Been thinking about going to CAPS but unsure of what to expect out of your first appointment?
Active Minds at Wesleyan has created this handy unofficial guide to CAPS to help you out…
Why make an appointment? Everyone can benefit from therapy, and at Wesleyan it’s free. Whether you are barely holding it together or finding college to be “the best years of your life” talking to a professional can be cathartic and very constructive. Last year approximately 1 out of every 5 Wesleyan students used CAPS.
How to make an appointment? Call CAPS at 860-685-2910 Monday-Friday 8 AM-4:30 PM. If you have an after hours emergency call the same number and you will be connected to the on-call therapist. CAPS tries to keep the wait time for your first appointment to under a week. If you are really in distress, there are drop in hours in the afternoons. These hours vary so call to find out when they are.
What to expect during your first appointment? CAPS shares a waiting room and a receptionist with the Davison Health Center, ensuring anonymity. There is no way for anyone to know whether you are there for CAPS or for the health center. When you arrive for your first appointment, you will be given some paperwork to fill out that asks about your general mental health history. Your therapist will look over the paperwork and then will likely allow the session to take whatever form you want.
What happens after your first appointment? CAPS officially offers ten sessions a year to students, but many people go less and unofficially many people go more. CAPS doesn’t “drop” people after ten sessions if they are in need of continuing treatment and can also help you find an outside therapist. You don’t have to commit to anything. In fact, it can be helpful to go for just one session to learn some concrete skills.
Will they make me take a medical leave? Very rarely does CAPS force a student to go on medical leave against their will. Don’t be afraid to be honest. The therapists at CAPS have worked with many students in serious distress. In nearly all cases, the decision to take a leave is the student’s choice.
For more info about CAPS or Active Minds contact activemindswes(at)gmail(dot)com