How to Use CAPS
- Call (402) 472-7450 to schedule an appointment. The appointment will be scheduled ASAP. Assistance is available from Monday thru Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Have you experienced a personal, psychological or physical trauma recently? Has your level of distress increased significantly? Has someone asked you to come to CAPS or another mental health resource? Are you having thoughts or have you made a plan to hurt yourself or others? Has a friend, intimate partner or family member hurt you physically or emotionally?
- Call (402) 472-7450, assistance is available 24/7.
How Does Counseling Work?
CAPS offers a safe, confidential place where a student can slow down, think out loud, get support, and start finding solutions. A counselor can teach you things like new ways to manage stress, offer new perspectives and help clients identify other ways of coping. Counselors can also put you in touch with other resources to help with your problems. Counseling is a great way to get the support you need during a difficult time. See Below for More Counseling FAQs
Privacy and Confidentiality: All CAPS services are confidential. All records are accessible only to CAPS staff. Information is released only with the written consent of the client, except as required by law. (Title IX Information)
Available Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To make your appointment, call (402) 472-7450
or stop by the University Health Center
Meet the CAPS Staff
Students who have paid current student fees receive their first four counseling sessions for NO CHARGE.
Individual and Relationship Counseling FAQs
Counseling is a process that is in many ways tailored to fit an individual's needs. This makes it difficult to give a single, comprehensive answer to how counseling works.
Every student is always welcome to come to CAPS for any kind of issue. We generally recommend that a person should get help when their problems are getting in the way of their studies or interfering with their ability to function normally. Occasionally when people are upset they temporarily feel unable to study or eat and sleep normally, but if the problem continues or has serious consequences, it is important to seek help for it.
Some students may feel that their problem isn't important and they should be able to deal with it by themselves. But if a problem is beginning to impact your academic performance your relationships, maybe it is time to talk about it with someone else who can be objective. Even if your academic work and grades are OK, if you are feeling anxious, sad or down, or having another problem that goes on for more than two weeks, please consider talking to a counselor.
Sometimes students get into a downward spiral because of a problem and then they just decide things have gone too far and no one can help. It is true that some problems are more complicated. At CAPS we have a lot of experience with all kinds of problems that college students have and can help you figure out where to start. We can help you put a plan together.
Sometimes students are concerned not about themselves, but more about a friend, roommate, or family member, and that person's problems. Students sometimes become so worried about another that they can't study, concentrate, or relax. Our counselors can help you cope with these relationships.
Many people feel nervous about their first counseling appointment. Your counselor understands that its hard to talk to someone you don't know about your personal problems. It might help you to feel less nervous if you know what to expect on your first visit.
When you get to the CAPS office, you will be greeted by the front desk staff. You should plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to fill out any necessary paperwork.
Your counselor will come to the office to meet you and escort you to their office. Your counselor will probably begin by telling you about him or herself. Then she/he will discuss your rights as a client and issues of confidentiality.
After that, the counselor will probably ask you to describe why you came for counseling. The counselor may ask questions about all the different parts of your life in order to get to know you more and to understand how the problem fits into and/or affects other areas of your life. Don't worry, the counselor can take the lead in this part of the conversation and help you to explain why you are there.
It is important to understand that you and your counselor are partners in understanding and working on your problem. If there's something you want your counselor to know but she/he hasn't asked yet, feel free to offer the information. If you have questions or concerns about counseling or any other issue, it is important to ask. The better you can communicate your worries or needs to your counselor, the better your counselor will be able to respond to your concerns or needs.
At the end of the first meeting, the counselor will probably ask you or help you develop some goals for counseling. It is helpful to discuss some goals for counseling so that you and your counselor are on the same page and understand what you want to accomplish in counseling. The counselor may then make recommendations about how they feel you could best achieve your goals, which may include short-term individual counseling at CAPS, group counseling, referral for more evaluation or treatment by a specialist, or a consultation with a medical professional about medication.
Attendance. The first step is just showing up! If you put time into getting help, that time will pay off for you. And we can’t help you if you’re not here. Also please respect your counselor’s time.
Commit to getting help and making changes. You may spend hours per week watching tv or socializing or learning about different subject matters – but don’t forget your counseling appointment, which is about what’s most important: you! Commit to some time to learn about yourself and make positive changes in your life.
Identify what you need. Think about what you want to talk about, and what feedback or help you want. The clearer you are with what you need, the more your counselor can help you. Not sure? Don’t worry, your counselor will help you to focus on key issues.
Assess progress: Let your counselor know how it’s going. Tell us what helps (or what doesn’t). We really want your feedback, it helps us to serve you better.
Take it with you: Find ways to take what you learn with you. Ask your counselor to write down or give you a handout on your goals/insights/learning. Your counselor may suggest some things in between sessions for you to try, write about, think about, etc. This helps you to help yourself between sessions. Take time after sessions, preferably that same day or evening, to go over what was discussed – it’s important and it’s about you, so it’s worth it to think over. Reflecting gives you a chance to absorb what you learn. It also helps you apply counseling to your life.
When you think someone needs counseling and you want to talk to them, try some of these helpful hints:
Tell the person clearly and directly what you have observed that causes you to become concerned.
"Every time I see you, you look like you have been crying. You don't seem like your usual self. You have been missing a lot of classes. You always appear sad. In class I see you just kind of staring off..."
"Every time I see you, you look angry. I hear you talk with your friends and it always seems like you are arguing. I don't know exactly how much you are drinking, but it seems like I see you coming in late a lot, and usually you look intoxicated."
Tell the person how you feel, or what it generates in you when you observe these things.
"When I put that all together, I get concerned about how you are doing. I wonder if you have too much stress or too many things to deal with right now. I get concerned about you."
"You worry me. I am not sure you are OK. Maybe you have too much to handle by yourself."
Give the person some information you have about CAPS.
"I want to make sure you know that we have a counseling center for students here. It's free and all you have to do is call this number and make an appointment. It's also confidential."
"Have you ever considered going to the counseling center on campus? It's free. It's confidential. They can help you figure out and plan, or put together what might be bothering you. They know college students pretty well there."
If appropriate offer to come with them on the first visit, but encourage them to make the appointment themselves.
"You need to make your own appointment, but if you want a little moral support, I'd be glad to walk over with you and introduce you."
We Help UNL Students with:
Grief and Trauma
Social Justice Issues
Communications Deficits and Other Personal Concerns
Other Mental Health Services
We offer support groups to help students:
- Work through personal issues in a group setting
- Understand themselves and how others experience you
- Receive support from other students experiencing the same issues
Mental health is a key part of your overall health. Brief screenings are the quickest way to determine if you or someone you care about should connect with a mental health professional. This program is completely anonymous and confidential, and immediately following the brief questionnaire you will see your results, recommendations, and key resources.
For international students, we attend to the specific concerns you might be experiencing while you are at UNL and away from home. We offer individual counseling and support groups.
Eating disorders are treatable and most individuals do recover. However, recovery can be a process which takes months or years. A large factor in recovery is your motivation to make positive changes in your life.
We provide individual counseling, support groups, and other resources for individuals who want to make changes in their decisions about their alcohol and other drug use.