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Counseling & Psychological Services

Attention Catamounts

In order to minimize the risk of spreading a potentially infectious illness, all clients for WCU Counseling & Psychological Services must call and schedule an appointment.

To make an appointment, please contact the main office at 828.227.7469 during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm).

A Statement from CAPS

The past year and half has challenged all of us as we have lived through a global pandemic and have witnessed and experienced pervasive racism, political violence and hatred. It is difficult to express the depth of grief, rage, fear, and confusion we are living through. We know that you are already emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted, and we encourage you to take time to reflect in your own ways.  One thing is certain: we will continue to live by our CAPS Code which promises to eliminate barriers, challenge harmful systems, and work for equity for all, not only on our campus but in our larger communities as well. This year has continued to show us how much work we have remaining. 

Many of us haven’t experienced this level of exhaustion and emotional emptiness before, and you may not know what to do with all of what you’re feeling. Whether you’re not motivated, not enjoying life in the ways you have before, feeling defeated, noticing the impact that loneliness has on you, or  perhaps you haven’t realized the ways all of this trauma has impacted you. We know you’re exhausted. We often feel that too, AND we promise that we’ll keep being here.

We are honored to play a role in each of your stories. Each of you continue to show us what true resilience and growth looks like, and for that we are forever grateful. Thank you for allowing us to enter your spaces, peek into your lives and experiences, and to support you through these unbelievably challenging times.

Please give us a call to make an appointment to assist and support you. Our phone number is 828.227.7469.

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About CAPS

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CAPS' staff provide counseling services to WCU students. When you first come into CAPS, a counselor will spend some time to understand your current symptoms and struggles along with your goals for counseling. Your counselor will then refer you to the appropriate service.

Some of the primary concerns that students have include:

  • Anxiety and depression, which includes symptoms of suicidality, loneliness, and low self-esteem
  • Grief
  • Relationship issues, which could include friends, roommates, romantic partners, and family
  • Issues related to experiences of trauma, sexual assault, or abuse
  • Identity concerns (that is, figuring out who they are)
  • Body image problems and/or eating concerns
  • Beginning or maintaining recovery from addictive substances or behaviors

While these are the primary reasons that students seek counseling, please know that any concern or struggle you have can be addressed in counseling.

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Our Staff

Our staff includes licensed providers who have years of experience in working with the university student population.

They are committed to helping students to achieve their personal and academic goals and to enhance their experience while at WCU.

Meet Our Staff

CAPS is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services, Inc.

CAPS Services

CAPS has a strong commitment to meeting the needs of our diverse students by providing high quality, culturally sensitive services. We strive to create a welcoming environment for all people.


COPE will help you quickly learn tools for managing emotional distress while also developing a clearer goal of what you want to change in your life.


The CAPS staff all provide individual counseling that is aimed at helping you to remove any barriers to your academic, social and/or personal life. Your individual counselor will take some time to get to know you and your specific goals for counseling. You will discuss how often you will meet, recognizing that the focus is on achieving these goals within a brief time period.

Crisis Services

CAPS' staff are available to assist students who are experiencing a mental health crisis at any time of the day. During regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday), call the CAPS' main line (828.227.7469) or come in CAPS and you will be seen in a timely manner.

For after-hours emergencies, call the CAPS main line (828.227.7469) and follow the prompts to be connected to a crisis clinician. You may also contact the community crisis line through Appalachian Community Services (888.315.2880) or go to the nearest emergency room for assistance.


Research shows that group therapy is the most effective treatment for many of the concerns college students face. Because of this, your counselor may refer you to one of several groups offered by CAPS.
Here is what students say about our groups:

"DO IT! Or at least try it because it is really helpful and really becomes a comfortable space to talk about things you wouldn't talk about with people in your everyday life."
"It is a great way to connect with people who understand what you are going through."


CAPS Fall 2021 Groups Students Say...

Join Your Group On Zoom


Living Emotionally Healthy
2 - 3:30pm | Paula & Bree
This group will build skills and strategies to increase distress tolerance, interpersonal skills & understanding and managing emotions based on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

Trauma-Informed Yoga
3:30 - 5pm | Caroline & Susannah
This group for female-identified students is designated to promote empowerment, choice, and reconnection with the body.  We hope it will help to improve internal sense of self for students with complex trauma histories.


Nature Therapy
3 - 4pm | Aaron
Using the power of the outdoors, group members will be led through various experiential activities to learn about the healing power of nature.  This group will have also draw from concepts of mindfulness.

Common Ground (LGBTQ support group)
3 - 4:30pm | Jay & Alex
Whether you are questioning your sexuality and/or gender identity or you’ve already “claimed” your identity, sometimes it’s helpful to have a safe space where you can regularly connect with a small group of people with similar life experiences. This group is a confidential, respectful, counselor-facilitated LGBTQ support group where we discuss topics such as coming out, queer life in rural communities, spirituality and queer identity, relationships, handling discrimination and oppression effectively, and more.


Sister Circle
11 - 12:30pm | Susannah & Mahek
This group is for women-identified students who are interested in developing skills and self-knowledge related to women's empowerment.  Group sessions will explore topics including gender roles, boundaries, self-esteem, and body image.

BIPOC Support Space
3 - 4:30pm | ICA Lounge | Betsy & Calista
This group will offer students of color a safe space to support one another through life's challenges.  Each week there will be a counselor-facilitated time of discussion, celebration, and connection. 

