/ Counseling and Psychological Services

Services

Counseling and Psychological Services offers assistance navigating struggles you may face during your college years.

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling involves meeting with one of our staff counselors to address your concerns. Our goal is to work with you to develop strategies to address your needs. We will do our best to help you acquire the skills needed to improve how you cope with difficulties, overcome challenges and live more effectively.

Group Counseling

Group counseling brings together a small number of individuals with one of our staff counselors to meet on an on-going basis. We offer two types of groups: general process and common focus.

General process groups involve members (usually 4–6 people) sharing their concerns, listening to one another and giving and receiving support. Group members will learn they are not alone and will help each other understand more about themselves and others. The group leader facilitates deeper exploration of these interactions. Members typically find that being in a general process group helps improve their everyday relationships.

Common focus groups involve members (usually 3–8 people) working together to learn and practice skills that relate to a specific concern and/or have a common goal. For example, group members may struggle with anxiety and learn how to manage it. Another group may meet to learn relaxation techniques and practice mindfulness. Common focus groups vary across semesters but typically include:

  • ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
  • Mindfulness/Meditation
  • Creative Arts
  • Positive Coping

Check with the CAPS office for a list of current common focus groups.

ADHD Assessment

CAPS offers initial assessment for ADHD on a limited schedule. The assessment includes a diagnostic interview, individual testing and the completion of behavior inventories.

Consultation

When a third party (parent, fellow student, faculty, etc.) calls with a concern about a student, a CAPS counselor will consult and put together a plan to address those concerns. Counselors will not share information about a student without the student's permission (see Confidentiality).

Educational Programming

CAPS hosts a number of educational programs throughout the year. An informational meeting for parents during Orientation week helps parents understand our services. QPR Suicide Prevention Training is offered to faculty and staff on a regular basis. Counselors speak to groups across campus and provide intensive training for Residential Life staff.

Request a CAPS presentation or event 

Scope of Practice

Students are encouraged to schedule and complete an Initial Assessment with a CAPS staff counselor in order to determine the most appropriate treatment options. This could include continued services at CAPS, or referral to a community provider in the Holland/Grand Rapids area. There are times when the students’ needs are not within the scope of our services. CAPS reserve the right to refer students to alternative services in the following situations:

  • History of psychiatric hospitalizations and/or chronic treatment resistant suicidality and/or self-harm
  • Evidence of, or risk of, progressive deterioration in mental or emotional functioning
  • Manifestations of psychotic symptoms with or without willingness to remain on medication for stabilization of symptoms
  • Significant drug and/or alcohol problems such as substance dependence, primary substance abuse, and/or past failed treatments
  • Significant or long-standing eating disorder with no period of remission, no previous treatment, or that may pose a medical danger
  • Consistent need for services more than once a week and/or frequent after-hours consultation that cannot be stabilized with short-term crisis interventions
  • Seeking comprehensive psychological assessment or documentation, including the following:
    • Emotional Support Animal, Service Animal, or Therapy Animal
    • Diagnosis requiring psychological testing, including learning differences
    • Assessment or evaluation for the purpose of employment clearance, legal adjudications, or other non-academic needs
  • Seeking to fulfill court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements
  • Students who are unable to comply with treatment; or are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary information to assess symptoms
  • Students whose behavior is threatening or hostile to CAPS staff or students, and/or risk of harm to others
  • Students who are already engaged in ongoing psychotherapy with another provider
  • Any other area outside the scope of CAPS staff licensing and experience that is more suitable to highly specialized mental health providers