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 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!

Services Include:

Psychological assessment, 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).

Counseling Services

Special Drop-in Sessions Post 2016 Election

If you would like to get support in relation to the 2016 presidential election, we have times set up through the week of 11/14-18. Please call or come in to set up an appointment in one of these slots.

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 brief session (usually about 40 minutes) 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 a single session or two to process, problem-solve, and learn about useful tools and resources.

The initial intake session can be scheduled by phone or in person on the day of your desired appointment. If you would like to schedule an intake session, simply call us in the morning (starting at 8 a.m.) and we will get the intake session scheduled that day. Same-day intake appointments are filled on a "first-call" or "first-come" basis, so the earlier in the day you call or visit CAPS, the better the likelihood of reserving the time of your choice.

Same-Day Intake sessions are available on the hour (11 am to 4 pm), with the exception of the noon hour:

Advance-Scheduled Intake sessions are also available but the wait for such an appointment can be a couple of weeks. If you don't mind waiting a week or two, feel free to request such an appointment. Those interested in couples therapy should schedule an advance-scheduled (50 minute) intake, rather than a same-day intake, as it allows for more time. For those with acute issues, we encourage using the same-day system.

Please make sure to come 20-30 minutes early to complete your intake forms.

On-going Counseling Sessions

At the end of your intake session, you and the therapist may determine that on-going therapy at CAPS is desired. Because CAPS often has a waitlist for on-going therapy, there may be a short delay before regular counseling sessions can be scheduled. Once a therapist calls you with an available appointment time, you will be scheduled for regular sessions (usually weekly or every other week).

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. Feeling so overwhelmed that it is significantly interfering with your functioning (for example, persistent difficulties with attending class, eating or sleeping, etc.). This can sometimes be due to a recent traumatic experience such as a death in the family, significant break-up, an assault, car accident, etc.
  2. Engaging in self-destructive behaviors that feel out-of-control and/or that put your health at significant risk (e.g., binge drinking, excessive drug use, eating disordered behaviors such as purging, etc.).
  3. Having thoughts 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 behaviors.

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 a group 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, 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.