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Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

What happens when I come to the Counseling & Psychological Services office?

Students receiving services at Counseling & Psychological Services (CaPS) will generally engage in an initial in-person intake appointment with a licensed mental health therapist.  During this initial appointment, the therapist will generate a comprehensive mental health evaluation that is individualized to assess each student’s strengths and needs.  The assessment will also guide the recommended interventions, resources, and/or referrals to address the needs and goals of each student.

Some students come to CaPS with questions about mental health diagnoses or symptoms and are interested in learning more.  Our clinical staff will help you understand possible mental health diagnoses, symptoms and treatment options.  However, having a mental health diagnosis is not required to be eligible for services. 

Part of each student’s comprehensive assessment includes an evaluation of safety.  Particularly for students in crisis, evaluation of safety helps to ensure adequate support and linkage to services for follow-up.

After comprehensive evaluation and assessment, staff of CaPS may determine that a student does not require counseling or psychotherapy intervention, but rather referral to campus or community providers that can meet their needs.  

CaPS staff can also determine an appropriate referral to an outside provider in the community if a student’s needs require specialized or longer term treatment.  Referrals can also be made for psychological assessment.   Counseling & Psychological Services does not provide psychological assessment or testing to determine disability or eligibility for disability services or to diagnose Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

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Individual Therapy Services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

When you come to Counseling & Psychological Services (CaPS), you will be assigned an individual therapist.  Individual counseling and psychotherapy provided are short-term and individualized to meet the unique needs of each student. 

When you initially meet with your counselor/therapist he or she will work with you to develop goals and a plan for your sessions so you can get the most out of your counseling experience.  You and your therapist will also measure the progress you are making toward your goals, and eventually plan for your independence from counseling, so that you can sustain changes and function to your highest ability. 

Some of the factors that can make counseling more effective:

  • Having a sense of the goals you want to accomplish
  • A good connection with your therapist including mutual respect, trust and understanding
  • Motivation to make changes that may be needed
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Group Therapy for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Research and our own experience reveals the power of group counseling in addressing many of the most common issues college students experience, such as relationship concerns, anxiety and stress management.

Groups are typically 5-10 students who meet weekly to discuss similar concerns and goals.  Each group is led by a mental health professional who will help students get the most out of group and guide students toward their counseling goals.  Group members learn from and support one another in a confidential and safe setting that promotes respect.

Here is what students are saying about Counseling & Psychological Services’ group program:

  • “Groups provide a safe place to talk with 100% chance of support”
  • “I enjoyed the amount of learning that occurred during group”
  • “It was reassuring to know that you could bring up personal problems while in a group environment”
  • “Knowing I’m not completely alone”
  • “Seeing that I can be accepted by others helps me to accept myself”
  • “I liked the feeling of community and having support”
  • “Support from others who were experiencing similar issues”
  • “People who say I feel ya”
  • “Being able to talk things through/receive and give advice”
  • “Being able to be emotionally open and genuine with other people”
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Psychiatric Services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Medications-Evaluation and Ongoing Consultation

Counseling & Psychological Services (CaPS) staff includes a psychiatrist. The primary role of the psychiatrist is to evaluate students, recommend treatment, and prescribe and monitor psychiatric medications. Psychiatric care is provided in collaboration with the Student Health Center, Counseling & Psychological Services staff, and the student’s primary mental health provider at home, if applicable.

Students must be referred to the psychiatrist by a Student Health Center clinician or CaPS staff member. A prescheduled appointment is required. In emergency situations, students may be referred to a local hospital for initial evaluation and stabilization. For students who require long term, on-going mental health care, the psychiatrist may assist students with a referral to a psychiatric provider in the community.

CaPS staff, including the psychiatrist, do not perform diagnostic evaluations for ADD/ADHD. Students, however, may be referred to a community specialist for evaluation and diagnosis, if appropriate. Students who have been previously diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and are currently taking prescription medication may obtain refills from a Student Health Center clinician while at school if:

  • The student is under ongoing care.
  • A letter summarizing the student's history of treatment and current medication name and dose is received and renewed annually.
  • The student must make an appointment with a Student Health Center clinician to review the information and obtain the prescription.
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Crisis Services for Services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Here when you need us most. 

Counseling & Psychological Services (CaPS) staff provide assessment for students experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency.  We take care to help students in distress by providing compassionate support and maintaining the dignity of each individual while attending to their safety and needs.

Crisis services include assessment, connection to resources and safety planning for students who are experiencing acute emotional distress, are a danger to self or others, or are in need of immediate hospitalization.

Concerns about a crisis may be presented by a student, or someone who is concerned about a student.  Concerned others may include a roommate, family member, faculty member/staff or coach. 

CaPS staff are also available to respond to disasters or traumatic events that may affect an individual or the community.

For urgent mental health concerns during business hours (Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm) call (585) 475-2261.

For concerns regarding imminent danger to self or others, contact Public Safety at (585) 475-3333 for immediate assistance on the scene. 

For after-hours assistance on campus, please contact Public Safety.  As appropriate and necessary, Public Safety will contact the CaPS on-call mental health professional for assistance.  

