Counseling FAQ

Here are answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about CAPS:  

How do I make a counseling appointment?

Call our front desk at (510) 642-9494 and we will make you an appointment with one of our counselors or access eTang the night before or the morning of for a same-day appointment.

What is the process to get an appointment to see a CAPS psychiatrist?

Students can be referred to see a CAPS psychiatrist after they have met with a CAPS or Social Services counselor for a counseling appointment.

What if I have an urgent counseling need? And what is considered urgent?

Call our Counseling Department (CAPS) at (510) 642-9494 and we will get someone to assist you.

If a student is having thoughts about harming themselves or someone else, or is struggling to function and take care of basic daily needs, then that is definitely an emergency and the person should be seen as soon as possible. However, other situations might be considered an “emergency” based on cultural differences, amount of support, coping skills, or immediate and intense stressors the student is facing. Students are often the best evaluators of whether something feels urgent enough to warrant seeing a counselor as soon as possible, and we want to be sure to help them at that moment if the need is there.

How long do you keep records?

Records are destroyed seven years after the last visit. This process is done annually.

Who are the therapists? Do you offer peer counseling?

Our therapists are a multicultural, multi-disciplinary group of mental health professionals specifically trained to work with a university population. Our therapists include licensed professionals as well as Master’s and doctoral level trainees who are under the supervision of a licensed professional. To learn more about our CAPS staff, check out our CAPS meet the staff pages.

We do not offer peer counseling here. UHS Health Promotion, as well as Student-to-Student Peer Counseling, are available specifically for peer counseling.

Do you only see students with SHIP?

No, we see any registered UC Berkeley student, regardless of whether the student has SHIP or not. We can also see non-student partners and significant others of registered students for couples counseling.

How many sessions do I get with CAPS?

Many students benefit from just one session of counseling. You and your counselor will discuss what best fits your needs. 

What if I don’t like my counselor and want to change to someone else?

If you would like to transfer to a different therapist, then talk with your current counselor about your concerns and request. If you decide that you would still like to see a different counselor, then your therapist can identify another appropriate counselor for you to see either at CAPS or in the community.

I just graduated/withdrew. Can I see still someone at CAPS?

Yes, you can still see someone at CAPS until the last day of eligibility, which is July 31 if your last semester was spring semester or January 14 if your last semester was fall semester.

I attend another UC campus. Am I eligible for services here?

You are eligible for primary care and urgent care services. In addition, all UC registered students are eligible to receive counseling assessment of acute symptoms, consultation and/or referral to off-campus care. Counseling care may be limited to a single session.

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Phone: (510) 642-9494

Fax: (510) 642-2368

After-hours support line:  (855) 817-5667


For Non-University affiliated crisis/suicide prevention hotlines: