Individual Counseling

CAPS phone appointments

We are currently offering counseling and consultation by phone (with some limitations). Your counselor will call you at the number you provide at the start of your appointment time.

24/7 phone consultation

Speak with a licensed therapist from ProtoCall, our 24/7 support team of mental health professionals, any time by calling 607-255-5155 (#2). [Learn more]

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers confidential mental health support designed to help you process and problem-solve regarding issues that may be affecting your quality of life and ability to learn.

Our 35+ professional therapists include psychologists and clinical social workers from diverse cultural and clinical backgrounds who are trained and experienced in dealing with the wide range of mental health concerns faced by college students. Counselors work closely with our on-staff psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners to support students who may need medication evaluation and management. 

COVID-19 services update

CAPS is here for you

During this time when so many aspects of our lives have been disrupted by COVID-19, CAPS continues to offer a safe place to talk with someone privately about any concern.

Due to public health guidance requiring social distancing measures, we are currently providing counseling and support services by phone:

  • Students in NY State: CAPS counselors are providing counseling sessions by phone.
  • Students residing outside of NY State and abroad: Phone consultations, check-ins, and referrals are available to those outside of NY State. We are working through regulatory requirements to be able to provide phone counseling soon. 

Video visits: We are working through legal/regulatory/insurance barriers toward making video visits available through our secure patient portal, myCornellHealth.

Please check back for updates about phone counseling and video visits.

25-minute appointments

These counseling / consultation sessions are designed to address your immediate needs and provide short-term guidance and support. View our counselor bios here.

You may schedule 25-minute visits as needed. If you want to see the same counselor again, you may work with them to schedule a follow-up appointment (see below). Counselors may also recommend behavioral health consultation, or other Cornell Health, campus, or community resources.

Schedule a 25-minute appointment:

Follow-up appointments 

Want to see the same counselor again?

Your counselor will work with you to make a plan for additional 25-minute appointments, as needed. When the situation warrants, 50-minute appointments may be available for a $10 copay. Your counselor will help you determine the appropriate length and frequency of visits to meet your needs.

Schedule a follow-up appointment:


  • 25-minute appointments are free (covered by SHP / SHP+ / health fee with no copay)
  • 50-minute appointments have a $10 copay (no copay for SHP+ members)

If you have concerns about health care expenses, including visit copays, please discuss them with your provider to learn about options for assistance.


What is CAPS' treatment approach?

We take a goal-oriented and collaborative approach to counseling and mental health treatment. Our goal is to help students improve their lives by focusing on the change each individual wants to make, and then using our expertise to help them achieve it. We strive to provide immediate, meaningful care focused on what your needs are right from the very first session, and we have a range of follow-up options available for you to choose from based on your unique situation. 

Your first visit will be a 25-minute counseling session. During that appointment, your provider will focus on learning about your goals for treatment and meeting your immediate needs, and will then make a recommendation about next steps (more 25-minute sessions scheduled as needed, 25- or 50-minute follow-up sessions with a specific counselor, group counseling, psychiatry, behavior health consultation, or other Cornell Health, campus, or community resources).

How do I prepare for my counseling appointment?

To make the most of your CAPS counseling visit, take the time to consider these questions before your appointment:

  • What prompted you to make an appointment now?
  • What are the concerns for which you are making the appointment? (E.g., I’m having trouble fitting in; I need some support and strategies to address my isolation.)
  • What is your goal for the visit?
  • What do you think might help?
  • Once things get better, what will you notice that you are doing differently?

For more ideas, see Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Therapy from GoodTherapy. 

NEW pre-appointment / check-in policy: Arrive 10 minutes early 

CAPS clients must now complete two online tasks prior to each counseling visit: 

  • a pre-visit questionnaire (available at myCornellHealth as soon as you schedule your appointment)
  • a brief mental health survey related to your visit (available upon check-in)

Be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before your appointment to complete your requirements. Late arrival may require rescheduling your appointment.

What happens if I can't find an appointment in the time frame I want, or with the counselor I want to see?

When scheduling online, if you cannot find an appointment that meets your needs, please call us at 607-255-5155 during business hours. We may have greater availability than what is listed online, and we hold some appointments each day for students with urgent concerns. 

How can I see my CAPS counselor from last year?

If you wish to continue seeing the same counselor, schedule a 25-minute appointment with them when you return to campus using one of the methods listed above (there is no need to schedule your appointment before you return to campus).

If you're scheduling online and have difficulty finding an appointment that works with your schedule, call us at 607-255-5155.

During your appointment, your counselor will review where you are with the concerns you have previously addressed in therapy, talk with you about goals for the semester, and work with you to make a follow-up plan in keeping with your needs. This may include more 25-minute appointments, 50-minute appointments, group counseling, or other resources. 

How can I see a different counselor? 

At any time – whether you've met with a counselor once, or many times – you may choose to see a different provider. Simply schedule a 25-minute appointment with any counselor of your choice (see above). [view counselor bios here]

If you would like assistance being matched with a counselor with a specific specialty area, please call us at 607-255-5155 (#2). 

Why did Cornell Health make changes to its counseling services? 

Our new counseling offerings are designed to provide a greater number of students with the care they need, when they need it. We are building on the success of our existing brief, goal-focused services – including Let’s Talk, urgent walk-in counseling visits, and the Behavioral Health Consultant program – by offering more rapid access to brief counseling sessions, with greater flexibility in accessing follow-up options to meet students' unique needs.   

These changes are in response to student feedback, and to a steadily increasing utilization of mental health services over the past decade. Our new approach is similar to those being used with success at Brown University and other peer institutions. [Learn more about changes for the Fall.]