photo of campus entrance

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Counseling and Psychological Services
Russ Hall, First Floor
Telephone: 973-655-5211
Fax: 973-655-4470
Hours: Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

CAPS is a department of University Health and Counseling Services designed to provide free personal counseling and psychological services for Montclair State students, as well as referrals and consultations for faculty and staff. CAPS is fully accredited by the International Association of Counseling Centers (IACS)

CAPS goals include:

  • allowing students to make the most of their academic education, helping prevent future problems, helping students develop to their fullest potential by learning new skills and resolving issues that may limit their performance, assisting and supporting faculty and staff through consultation, promoting wellness through workshops, presentations and major campus events
  • providing a positive training environment and close supervision for graduate students in counseling and psychology

CAPS services are free, voluntary and confidential, and available to all Montclair State students. Though a brief wait for services might occur at busier times of the year, urgency of need is always taken into consideration when scheduling an appointment.  Depending on the student’s needs, he or she may choose to attend counseling sessions a couple of times or throughout the semester.  In some cases, after an initial appointment at CAPS, a referral will be made to an off-campus agency or private practitioner.  This would most likely be the case if the student’s needs can be better met off-campus, or if longer-term services are deemed more appropriate. Additionally, CAPS offers short-term consultations and referrals for faculty and staff.

Once a student contacts our office, the first step is a brief (10-15 minute) phone conversation with a CAPS staff member. This interview is intended to gather basic information about the student and the issues that have led to his/her contacting CAPS. After that, an “intake” appointment is scheduled. Intakes are usually scheduled within a week; however, urgency of need is always taken into consideration. This appointment is usually about 75-90 minutes – 20-30 minutes for completion of paperwork, and 40-60 minutes for a face-to-face meeting with a CAPS therapist. At this appointment, the student begins by filling out forms on a secure laptop computer in our waiting area. Afterward, the student meets with a CAPS counselor. This is an opportunity to elaborate on the issues addressed during the phone interview and on the computerized forms, and to gather the information needed to come up with a treatment plan for the student, either at CAPS or with a provider in the community. Students are usually contacted within a few days of their intake interview with information regarding whom they will see and when.

Included in the paperwork that students fill out is a Rights and Responsibilities Form, which provides important information about CAPS.