CAPS is currently not offering classroom presentation requests. For classroom presentations, please reach out to our partners in Health & Wellness Education; contact Katherine Spalding .


  • In line with current guidance from the University, State of NC, and CDC, we believe it is safest for our students and our staff to do therapy via zoom. If you prefer to meet in person, or your counselor believes it will be more beneficial for you, the two of you will talk about meeting in person with appropriate safety measures.  
  • Since TMH may not be as complete as in-person services, your counselor may determine that TMH is not an appropriate treatment option or stop TMH at any time if your condition changes. In such cases we will ethically manage transferring care as necessary.


  • We encourage students to schedule appointments at times when they can have a private space and use a secure internet connection. Each of our clinicians will also ensure privacy on their end, often in their office at CAPS, and at other times in private rooms in their home. Your clinician may use a headset to help ensure privacy and we encourage you to do the same. 
  • CAPS uses a HIPAA compliant version of Zoom for all of our video TMH appointments.
  • CAPS will provide you a unique Zoom link for each session. Do not share this link with anyone.


  • If you get disconnected from a TMH health session, end and restart the session. If you are unable to reconnect within five minutes, your counselor will call you at the phone number on file.


  • All students must be in North Carolina in order to receive counseling services from CAPS. If you are out of state temporarily, we encourage you to reschedule your appointment until you return to NC. If you are living outside of NC, our counselors are happy to talk with you about resources in your area.


Your CAPS counselor may refer you for a medication evaluation at Health Services

Counseling services for Biltmore Park students are offered by CAPS staff via a  telemental health session or through an in-person session at the CAPS office in Cullowhee. For an appointment, call 828.227.7469.

CAPS provides services to currently enrolled WCU students.

To talk to a counselor, please call our office (828.227.7469). The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

To begin counseling at CAPS, the first step is to meet briefly with a counselor to discuss what concerns brought you to CAPS and to arrive at a mutually agreeable course of action to address your concerns. The first meeting usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes.

Based on this meeting, your counselor will make recommendations about the best treatment to address your concerns. This may be another campus resource, our self-help resources, a short-term group, an ongoing group or individual counseling at CAPS or in the community.

Please note that when you arrive for your first meeting, there may be a wait. Know that we prioritize appointments based on urgency and counselor availaibility. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

CAPS offers university counseling center training positions at both the master's and doctoral level. In addition to becoming strong mental health generalists in the provision of individual counseling services, trainees have the opportunity to participate in group counseling, inter-disciplinary collaboration, outreach, consultation, campus programs and related projects within the university community.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You and your counselor will discuss your treatment and how frequently you will have sessions. You will likely meet with your counselor every other week or even once a month.  If your concerns are such that need very long-term treatment or you need to be seen more than once a week, you may be referred to a therapist in the community.

Please call the front desk (828.227.7469) as soon as you know you are unable to make your appointment. We do ask for at least 24 hours notice to change an appointment, but we know that this is not always possible. Typically, students are not able to be rescheduled within the next 5 business days and during times of high demand for CAPS’ services, you may have to wait longer for the next appointment.

Enrolled students who have paid the Health Fee are eligible for services at CAPS. Faculty and staff who are interested in counseling have access to services through the WCU Employee Assistance Program. For additional information, please contact Human Resources (828.227.7218) or CAPS (828.227.7469).

CAPS does not charge for their services for enrolled students who have paid the student health fee. 

CAPS provides consultation to concerned parents, students, or faculty/staff. CAPS will typically not reach out to a student based on this type of consultation, however CAPS staff will guide you in managing the situation. Additionally, you may choose to complete a Student Concern Response Team (SCRT) report. The SCRT team is charged with ensuring, to the extent possible, coordinated efforts to provide services of University Departments are made available to the involved student(s). The report template is available at

We understand that not all counselors are a fit for you. If you find that you are a not a good fit with your counselor, we ask that you bring this up in your session. Usually, this will help you and your counselor better understand each other and enhance your work together. However, if that conversation does not resolve your concern, you can contact the CAPS office and leave a message about switching counselors. At this point, a CAPS Administrator will reach out to you to resolve the situation.

We ask that students trust that CAPS' clinicians are making the best recommendation for you and your current concerns. Even if the option seems uncomfortable, we ask that you give it a try, knowing that discomfort often brings about change. If you choose not to follow through with the recommendation to engage at CAPS, we can provide outside referrals for you.


CAPS does provide limited psychological assessment for ongoing clients to inform and enhance treatment. CAPS does not provide any ADHD testing or other testing necessary for determining accommodations. CAPS can refer you to a local agency that provides testing for these purposes. Addtionally, you can seek these services without a CAPS referral through the McKee Psychology Clinic (828.227.2473).


With your permission, CAPS will provide information to the Office of Accessibility Resources (828.227.3886) for ongoing clients regarding their diagnosis and impact of their symptoms on their daily functioning. 


CAPS does not provide letters of support for emotional support animals.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency during business hours, come to CAPS (225 Bird Building).

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency after business hours, call the CAPS main line (828.227.7469) and follow the prompts.

Other emergency resources:

Appalachian Community Resources - 888.315.2880

REACH (Sexual Violence Resources) - 828.369.5544

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800.273.8255

Trevor Project (LGBTQ Crisis support) - 866.488.7386

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