Student Life


Appointments and Eligibility for Services

Due to increasing utilization of CAPS and a desire to meet the needs of a greater number of students, we place a limit on the number of individual counseling sessions a student can have over his/her time at SJU.

Full-time undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for up to 40 individual counseling sessions over their college career.  Please note that sessions prior to the 2014-2015 academic year do NOT count toward this session limit nor will group sessions, workshop participation, psychiatric appointments, or consultations about another student.  Further, our urgent care walk-in service and crisis intervention service are available to all students (part-time and full-time), regardless of the session limit.

Part-time students are eligible for up to 3 individual counseling sessions per academic year with a counselor for short-term problem resolution and/or referral.

On-Line students who reside in the local area are subject to eligibility listed above for full-time and part-time students.  On-line students who reside outside of the local area can consult with CAPS staff for referral purposes.  Caps counselors are not able to provide phone counseling.  

Employees of Saint Joseph's University are welcome to consult with CAPS staff for referral services.

Appointments:  Appointments are usually necessary and can be scheduled by phone (610-660-1090) or in person (A504 Merion Gardens). If your concern is urgent and you wish to be seen immediately, please inform the administrative assistant when you call so that arrangements can be made to accommodate your needs. Typically, walk-in hours are utilized for immediate needs, but a counselor will be available in an emergency between walk-in times. 

Students with urgent concerns may see one of the professional staff in the Walk-in Center,  54 LaFarge Residence Hall (first floor) daily from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.  Appointments are not needed for the Walk-in Center.  In our main office (A504 Merion Gardens) a walk-in hour is available each weekday afternoon.

In the event of an EMERGENCY after normal working hours, you may call PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY at 610-660-1111 and they will direct your call (this may inlude speaking to our counselor on-call).  

First-time appointments to CAPS will consist of a brief session with a CAPS psychologist for the purpose of assessing the nature of your concerns and discussing a plan for counseling.  If CAPS can best serve your needs, you will be scheduled for a full session with a either a CAPS psychologist, our post doctoral fellow or a doctoral level trainee.  Our doctoral level trainees and post-doctoral fellow have previous counseling experience and are superivsed by professional staff.  For the small minority of students whose needs are best served by seeing a mental health professional in the community, CAPS will assist in making the referral.  

Full counseling appointments typically last 45 minutes.  Due to scheduling demands, latecomers will not be able to be seen for the full 45 minutes.  Those students running more than 15 minutes late are advised to call first to make sure that the appointment has not been given to another student.   Depending on your and your psychologist's availability,  re-scheduling your appointment may be the best option.

For CANCELLATIONS, please notify CAPS as soon as possible, preferably 24 hours in advance. After normal working hours, you may leave your message on voicemail (610-660-1090).  Otherwise late cancellations and appointment no-shows will count toward the 40 session limit. 

Please note: Students should not pursue services at CAPS for the sole purpose of obtaining a letter of support.  CAPS does not provide letters at first appointment. However, after a counseling relationship has been established over multiple sessions, with informed consent, we can document attendance and/or determine a diagnosis that may serve to qualify for services within the Office of Student Disability Services.   Students seeking letters of support as an initial need are encouraged to seek letters from individuals directly involved in their care, such as past or present mental health providers, medical doctors or family members.