Informed Consent for Counseling Services at CAPS

Except in emergency/crisis situations, CAPS staff have a legal and ethical obligation to obtain your informed consent before initiating services.


CAPS maintains a policy of confidentiality. All services are guided by the Ethical Principles and Standards for Service Providers of the American Psychological Association and by the licensing laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

All information disclosed within the session, as well as the fact of registration for services, is confidential and will not be revealed to an to anyone outside CAPS without your permission, except under several conditions: a) where disclosure is required by law (e.g., when there is a reasonable suspicion of abuse of children, or abuse, neglect or exploitation of the elderly or adults with a disability; when there is a court order); b) when there is a substantial likelihood that you will, in the near future, cause serious physical harm to yourself or others; or c) if there is a substantial risk that you will suffer serious harm due to a lack of capacity to protect yourself from harm or provide for your basic needs. In cases (b) and (c), CAPS staff may be obligated to seek hospitalization for you, and/or inform appropriate individuals who may be able to help intervene and protect you (e.g., VP of Student Development, Dean’s office, UR Police, your parents, member of the UR Threat Assessment Team).

The CAPS Privacy Practice Notice provides more detailed information about possible uses and disclosures of confidential information. Please be sure to read it carefully.

How Counseling Works

Counseling is a mutual, collaborative process. You and your counselor will work together to develop goals on which you want to work. Your counselor cannot change you, but acts as a facilitator. Only you can change yourself. You are responsible for making the effort to work on the problems or issues that concern you. Your counselor is committed to help you in this process.

When you are working with a counselor, it is important to honor the commitment you have made to meet with your counselor, and to take an active role. For example, it is helpful if you:

  • Spend time between scheduled sessions thinking about what you and your counselor have been discussing
  • Follow through on any actions you agreed to take
  • Take the initiative to bring up issues or topics to talk about with your counselor

Counseling works best when you and your counselor develop a good working relationship, based on mutual trust, honesty and respect. If you are experiencing any problems or difficulties relating to your counselor, we encourage you to discuss these with her/him and attempt to reach some resolution. Sometimes you and your counselor may decide that it is best for you to meet with another therapist.

Counseling Outcomes

No one can guarantee that counseling will produce certain results. There are some risks associated with counseling. For example, you may discover things about yourself that are uncomfortable; sometimes relationships change as a result of counseling; if you are discussing a traumatic event with your counselor, sometimes the feelings get more intense. We can assure you that your counselor will use her/his professional skills to the best of her/his ability to address your concerns and help manage possible risks.

Attendance Policy

If you arrive more than 10 minutes late for any CAPS appointment, it may be rescheduled.

If you need to cancel an appointment, please either call CAPS at (804) 289-8119, or email as soon as you know that you will need to reschedule so we can offer that time to another student. At minimum, please notify CAPS of your need to cancel with in 24 hours of your appointment if possible.

If you cancel your first appointment of the year with CAPS less than two hours prior to the start of the appointment two or more times, you may be referred to an off-campus provider.

If you miss two scheduled appointments without cancelling ahead of time by contacting CAPS, through the course of a semester, you may be referred to an off-campus provider. You may return the following semester, re-register, and be connected with an available provider. In the event of a mental health crisis, you may still be seen at CAPS, event if you have been referred off campus for continued care.

Psychiatric Care

CAPS at UR has contracted with part-time psychiatric providers to provide acute stabilization and time-limited psychiatric service hours for student who are actively engaged in “talk therapy” with one of the clinicians. Due to limited psychiatric service hours, students may be referred to community providers for maintenance treatment. Students who are already prescribed medications by a medical provider in the community are encouraged to continue seeing that provider for their medication needs. Psychiatric services at CAPS are not available over winter break and from mid-May through mid-August. During these times, students are responsible for arranging alternate psychiatric treatment in their current location. Psychiatric services at CAPS must be reestablished each academic year by completing the CAPS registration process and resuming counseling services.

Digital Recordings

CAPS is an accredited counseling service and upholds professional practice standards. CAPS is also a training clinic and often has trainees from other universities working in our center. To meet professional practice and supervision standards the work of counselors and trainees is under professional peer review. This means that other professional counselors may periodically review each clinician’s or trainee’s work. Because of trainee supervision requirements, counseling sessions provided by trainees at the center may be digitally recorded. Recordings will never be conducted without your explicit written consent. All recordings are confidential, securely stored, and deleted after they have been reviewed by the trainee and their supervisor. Your counselor will discuss this with you and address any concerns or questions you may have.


Teletherapy may be used to deliver services when deemed clinically appropriate by CAPS.

Right to Revoke This Consent

You have the right to revoke this consent in writing and terminate services at CAPS. In that event, CAPS staff members are willing to help you locate alternative resources, either on or off campus.