Individual Counseling

Arrive 10 minutes early

Please arrive at least 10 minutes before your appointment to complete a brief survey related to your visit. Late arrival may require rescheduling your appointment.

Remember to also complete your pre-appointment questionnaire prior to your arrival. Log in to myCornellHealth and click "Appointments." 

See our How do I prepare for my counseling appointment? FAQ for details. 

24/7 phone consultation

You can also call us any time, day or night to speak with a licensed therapist from our on-call service: 607-255-5155 (#2). [Learn more]

Urgent concerns

If you have an urgent mental health concern – for yourself or for someone else – you can call us 24/7 for consultation: 607-255-5155 (#2). During business hours, you can connect with a CAPS therapist; when we're closed, you will be connected with a licensed therapist from our on-call service [learn more].

You can also come to Cornell Health during business hours, and we will find a provider who can assist you. 

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers a safe place to talk with someone privately about any concern. Our services are confidential, and 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. 

* New as of Fall 2019 *

  • CAPS is now offering more rapid access to care, with 25-minute counseling visits that are often available within the next 24 hours. (Follow-up appointments, when needed, may be 25 minutes or 50 minutes.)
  • Students no longer need to schedule a phone assessment as the first step to getting care. Instead, just schedule an in-person visit online or by phone (see below).
  • You can now decide which provider you want to see, and when.
  • There are now more options for follow-up care and other types of mental health support. 

Learn more on our Mental Health Services Updates page.


25-minute counseling appointments

These counseling 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 counseling 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 group counseling, psychiatry, behavioral health consultation, or other Cornell Health, campus, or community resources.

Schedule a 25-minute counseling appointment:

  • Log in to myCornellHealth (24/7) and click “Appointments” 
  • Or call 607-255-5155 (#3) or stop by Cornell Health during business hours

Can't find an appointment online? Call us – we keep some appointments in reserve each day for calls and walk-ins. 

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:

  • Work directly with your counselor to schedule an appointment
  • Or call 607-255-5155 (#3) or stop by Cornell Health during business hours

Want to see your counselor from last year? Please see below.


  • 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.]