Brief Individual and Couples Counseling

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers short term counseling for personal, academic, and career issues.

There is no charge to get started, and all registered students can access services regardless of insurance.

Professional counselors can meet with students to talk about personal, academic and career issues including: adjusting to school, deciding on a career or major, dealing with family or relationships, sexual orientation and identity, coping with personal crises. Groups and workshops are also available on a variety of topics.

infographic on how to get started. text below.

Get started in counseling through:

  • A brief (15-minutes) telephone triage appointment with a CAPS staff member to assess a student's needs and to direct you to the most appropriate counselor. Please call the CAPS front desk to schedule this telephone triage appointment with a counselor. During the triage appointment the counselor will assist you with determining appropriate next steps. This might include any of the following:
    • A 45-minute in-person counseling appointment (generally available within 1-2 weeks)
    • Crisis drop-in counseling (available Monday-Friday10am-5pm for urgent concerns)
    • Group counseling
    • A referral to other resources

    For questions or to set up a phone triage:

    What concerns can CAPS help with? 

    • Academic concerns
    • Career concerns
    • Personal concerns
    See our video on "What kinds of issues do you help students with?"


    All registered UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for CAPS services, regardless of their insurance coverage.

    Number of sessions

    Many students benefit from just one or a few sessions of counseling. The number of sessions will be determined by your counselor, based on your counseling needs. If you need longer term counseling or specialized services, we can help connect you with community mental health providers (such as a provider on your Anthem SHIP student insurance plan or a provider on your private insurance plan or a low fee/sliding scale clinic).

    Common myths about counseling–and what's real

    Myth 1: Only crazy people go to counseling (and I'm not crazy).

    WHAT'S REAL: You’re right, you’re not crazy. People go to counseling for all kinds of problems. CAPS sees more than 5,000 students a year for individual and group counseling.

    Myth 2: Going for counseling is a sign of weakness. It shows I can't handle my own problems.

    WHAT'S REAL: You are capable of handling most of your problems. There are some, however, that are difficult to handle alone. Recognizing when you need assistance, and then getting it, is a sign of good problem-solving ability.

    Myth 3: Counseling won't work for me. It's not effective. I’ve done it before.

    WHAT'S REAL: It is true that there are no guaranteed results. However, there is a high probability that counseling can be helpful. It has worked for a large number of students and it could work for you. Give it a try. Even if it hasn’t helped before, it may be helpful now and may be a matter of finding a counselor who is a good fit for you.

    Myth 4: I don’t want to be dependent on anyone and isn’t that what counseling is?

    WHAT'S REAL: The goal of counseling is not to make you dependent but to help you feel better and learn new skills so that you can manage things not to foster dependency. Many students only need a few sessions to get the help they need

    Myth 5: Shouldn’t I just talk to family or friends

    WHAT'S REAL: Family and friends are important but sometimes they cannot provide the kind of help you need. They care about you so they may not be objective. In addition, they may not be trained in dealing with problems like yours. It is important that you stay connected to the people who are important to you, but professional counseling is different. You are not being disloyal to family by talking about issues that are important to you. 

    Things you might have heard or told yourself:

    Statements from well-meaning friends, family and acquaintances that have prevented you from going to counseling: Thing you tell yourself that have prevented you from going to counseling:
    "That is so not cool"
    "Get over it already"
    "Don't tell everybody all your business..."

    "Everybody's gonna think I'm crazy"
    "Everybody's gonna find out"
    "I should be able to handle it on my own"
    "My problems aren't as bad as someone else's"
    "It's just a waste of time"

    There are STRONG common misperceptions about counseling that everyone has either seen on television or in the movies. Just as common are the cultural messages about counseling that stigmatize mental health care. Unfortunately, these perceptions can get in the way and students sometimes postpone receiving the help they may have needed to overcome some obstacle in their lives.

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