Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers a safe and confidential setting where personal concerns can be openly explored and discussed with a staff psychologist or doctoral level trainee (under supervision). A brief counseling focus typically meets the needs of most students and can be utilized flexibly on multiple occasions throughout a college career. Those in need of long-term, ongoing counseling or specialized care are typically referred to providers in the local community after an initial assessment. Counseling services are voluntary, confidential and free-of-charge.
Individual counseling is usually done by appointment. Our drop-in center hours typically can accommodate more urgent needs and emergencies. Most individual counseling sessions by appointment last 45 minutes or less.
Please see our appointments and eligibility page for more information about our counseling programs and what we provide to full-time students vs part-time students.
On average, 600 Saint Joseph's students per year seek individual counseling for a wide variety of reasons including:
- to cope more effectively with stress and anxiety
- learn new coping skills
- increase self-confidence
- become more assertive
- overcome loneliness
- deal with problems involving drug or alcohol use/abuse
- develop more satisfying relationships
- change unhealthy eating habits
- overcome feelings of depression and/or anxiety
- deal with the loss/death of a loved one
- work through a decision
- gain insight into a conflict
- come to terms with a traumatic experience
When classes are in session, we offer Drop-In Counseling Hours for students with urgent concerns. Students may drop in or call in to arrange a virtual meeting with a professional counselor; no appointment is needed. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Drop-In Counseling Hours are:
- 11 am - 12:30 pm: LaFarge Residence Hall
- 3 pm - 4 pm: Merion Gardens A54
To arrange a virtual meeting, please call our offices during drop-in times.
In the event of an EMERGENCY after normal office hours, students should call 911, SJU PUBLIC SAFETY (610-660-1111), or access after-hours counselors (610-660-1090, option 2).
Throughout the academic year, CAPS offers programs on specialized topics of interest to the university community. Come back soon to see future offerings, and follow us on Instagram for programming updates throughout the year.
Group counseling is an opportunity to talk with a small number of peers who have similar concerns within a safe, confidential setting. Groups are facilitated by one or two trained counselors and typically meet weekly throughout the semester.
Groups are offered on a variety of topics including:
- Grief Support
- Freshman Adjustment
- Managing Moods
- Anxiety/Stress Relief
- Survivors of Sexual Assault
Outreach and Consultation
The professional staff of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to provide educational programs in classrooms or residence halls for students, faculty and staff. Requests and suggestions for programming are always welcome. In addition, the psychologists are available to consult with RAs, student leaders, faculty, and staff to help them develop programs tailored to the needs of their particular groups. A sampling of classroom lectures includes the following topics:
- Understanding Motivation and Procrastination
- Active Listening Skills
- Anxiety & Stress Management
- Sexual Assault Prevention
- Alcohol and Other Drug Awareness
- Grief and Bereavement
- Body Image
Many times Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will offer an educational and/or interactive workshop of one to five sessions. Following are workshops which have been offered in the past:
- Coping Skills
- Defeating Procrastination and Exam Survival Skills
- Anger Management
- Communication Skills
- Sexual Assault Prevention
- Drug and Alcohol Awareness
- Healthy Relationships
- Stress Management
Students, faculty, staff and family members may wish to consult with the CAPS staff whenever there is a concern about a student or fellow employee. By phone or in person, psychologists may provide information on referrals to other mental health services, on assisting a friend or family member who is in crisis, on determining if one can benefit from counseling, as well as on any other mental health issue. In such instances, the same principles of confidentiality apply.