A Visit to the School Psychologist
One of the many resources at the disposal of students here at Florida Institute of Technology is Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). CAPS is our on-campus counseling center, and its goal is to promote academic, vocational and emotional health among students. This week I met with Director of CAPS and Assistant Professor Robyn Tapley, Ph.D., and asked her some questions regarding how CAPS helps the Florida Tech community.
What services does CAPS offer to students?
CAPS offers a wide variety of services to the students of Florida Institute of Technology and does this in various ways. The most commonly used/requested service is individual counseling. Concerns that students bring forward to these counseling sessions are: procrastination and time management concerns, grief, social anxiety, academic pressure and stress management, identity concerns, depression and many other concerns that can and often are worked through. Individual counseling services also help with resolving conflicts and improving decision-making skills, creating a healthy and satisfying balance in life, living by a personal value system and many other important aspects of our day to day life.
Individual counseling not your thing? CAPS also offers group counseling based on interest and need for counseling. The concerns that are addressed in groups can vary, but some of the groups the school offers involve improving relationships, working through grief, and learning how to better manage time and stress.
Students also have access to assessment services for learning disorders and ADHD through CAPS, as well as, psychiatric services for medication evaluation and management of mental health conditions.
In addition CAPS has various events held throughout the semester covering a wide range of topics that college students frequently face, such as issues regarding alcohol and drugs, depression, safer sex and stress. These sessions are very informative, interactive and are generally very beneficial to the students who participate.
For more information on events held by CAPS, visit this page.
How can students approach CAPS with their concerns?
All CAPS services are by scheduled appointment. An appointment can be made by phone or a student can walk in during business hours. The appointments are scheduled to match the service requested and the availability of students. CAPS also offers crisis intervention services if a student experiences an emotional crisis.
What can a student expect when they visit CAPS?
Upon requesting services and scheduling an appointment students will be asked to complete some paperwork. The first session is usually an information gathering session, where the provider gains a better understanding about the history of the student and what has brought the student to CAPS. Subsequent sessions focus on working towards achieving the goals set by the students and provider. On average, counseling sessions are approximately 45-50 minutes and medication sessions are approximately 20-40 minutes.
What concerns does CAPS help students with?
CAPS offers help with many different mental health and emotional concerns, such as college adjustment, stress management, interpersonal relationship issues, and grief and loss, as well as mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What procedures does CAPS follow regarding confidentiality?
CAPS follows federal and state confidentiality laws/policies when working with students, so information cannot be released to anyone on or off campus unless the student providers written permission. However there are limits to confidentiality required by law, and any limitations to confidentiality are discussed prior to services being rendered. Further, CAPS records are kept separately, as they are not part of a student’s academic record.
What does the staff consist of at CAPS?
CAPS staff consists of the Director, two Staff Psychologists, six to eight doctoral level practicum students from the Psy.D. program, two contracted part time psychiatrists, and an administrative assistant.
How can students get involved with CAPS as volunteers or support?
Students can become more familiar with the services offered at CAPS by attending the outreach programs, visiting the CAPS website, or contacting CAPS with their questions. Studennts can also join the campus chapter of Active Minds, a national organization of student that help to de-stigmatize mental health issues on campuses across the nation.
Is CAPS associated with any organizations at FIT?
CAPS frequently works with a variety of departments, organizations, and student groups on campus to assist with the programming opportunities and consultation regarding student concerns/issues.
CAPS plays an important role in keeping our campus happy, healthy, and safe for everyone. They provide excellent services and are a place where there is always a listening ear.
For more information on CAPS and there services visit the CAPS website or contact CAPS directly at:
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Florida Institute of Technology
150 W. University Blvd., Bldg. 264
Melbourne, Florida 32901
(321) 674 – 8050
Featured image credit: Photo property of Alan Cleaver