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Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling and Psychological Services

Frequently Asked Questions for Students


What is counseling?

Counseling is the application of mental health, psychological or human development principles, through cognitive, affective, behavioral or systemic intervention strategies, that address wellness, personal growth, or career development, as well as pathology.

Do I need to have a mental health illness to see a counselor?

No, it is possible to discuss/consult with a counselor about general life issues, relationships and careers.

What kinds of services doe the CAPS provide?

The following services are provided at no charge to the student:

  • Individual counseling (both personal and career)
  • Group counseling (determined by student needs)
  • Couple's counseling
  • Crisis intervention
  • Consultation
  • Biofeedback(in conjunction with individual counseling)
  • Online treatment (TAO)
  • Referrals
  • Psychiatric consultation
  • LD/ADHD testing(**there are fees for this service**)
  • Workshops and presentations

What will my counseling cost?

Our services are provided free for those students currently enrolled in the academic session during which the counseling takes place. A minimal fee may be required only for assessment inventories used in the counseling process. Formal testing services (i.e., ADHD, Learning Disabilities) require a more substantial fee. If you are not enrolled for the semester in which you are seeking services, a Health Bridge Fee of $54 is required for students to be seen for one semester following the last semester in which they were enrolled (e.g. during the summer following the Spring Semester in which they were enrolled).

Who is eligible to use the counseling center?

Our services are provided for those students currently enrolled in the academic semester during which the counseling takes place.

Are there time limits as to how long I can meet with my counselor?

The number of times you meet with your counselor will be determined by your progress and counselor. Many students are able to resolve their issues in 6-7 visits.

What are the hours of the counseling center?

During the Fall and Spring semesters the center is open from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday. During the summer the center is open from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. There is a counselor on call 24/7.

Where is the counseling center located?

The counseling center (CAPS) is located in room 228 the second floor of Howard Hall on the plaza.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?

Students are seen as soon as possible based their presenting issues as well as availability of appointment times. Students in crisis will be seen within 24 hours or sooner.

How long will the appointment take?

Initially the student will fill out general information forms which will be reviewed immediately by a clinician. It will take about an hour to fill out these forms and meet briefly with a counselor. The actual intake (your first appointment with a counselor) and subsequent appointments will last about 50 minutes.

What about confidentiality in counseling?

Counseling is confidential with the exceptions noted in state statute, which will be explained to you during your initial visit. These exceptions are clearly stated in the consent forms, which you must sign before counseling can begin. Counseling records are maintained independent of academic records.

Will my sessions go on my official student record?

Counseling records are maintained independent of academic records.

What will happen in my first appointment?

During your first appointment you will meet with an assigned counselor in a pleasant, comfortable environment where you will get an opportunity to share with your counselor the issues that are distressing you. The counselor will obtain background information from which both of you will develop goals and a treatment plan for addressing those issues.

Why do I have to complete the computerized intake to schedule an appointment?

The information you share during this computerized intake will help determine how soon you will need to be seen by a counselor, and also provide the counselor a glimpse of your concerns, and important background information that will facilitate your progress.

What if someone just needs information about a referral?

Referral information about various community services are available by calling or visiting the counseling center and speaking with a counselor.

If I’m worried about someone other than myself, what should I do?

Faculty, staff, parents, friends and roommates can help students in need of counseling by calling to get information about our services and appointment times; as well as picking up literature available at our office on campus. As much as possible, the individual in need of counseling should come in to make his/her own appointment. Although the counseling sessions are private and confidential, you may accompany the individual to the appointment to give support and encouragement. You can also contact the Dean of Students' Office Care Team and submit a person of concern form if the person is not in need of immediate psychological care.

What if I feel that I am not a good match or I’m not comfortable with my counselor?

We encourage every student to be open and honest with their counselor, and if a change is needed, please tell your counselor and a change to an different counselor will be made as soon as it can be accommodated with scheduling.

Do you have crisis counseling?

Emergency counseling is available both during and after regular counseling center hours. If you are a student who needs emergency services, please call CAPS at 590-7950 or after hours ext. 1911. A professional counselor is on-call at all times.

What if I need assistance after hours?

If you are in immediate distress or crisis outside of normal business hours (evenings, weekends, and holidays), you can call CAPS 239-745-3277 to speak with a mental health professional.

Can someone request a particular counselor?

Particular counselors may be requested, however, there may be a delay in being seen due to scheduling. Also, not all counselors are qualified to treat all issues, especially when it involves specialized testing.

Can someone come in to talk about someone else (friend, roommate, family member etc.) that they’re worried about?

It is possible to discuss concerns you have about other individuals, but those individuals need to make the decision to change as they see appropriate. If you are concerned about their safety, or intervention is necessary, a counselor can help you determine how to address the individual(s), but cannot directly intervene for you.

Can someone receive counseling by email, instant messaging, Face Book, etc?

Although with modern technology there is counseling taking place utilizing electronic means, CAPS does not currently participate in this form of counseling.

Where can someone get help with study skills like note-taking or doing better on exams?

From time to time there are min-workshops presented to assist students with these issues and are offered through CAPS and the Office of Adaptive Services. Other tutoring and help can be obtained through the Center for Academic Achievement: 590-7906.

Where can someone get help with career-related questions?

Students can obtain career counseling through CAPS, and also arrange for resume building, mock interviewing, and other services through the Career Development Services: 590-7946.

Where can someone ask health-related questions or get help for medical problems?

Medical-related/health questions are handled through the Student Health Services located in the Wellness Center: 590-7966.

Which office can help with disability questions or requests for accommodations due to LD’s?

The office which can best assist you is the Office of Adaptive Services located in the first floor of Howard Hall on the plaza: 590-7956

Can faculty and staff go to the Counseling Center?

The counseling center is intended for student use only, however, referral information can be obtained by faculty and staff. Faculty and staff need to use the counseling services provided according benefits provided through their benefits package. This can be explained to them by Human Resources: 590-1400

When I arrive, I want to see a counselor. What is the procedure?

Individual students will need to come in person to the counseling center, fill out the electronic intake, have their situation triaged, and then be scheduled with a counselor based on schedule availability.

I’m concerned about what goes on my school record.

Counseling records are maintained separately from academic records and will not show up on any transcripts or related areas unless there is specific written permission from your child. The law under which your information is protected is called FERPA. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of a student’s educational records. It applies to schools receiving funds through a U. S. Department of Education program. Once a student enters college, information from his student record cannot be shared with others - including parents - unless the student gives written permission. The law does allow an institution to disclose records without consent in some special cases. These include health and safety emergencies. All schools are required to post an annual FERPA notification.

Is there anything I can do to facilitate continuing psychological and psychiatric treatment when I enter FGCU?

You could have prior treatment records or a treatment summary mailed to the Director of the Counseling Center, Dr. Judi Gibbons,10501FGCU Blvd. South, Fort Myers, FL 33965. We will then have that information when you arrive at the Counseling Center.

Why should I come to Counseling and Psychological Services for counseling?

Students have unique needs and concerns and we provide a variety of counseling formats to assist you in meeting these needs.  While you can come to CAPS to talk about almost anything, the most common reasons students come to CAPS include, but are not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Relationship Concerns
  • Difficulty adjusting
  • Problems related to substance use
  • Difficulty with daily living patterns, such as sleeping and eating
  • Academic struggles
  • Career concerns