Counseling & Psychological Services CAPS Logo


We are glad you are here to visit our website and to learn more about us. Our main goal at Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is to promote the wellbeing of HSU students. Our counseling services are offered with recognition and appreciation of each student's individual and unique personality, and we are honored to play a part in helping students to strive emotionally, psychologically, and intellectually.

Counseling and Psychological Services are available to regularly enrolled and IELI students from Humboldt State University. There are no per-session charges for these services.

For a small fee ($30 per session), we are also able to serve a non-student partner of an HSU student when the two are in couples therapy at our center.

Please check with us if you are in doubt about your eligibility for counseling services.

Aside from counseling services, CAPS is active on campus in many other ways. We provide consultation, outreach, and education to the entire campus community, and play an important role in the training of new mental health professionals.

We have provided many useful resources and tools on this website to promote your wellness and to help you tackle some of the more common life struggles (such as anxiety, depression, dealing with break-ups, etc.). Make sure to check out our Prezis!

Click Here for Special Services April, 2017 related to Josiah's Tragic Death

Regular Services Include:

Initial intake interviews, short term individual and couples counseling, groups and workshops, information and referral, crisis intervention, outreach, psychoeducation, and consultation.


Your right to privacy is important to us. We are required to hold everything you say in confidence, except as authorized by you in a signed release or as provided by law.

Exceptions by Law Are:

  • If we believe you intend to seriously harm yourself.
  • If we believe you intend to seriously harm someone else.
  • If we suspect, based on information that you have shared, that a child, dependent adult, or an elderly person is at significant risk for abuse (or is being abused).
  • If we are court-ordered by a judge to release records.

Hours of Operation

During the academic year, the CAPS office is open Monday through Friday as follows:

  • CAPS receptionists are available by phone 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Individual and couples therapy appointments are generally available 9 a.m. through 5 p.m.
  • Crisis appointments:
    • In person: Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Note: to arrange a crisis session outside of these hours, you may call us (826-3236) to discuss availability. If the building is locked during CAPS business hours and you need to speak with a counselor, please ring the bell or call us to arrange entry.
    • By phone 24/7. You can reach a therapist by phone for support, information, and crisis intervention outside of regular business hours on our main line (826-3236).
    • In emergency situations, as an alternative to CAPS, you may also call Humboldt County Mental Health at 707 445-7715 or dial 911. If there is an immediate safety risk, please call 911 as the police can offer the fastest and best assistance.
  • Group Therapy meetings vary. See group wepage for details regarding meeting times and information.

Note: During academic holidays and breaks (including the summer months), the CAPS office is closed. You may still reach a therapist by phone at such times if you need immediate help or some assistance with referrals (707-826-3236).

Support Services

Student Health & Wellbeing Services offer a variety of support and wellness services that do not require a formal intake process. Our Health Education Department is now offering "The Wellbeing Map" which provides information and support (from peer health educators) around a variety of topics. Simply complete this Online Form and a peer health educator will contact you to schedule a meeting. Wellbeing services include social connections, communication, food and body, motivation, sexual health and romantic relationships, alcohol and other drugs, sleep, and relaxation.

Counseling Services

Intake Session

If this is your first time coming to CAPS in the current academic year, you will meet with a therapist for an intake session. This 45-minute session helps the therapist get to know you and your concerns. At the end of the session, the two of you will determine the best course of action, including the possibility of individual, couples, or group counseling at CAPS or pursuing counseling services elsewhere. Sometimes all that is desired or needed is 1-3 sessions to to process, problem-solve, and learn about useful tools and resources. We are pleased to announce that we now have a 3 week 1-hour skills-based workshop series (RIO) that will address the needs of many of our students. Your intake therapist will advise you if this seems like the right "fit."

The initial intake session can be scheduled by phone or in person. You will have intake forms to complete prior to your appointment so please be sure to arrive 20-30 minutes before you are scheduled to meet with a therapist.

"Let's Talk" Consultation

If you are not interested in ongoing therapy and you are not in crisis, you may want to come talk to a therapist more informally for a single session. This session is designed to provide some immediate help for an acute (non-emergency) issue. Paperwork is minimal and the session will be more solution-focused in terms of content. Note, though, that if on-going services at CAPS are recommended, you will still need to schedule and complete a regular intake appointment at a later date.

Crisis Services

If you are in crisis at the time you come in to CAPS, you should ask to meet with the crisis therapist rather than scheduling an appointment.

Generally, a crisis entails one or more of the following:

  1. Having experienced a recent physical or sexual assault or another signficiant trauma.
  2. Your life is currently in danger (for example, due to domestic violence, recent homelessness, alcohol or other drug withdrawal).
  3. Having intention or plans of hurting or killing yourself or someone else. (Or concern about someone else's suicidal thoughts or behaviors).
  4. Losing touch with reality or having otherwise disturbing experiences or behaviors (such as hearing or seeing things that others do not).

On-going Counseling Sessions

If it has been determined that on-going services at CAPS is the right course of action, you will arrange the specifics of this plan with the intake therapist. CAPS provides on-going couseling services through a number of modalities: individual, couples, and group formats. If indiviual or couples therapy at CAPS is recommended, there may be a short wait for these ongoing appointments (depending on the time of year and the level of demand on CAPS services).

Group Therapy

Group themes and times vary, please see the listing of Groups and Workshops for information. To get further information about a group, please contact the group leader(s). To sign up for some of our groups you will need to schedule an assessment appointment with the leader of the therapy group of interest. Our receptionist can help to get this scheduled.

Unfortunately, Counseling Services Are NOT Available To:

  • Extension Students (other than IELI students)
  • Over 60 Program Students
  • College of the Redwoods Students
  • Veterans Upward Bound Students

If you belong to one of the above groups and would like assistance in determining the resources that would best meet your needs, we would be happy to help. Call us for information.

Our Location

Counseling & Psychological Services is located on the second floor of the Student Health Center. This is just northeast of "Library Circle" (at 1 Plaza Avenue). To arrange an appointment, come to our reception office located in room 205 or call us at (707) 826-3236.

Mailing Address & Contact Information:

Counseling & Psychological Services
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 95521
Phone: (707) 826-3236
Fax: (707) 826-5735

Email messages are managed by the CAPS office manager & may not be responded to immediately. For acute or confidential concerns please call us rather than using email.


We are fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.