main office at 828.227.7469 during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm).

A Statement from CAPS

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) condemns the bigotry and blatant racism expressed on social media over the 8/21-8/23 weekend. We stand in solidarity with our Black students, faculty and staff.

We are acutely aware of the devastating and ongoing impact of racism against the Black community. We understand not only the historical context of racism and the racial battle fatigue our Black community members carry, we also recognize that this battle continues to be waged through the current sociopolitical context. As a mental health service, CAPS is committed to social justice and to speaking out against systems that hurt and oppress others while also offering care and support to those hurt by those systems.

We encourage you to contact our office if you (or someone you know) would like support with coping and healing.  We offer individual counseling for students and offer support for our student organizations who may need assistance in processing through their reactions. Additionally, we offer a Black, Indigenous and Person of Color (BIPoC) support group on Wednesdays at 4pm. You can obtain the zoom link for this group by calling the CAPS office.

Please contact us at 828.227.7469 to let us know how we can help you.

Managing Stress And Anxiety About Coronavirus

 Explore Self Help and Wellness Tools for Students

About CAPS

CAPS Masked Characters COVID-19

COVID 19 CAPS Masked Characters

CAPS' staff provide counseling within a goal-directed, short-term model. When you first come into CAPS, a counselor will spend some time to understand your current symptoms and struggles along with your goals for counseling. Your counselor will then refer you to the appropriate service.

Some of the primary concerns that students have include:

  • Anxiety and depression, which includes symptoms of suicidality, loneliness, and low self-esteem
  • Grief
  • Relationship issues, which could include friends, roommates, romantic partners, and family
  • Issues related to experiences of trauma, sexual assault, or abuse
  • Identity concerns (that is, figuring out who they are)
  • Body image problems and/or eating concerns
  • Beginning or maintaining recovery from addictive substances or behaviors

While these are the primary reasons that students seek counseling, please know that any concern or struggle you have can be addressed in counseling.

See the Caps CODE HAndout

Our Staff

Our staff includes licensed providers who have years of experience in working with the university student population.

They are committed to helping students to achieve their personal and academic goals and to enhance their experience while at WCU.

Meet Our Staff

CAPS is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services, Inc.

CAPS Services

Available services

CAPS has a strong commitment to meeting the needs of our diverse students by providing high quality, culturally sensitive services. We strive to create a welcoming environment for all people.

counseling services

COPE

COPE will help you quickly learn tools for managing emotional distress while also developing a clearer goal of what you want to change in your life.

Individual

The CAPS staff all provide individual counseling that is aimed at helping you to remove any barriers to your academic, social and/or personal life. Your individual counselor will take some time to get to know you and your specific goals for counseling. You will discuss how often you will meet, recognizing that the focus is on achieving these goals within a brief time period.

Crisis Services

CAPS' staff are available to assist students who are experiencing a mental health crisis at any time of the day. During regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday), call the CAPS' main line (828.227.7469) or come in CAPS and you will be seen in a timely manner.

For after-hours emergencies, call the CAPS main line (828.227.7469) and follow the prompts to be connected to a crisis clinician. You may also contact the community crisis line through Appalachian Community Services (888.315.2880) or go to the nearest emergency room for assistance.

Group

Research shows that group therapy is the most effective treatment for many of the concerns college students face. Because of this, your counselor may refer you to one of several groups offered by CAPS.
Here is what students say about our groups:

"DO IT! Or at least try it because it is really helpful and really becomes a comfortable space to talk about things you wouldn't talk about with people in your everyday life."
"It is a great way to connect with people who understand what you are going through."

 

CAPS Zoom 2020

 Join Your Group On Zoom


Student Athlete Support Group: Every other Monday at 3pm

Social Justice Activist Support Group : Monday's at 3:30pm

LGBTQ Group: Tuesday's at 1pm

Living Emotionally Healthy: Tusdays 3:30pm

The Mindful Way Through 2020: Wednesdays at 11am

BIPOC Group (Black, Indigenous, & People of Color): Wednesdays at 4pm

COVID Processing Group: Thursdays at 11am

Please call CAPS (828.227.7469) to obtain the Zoom link for the group!

TELEMENTAL hEALTH

TELEMENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

  • In line with current guidance from the University, State of NC, and CDC, we believe it is safest for our students and our staff to do therapy via zoom. If you prefer to meet in person, or your counselor believes it will be more beneficial for you, the two of you will talk about meeting in person with appropriate safety measures.  
  • Since TMH may not be as complete as in-person services, your counselor may determine that TMH is not an appropriate treatment option or stop TMH at any time if your condition changes. In such cases we will ethically manage transferring care as necessary.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND TELEMENTAL HEALTH

  • We encourage students to schedule appointments at times when they can have a private space and use a secure internet connection. Each of our clinicians will also ensure privacy on their end, often in their office at CAPS, and at other times in private rooms in their home. Your clinician may use a headset to help ensure privacy and we encourage you to do the same. 
  • CAPS uses a HIPAA compliant version of Zoom for all of our video TMH appointments. 
  • CAPS will provide you a unique Zoom link for each session. Do not share this link with anyone. 

