Referring Students to CAPS

If a Student is Reluctant to Seek Professional Help

The following are potential strategies to use when encouraging a student to seek services at CAPS.  

  • Reassure the student that therapists at CAPS work with people with a wide range of concerns.
  • Inform the student that all therapists at CAPS are licensed professionals.  Students do not work at CAPS, nor does CAPS offer peer counseling.
  • Problems need not reach crisis proportions for students to benefit from professional help.
  • Normalize help-seeking behavior; many students utilize services at CAPS.
  • Inform students that they can speak with a therapist on a one-time basis without making a commitment to ongoing therapy.
  • Inform students that information shared at CAPS is kept strictly confidential within CAPS and will not be disclosed to parents, faculty, other University departments, or even you, except with the student's written permission or as required by law.
  • Acknowledge, validate and discuss the student's real fears and concerns about seeking help. 

In some cases, you may find that the student has already sought counseling services at CAPS, or elsewhere, and was dissatisfied with the experience. There are many reasons why therapy may not be successful in a given situation. Please encourage the student to consider giving therapy another try, perhaps with a different therapist at CAPS, or to seek off-campus referrals through our office.

While it is important to care about the emotional well-being of students, we cannot make their decisions for them, and therapy is always a personal choice. Occasionally even your best efforts to encourage a student to seek therapy will be unsuccessful. If the student resists referral and you remain uncomfortable with the situation, contact CAPS at (206) 296-6090 to discuss your concern.


Need Immediate Help?

If you or someone around you is experiencing an emergency or are in a crisis, please call one of the numbers below to get in touch with someone right away:

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