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Scope of Care

The Scope of Our Clinical Services

Counseling & Psychological Services (CaPS) invites students to make an initial appointment with one of our counselors to discuss their concerns. This conversation between the counselor and the student generally involves a discussion of the student’s current difficulties, a review of treatment options, and recommendations to assist the student in obtaining the appropriate services. Recommendations may include receiving continued services through CaPS, connection to other campus resources, or a referral to community resources when appropriate.

A Short-Term Model

Counseling & Psychological Services utilizes a short-term, time-limited therapy model to assist students who are experiencing concerns and needs that are interfering with their ability to be successful in school and/or with their individual personal growth, functioning and adjustment. In a given year, the average student is seen for 5 or 6 sessions. Session length, however, is based on need. The overall objective is not to uncover and address every issue with which a student may have faced in his/her life or to provide continual maintenance for chronic psychiatric disorders. Rather, our objective is to facilitate adaptation, adjustment and resilient functioning in order to enable the student to continue enrollment in college and to pursue academic, career and personal success with minimal disruption or delay.

Individualized Treatment Goals

The therapeutic approach utilized by CaPS is flexible, individualized and driven by the specific treatment goals negotiated between the student and clinician as well as by ongoing monitoring of measures to determine the effectiveness of treatment and the levels of recovery or improvement. Based on a individual therapy intake, the next level of treatment will be determined.

Severe or Chronic Mental Health Issues

With regard to severe, chronic, or longstanding mental health problems, our focus is to assist clients in obtaining relief from some of the emotional discomfort, behaviors and thoughts that can accompany such conditions and to facilitate coping with said conditions. The focus is not on providing long-term, intensive or curative treatment.  Ideally our objective is to assist students with concerns before they develop into more serious problems.

Referral to Community Resources

Although the intent of RIT’s Counseling & Psychological Services is to help students cope with and resolve psychological and social problems that interfere with the attainment of their educational goals, students sometimes present with therapeutic needs, behaviors or other conditions that may be best met off-campus.  Some of the concerns that are commonly addressed through referral to community service providers include:

  1. A desire or need to be seen more than once a week or the need for long-term individual therapy as indicated by:
  • Individuals who have demonstrated symptom reduction and have met initial treatment goals but desire on-going maintenance support
  • Indication that short-term therapy may be detrimental or non-beneficial
  • Evidence or risk of progressive deterioration in cognitive or emotional functioning that requires intensive intervention (e.g. Partial hospitalization; Leave of Absence)
  • Inability or unwillingness to provide the necessary information to thoroughly assess symptoms
  • Inability or unwillingness to develop specific treatment goals for short-term counseling
  • Non-compliance with treatment recommendations including regular session attendance
  • Repeated utilization of crisis intervention services without commitment or engagement in more substantive, regular and formal efforts to address the issue for which the frequent crisis originate
  • Behavior, while in the CaPS facility, that constitutes a serious disruption or which establishes a unsafe or hostile emotional or physical environment for students and/or staff
  1. A need for specialized services not available through Counseling & Psychological Services as indicated by:
  • Presence of significant drug or alcohol problems such as substance dependence
  • Need for drug testing 
  • Presence of significant or long-standing eating disorder symptoms that may pose a medical danger
  • Request for standardized psychological testing and/or diagnostic assessment for purposes of an RIT Disability Services’ accommodation, employment clearance, or to fulfill court-mandated assessment or treatment requirements

The general guidelines listed above are only intended to serve as a guide to assist treatment decisions. The nature and complexity of presenting concerns and the broader context are considered in making the appropriate treatment recommendation(s). Cases are evaluated individually and the professional judgment of the mental health provider(s) will determine the treatment decision in a particular situation.