TECHNOLOGY DIFFICULTIES

  • If you get disconnected from a TMH health session, end and restart the session. If you are unable to reconnect within five minutes, your counselor will call you at the phone number on file.

SERVICES OUTSIDE OF NORTH CAROLINA

  • All students must be in North Carolina in order to receive counseling services from CAPS. If you are out of state temporarily, we encourage you to reschedule your appointment until you return to NC. If you are living outside of NC, our counselors are happy to talk with you about resources in your area.

 

MEdication management

Your CAPS counselor may refer you for a medication evaluation at Health Services

Services for Biltmore park students

Counseling services for Biltmore Park students are offered by CAPS staff via a  telemental health session or through an in-person session at the CAPS office in Cullowhee. For an appointment , call 828.227.7469.

Make An Appointment

CAPS provides services to currently enrolled WCU students.

To talk to a counselor, please call our office (828.227.7469). The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

To begin counseling at CAPS, the first step is to meet briefly with a counselor to discuss what concerns brought you to CAPS and to arrive at a mutually agreeable course of action to address your concerns. The first meeting usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes.

Based on this meeting, your counselor will make recommendations about the best treatment to address your concerns. This may be another campus resource, our self-help resources, a short-term group, an ongoing group or individual counseling at CAPS or in the community.

Please note that when you arrive for your first  meeting, there may be a wait. Know that we prioritize appointments based on urgency and counselor availaibility. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Outreach Programs

CAPS’ outreach programs are designed to promote prevention, awareness and skill development among the Catamount community. Through our outreach programming and workshops, CAPS connects to students, faculty, and staff as they partner with us in reducing stigma around mental health concerns. Our goal with outreach is that participants will develop new knowledge and tools to help them remove barriers to their success at WCU. Please note that all outreach programs will be offered via Zoom in Fall 2020.

see the list of and request our outreach programs

Training & Internships

CAPS offers university counseling center training positions at both the master's and doctoral level. In addition to becoming strong mental health generalists in the provision of individual counseling services, trainees have the opportunity to participate in group counseling, inter-disciplinary collaboration, outreach, consultation, campus programs and related projects within the university community. 

LEARN MORE 

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do I see my counselor?

You and your counselor will discuss your treatment and how frequently you will have sessions. You will likely meet with your counselor every other week or even once a month.  If your concerns are such that need very long-term treatment or you need to be seen more than once a week, you may be referred to a therapist in the community.

What if I have to reschedule?

Please call the front desk (828.227.7469) as soon as you know you are unable to make your appointment. We do ask for at least 24 hours notice to change an appointment, but we know that this is not always possible. Typically, students are not able to be rescheduled within the next 5 business days and during times of high demand for CAPS’ services, you may have to wait longer for the next appointment.

Who is eligible for services?

Enrolled students who have paid the Health Fee are eligible for services at CAPS. Faculty and staff who are interested in counseling have access to services through the WCU Employee Assistance Program. For additional information, please contact Human Resources (828.227.7218) or CAPS (828.227.7469).

What will I be charged for services?

CAPS does not charge for their services for enrolled students who have paid the student health fee. 

What if I am concerned about someone else?

CAPS provides consultation to concerned parents, students, or faculty/staff. CAPS will typically not reach out to a student based on this type of consultation, however CAPS staff will guide you in managing the situation. Additionally, you may choose to complete a Student Concern Response Team (SCRT) report. The SCRT team is charged with ensuring, to the extent possible, coordinated efforts to provide services of University Departments are made available to the involved student(s). The report template is available at scrt.wcu.edu.

What if I do not like my counselor?

We understand that not all counselors are a fit for you. If you find that you are a not a good fit with your counselor, we ask that you bring this up in your session. Usually, this will help you and your counselor better understand each other and enhance your work together. However, if that conversation does not resolve your concern, you can contact the CAPS office and leave a message about switching counselors. At this point, a CAPS Administrator will reach out to you to resolve the situation.

What if I don't like the recommendations that my counselor made?

We ask that students trust that CAPS' clinicians are making the best recommendation for you and your current concerns. Even if the option seems uncomfortable, we ask that you give it a try, knowing that discomfort often brings about change. If you choose not to follow through with the recommendation to engage at CAPS, we can provide outside referrals for you.

Do you provide testing services?

 

CAPS does provide limited psychological assessment for ongoing clients to inform and enhance treatment. CAPS does not provide any ADHD testing or other testing necessary for determining accommodations. CAPS can refer you to a local agency that provides testing for these purposes. Addtionally, you can seek these services without a CAPS referral through the McKee Psychology Clinic (828.227.2473).

Do you provide documentation for accommodations?

 

With your permission, CAPS will provide information to the Office of Accessibility Resources (828.227.3886) for ongoing clients regarding their diagnosis and impact of their symptoms on their daily functioning. 

 

CAPS does not provide letters of support for emotional support animals.

What if I am in crisis?

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency during business hours, come to CAPS (225 Bird Building).

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency after business hours, call the CAPS main line (828.227.7469) and follow the prompts.

Other emergency resources:

Appalachian Community Resources - 888.315.2880

REACH (Sexual Violence Resources) - 828.369.5544

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800.273.8255

Trevor Project (LGBTQ Crisis support) - 866.488.7386

Office of Web Services