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Outreach and Workshops for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Request a Program

Counseling & Psychological Services staff are available for preventive programming focused on the developmental needs of students, to maximize the potential to benefit from their academic experience. Programs aim to help students acquire new knowledge, skills and behaviors; encourage positive and realistic self-appraisal; foster personal, academic and career choices; enhance the ability to relate mutually and meaningfully with others; and increase the capacity to engage in a personally satisfying and effective style of living. These programs should be responsive to sexual/relational orientation, gender identity, racial, cultural, disability and ethnic diversity among students, and reach students who are less likely to make use of traditional counseling services. 

Examples of outreach and workshops:

  • Basics of Mindfulness
  • Stress Management
  • Goal Setting and Motivation
  • Mindful Goodbyes for Graduating Seniors
  • Emotional Intelligence for Leaders
  • Sleep Hygiene and Sleep Challenges for College Students
  • Understanding Grief
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Referrals to Community Providers for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Although the vast majority of students will be able to meet their goals for counseling through brief individual counseling and psychotherapy or through participation in group counseling, Counseling & Psychological Services (CaPS) staff may refer some students to an off-campus service to obtain more specialized therapy, for formal evaluation and testing, or for more intensive treatment.  Students or others concerned about a student may also request consultation with a CaPS staff member for further information about off-campus treatment providers.  Other reasons students may seek an off-campus provider include:

  • If you don’t feel comfortable coming to a campus office to receive services for privacy reasons
  • When you know you want specialized or longer-term treatment

CaPS staff may decide to refer a student for additional services at any time during the treatment process.   

Counseling & Psychological Services staff are knowledgeable about community resources, and students will be provided with information regarding off-campus treatment providers if one is recommended.  


Plus IconWhat happens after I am referred to my therapist for services?

After beginning meetings with your therapist, you and the therapist will collaborate on your goals and begin a therapy structure to meet your needs.  You will agree on a plan for your therapy and meet as often as planned.  The plan may change based on your needs as the therapy progresses. 

Plus IconHow do I tell if I am making progress in therapy?

You and your therapist will determine goals for your work together.  You will be encouraged to periodically review your goals and talk about how the work is going.

Plus IconHow is confidentiality upheld in group?

The unfortunate but honest “bottom-line” is that there can be no absolute guarantee on the part of Counseling & Psychological Services that there will be confidentiality or no disclosure of information presented during a group therapy session.  Student members of a therapy group are not bound by legal and/or ethical standards in the way clinicians are. While group members can be instructed, encouraged, practiced and reminded to maintain respect for and protection of the privacy and dignity of other group members, to not discuss specifics presented in group sessions and to not identify outside of sessions other group members by name or recognizable details, and while group facilitators can uphold and affirm a standard of confidentiality through modeling by example, group members cannot be monitored outside of group and forced to comply. (Once an infraction is identified and confirmed, corrective actions can be taken which could include removal of the offending member from the group but this is not preventative.) Additionally, it must be remembered that even with the mental health professionals of Counseling & Psychological Services, there are limitations to confidentiality including situations where they may be legally mandated to report and disclose elements from therapy sessions (e.g., statements indicating that there is risk of suicidal or homicidal actions)

Plus IconHow many groups are held each semester?

Depending on the needs of students each semester, we determine the number and focus of our group program.  We typically run 4-5 different groups each day and offer about 10 different kinds of groups each semester.  View group descriptions and this semester’s current group offerings.

Plus IconHow will I know if I am making progress toward my goals in group?

Along with your individual therapist, the group will help you determine your goals.  You should have a clear idea about some of the things you would like to achieve in the group at the start or shortly into the weekly sessions.  You and your individual therapist/group facilitator should check in periodically throughout the group session series to determine your progress toward these goals. You may also be requested to periodically complete standardized measures of symptoms, expressed concerns, and clinical signs to assess for change in levels over time.

Examples of group goals may include: improving ability to trust others, challenging assumptions about interpersonal patterns, increasing authenticity in relationships, gaining practice in opening up to others. Each group may also have specific goals depending on group topic - with Stress Management, for example, group members might have specific goals to improve their ability to manage stress and increase relaxation.

Plus IconWill I have to talk at each group?

The group will encourage disclosure and the exploration of personal issues. However, members should never feel forced to disclose. Members will disclose at their pace. Additionally, with some of the more psychoeducationally focused groups emphasizing provision and exploration of information pertaining to the related topic, some students can, just as in their academic classes, use the time in therapy to listen and take in information which they can apply to themselves later in the privacy of their own thoughts and lives.  In all situations, however, the greatest benefit for individuals and the group is the free and open exchange and sharing of information and perspectives by all persons.

Plus IconHow do I decide what group is right for me?

Your initial telephone consultation or intake counselor or your assigned individual therapist may suggest group therapy for you based on your unique needs and goals.  Groups are tailored to fit the current and most common goals of students who come to Counseling & Psychological Services.  If you are referred to a group, you will be scheduled, prior to entering the group sessions, with an individual introductory session appointment with that group’s facilitator in order to review the dynamics, content, objectives, purposes and procedures of that particular group as well as to further assess your fit and commitment to the group.