CAPS offers short-term based therapy and psychological services to undergraduate students at the University.
Counseling and Psychological Service Scope of Practice
Our programs include:
- Assessment and evaluation
- Short-term group therapy
- Short-term individual therapy
- Psychiatric services (medication management)
- Crisis services
- Community referral coordination
What is therapy at CAPS like and how does it work?
Group psychotherapy involves one or more therapists who lead a group of roughly 4 to 10 clients. Typically groups at CAPS meet for a one to two hour session each week and are designed to address a wide variety of difficulties, from anxiety to relationship challenges and academic stress. Joining a group of strangers may sound intimidating or off-putting at first, but group therapy provides benefits that individual therapy may not. Most often, group members at Sewanee have highly appreciated their experiences, sometimes expressing surprise at the rewards and unique offerings of the group experience.
Psychotherapy is the process in which a client and a trained therapist collaborate to work through a wide variety of difficulties, ranging from depression and anxiety to relationship problems and academic stress. Furthermore, psychotherapy helps a client identify and utilize personal strengths, promoting ongoing growth and enhancement of well-being. The relationship between the therapist and client is foundational to a positive outcome. Therapists provide a supportive and nonjudgmental environment within which to develop a trusting and productive relationship. Clients work within this relationship to better understand their difficulties and strengths, developing and then implementing strategies for lasting positive change.
Case Management services are available for students in need of assistance managing their mental or physical health. The Case Manager provides education and/or referral services for those students whose clinical needs are beyond the scope of the UWC, and therefore need help finding appropriate treatment providers in the local area or near a hometown, or for students whose needs do not require clinical intervention.
How do I pay for services at CAPS?
Currently there is no charge for meeting with a clinician at the Wellness Center. However, there may be associated costs for recommended treatment outside of psychotherapy. This may include consulting private practice therapists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, or costs related to getting prescriptions filled. Additionally, we do charge a fee if you schedule an appointment and do not show or do not cancel 24 hours prior to the appointment time. Please see below for more information on fees.
How do I make an appointment?
The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and we are typically closed for lunch between noon and 1 p.m. Appointments are scheduled either through the office manager or your psychologist, and last for 45–50 minutes. Students are generally seen weekly but may be seen more or less frequently as the situation dictates and as you and your therapist agree.
What if I need to cancel my appointment? Are there any penalties if I don't show?
If you need to cancel your appointment, you must call or email 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment. This allows another student to use the time. Please be aware that if you do not show for your appointment, you will be charged $25.00 for a missed CAPS appointment and $50.00 for a missed Psychiatry appointment. If you miss an appointment and we have not heard from you, we will try to contact you either by phone or email.
Services at CAPS are in high-demand, and in order to best accommodate all students, we ask that you consistently attend all scheduled appointments. If you miss two consecutive sessions, without a reasonable excuse, your chart will be closed. We will communicate with you throughout this process and provide you with reminders about our policy after you miss a session. If your chart is closed for poor attendance, you may request to resume services, but this will require scheduling an intake evaluation along with a thorough discussion about your plans to improve your attendance.
What if I need to be seen by a professional sooner than my appointment or if I am having an emergency?
For an emergency outside of office hours you can contact 911, the Emergency Department at Southern Tennessee Regional Health at Sewanee (formerly known as Emerald Hodgson Hospital) 931.598.5691, your primary care provider, or our Mental Health Crisis Hotline 931.598.1700.
You said email wasn't secure. Is my time at CAPS confidential? Will the Dean or my parents know what we're talking about?
In Tennessee, what we discuss in session is considered a privileged communication afforded the same status as an attorney-client communication. However, there are limits to the privilege of confidentiality. These situations include: 1) suspected child, elderly person or disabled person abuse or neglect, 2) if you become a clear and imminent danger to yourself, 3) if you report that you intend to physically injure someone, or 4) when otherwise required by law or court order. With these exceptions, unless you specifically sign a release of information authorizing us to talk to someone, all communications here are kept private, confidential, and privileged and will not go beyond the UWC staff. The UWC Notice of Practices to Protect the Privacy of Your Health Information provides more details about confidentiality and its limitations.
Information obtained by a psychologist, social worker, counselor, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician, or another member of your health care team will be documented in your electronic medical record and used to determine the course of treatment most appropriate. Information is shared within the UWC on a strict “need to know” basis. UWC staff work as an integrated team in order to provide the highest quality care, and medical and behavioral healthcare information is documented in an electronic record; however, your psychotherapy records are recorded in an electronic record that is separate and distinct from your medical record. If it is deemed necessary by your therapist that a medical team member have access to your behavioral health records in order to coordinate care, this will be discussed with you first.
I have more questions about CAPS/University Wellness Center:
Please check our FAQs section for the answer. If you still have questions about the CAPS department or about our policies, please feel free to email the department or call the Office Manager at 931.598.1325.
Students who utilize CAPS are required to sign an agreement stating that they accept and consent to these terms of treatment. A copy of these terms can be requested by emailing the CAPS departmental address.