What to Expect During Your Initial Appointment

The clinicians at CAPS are licensed professionals that have been trained in a variety of theories and modalities of psychotherapy. Regardless of the theoretical orientation, most of the treatment we practice will be a brief model of psychotherapy. For some students this might mean 2 – 3 sessions to get some ideas about how to manage difficult situations or personal experiences. Other students might have a trial of 6 – 8 sessions to gain insight into their emotional experience and learn some strategies to inhibit distressing symptoms. Still others may benefit from a full semester to begin to manage their current distress. Most students experience some symptom relief after 4 sessions and the average number of sessions is about eight. In keeping with our brief model of treatment, students may receive a referral to a private practitioner in Philadelphia. This might happen during the initial consultation or after a brief trial of treatment, depending on the symptoms presented. For more about our referral services please check our Referral Services page.

You will receive an email and/or text message confirmation 24 hours before your initial appointment. Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete forms.

During the appointment, the clinician will gather additional information from you, get a clearer picture of your needs, and begin to plan with you, the most appropriate course of action. This may involve a planto continue individual therapy, try group therapy, or seek clinical care from an agency or clinicial provider in the community who can better serve your needs.

Individual Therapy

Meeting individually with a Counseling and Psychological Services staff member for a series of sessions provides the opportunity to explore your concerns and to discover ways to implement possible solutions.

We offer confidential and free professional services to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at Penn. The goal is to assist students in their adjustment to college life and to help them take full advantage of the academic and social enviornment at the University. By utilizing our service, students can learn to manage personal problems and situational crises effectively, learn strategies to cope with academic stress, and develop self-awareness, personal responsibility, and skills for life-long learning.

Our staff is comprised of psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers of diverse backgrounds who specialize in working with college students. We welcome all students regardless of race, sex, ethnic background, religion, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or physical status.