helping students to cultivate healthy relationships with themselves and others

We are glad you are here to visit our website and to learn more about us. Our main goal at Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is to promote the wellbeing of HSU students. Our counseling services are offered with recognition and appreciation of each student's individual and unique personality, and we are honored to play a part in helping students to strive emotionally, psychologically, and intellectually.

Counseling and Psychological Services are available to regularly enrolled students from Humboldt State University. There are no per-session charges for these services.

For a small fee ($30 per session), we are also able to serve a non-student partner of an HSU student when the two are in couples therapy at our center.

Please check with us if you are in doubt about your eligibility for counseling services. 

Aside from counseling services, CAPS is active on campus in many other ways. We provide consultation, outreach, and education to the entire campus community, and play an important role in the training of new mental health professionals.

We have provided many useful resources and tools on this website to promote your wellness and to help you tackle some of the more common life struggles (such as anxiety, depression, dealing with break-ups, etc.). Make sure to check out our Prezis!

Services Include:

Initial appointments (to assess issues, discuss resources, and determine a plan), short term individual and couples counseling, groups and workshops, information and referral, crisis intervention, outreach, psychoeducation, and consultation.


Your right to privacy is important to us. We are required to hold everything you say in confidence, except as authorized by you in a signed release or as provided by law.

Exceptions by Law Are:

  • If we believe you intend to seriously harm yourself.
  • If we believe you intend to seriously harm someone else.
  • If we suspect, based on information that you have shared, that a child, dependent adult, or an elderly person is at significant risk for abuse (or is being abused).
  • If we are court-ordered by a judge to release records.

Hours of Operation / Contact Information

During the academic year, the CAPS office is open Monday through Friday as follows:

  • CAPS receptionists are available by phone 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  
    • CAPS at SHC (main office) can be reached at 707-826-3236
    • CAPS at BSS can be reached at 707-826-3921
  • CAPS is open for services (such as therapy, consultations, and crisis services): MWF 8:45 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. and TTh 9:45 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.  We have some evening groups and workshops as well.  See our GROUP webpage for details.
  • Please note, if you are in crisis and it is outside of normal CAPS business hours, you can reach a CAPS therapist by phone 24/7 on our main line (826-3236).
  • In emergency situations, you may also call Humboldt County Mental Health at 707 445-7715 or dial 911. If there is an immediate safety risk, you should always call 911 as the police can offer the fastest and best assistance.

Note: During academic holidays and breaks (including the summer months), the CAPS office is closed. You may still reach a therapist by phone at such times if you need immediate help or some assistance with referrals (707-826-3236).

Counseling Services

Intake Session 

If this is your first time coming to CAPS in the current academic year, you will meet with a therapist for an intake session. This 45-minute session helps the therapist get to know you and your concerns. At the end of the session, the two of you will determine the best course of action, including the possibility of individual, couples, or group counseling at CAPS or pursuing counseling services elsewhere. Sometimes all that is desired or needed is 1-3 sessions to to process, problem-solve, and learn of useful tools and resources. We offer a variety of 3 session workshop series (1 hour sessions spread over the course of 3 weeks) designed to address the needs of many of our students. Your intake therapist will advise you if one of these workshop series seems like the right "fit."

The initial intake session can be scheduled by phone or in person. You will have intake forms to complete prior to your appointment so please be sure to arrive 20-30 minutes before you are scheduled to meet with a therapist.

"Let's Talk" Consultation 

If you are not interested in ongoing therapy and you are not in crisis, you may want to come talk to a therapist more informally for a single session. This session is designed to provide some immediate help for an acute (non-emergency) issue. Paperwork is minimal and the session will be more solution-focused in terms of content. Note, though, that if on-going services at CAPS are recommended, you will still need to schedule and complete a regular intake appointment at a later date.

Crisis Services

If you are in crisis at the time you come in to CAPS, you should ask to meet with the crisis therapist rather than scheduling an appointment.  Please come to the SHC (main) CAPS office when in crisis.

Generally, a crisis entails one or more of the following:

  1. Having experienced a recent physical or sexual assault or another signficiant trauma.
  2. Your life is currently in danger (for example, due to domestic violence, recent homelessness, alcohol or other drug withdrawal).
  3. Having intention or plans of hurting or killing yourself or someone else. (Or concern about someone else's suicidal thoughts or behaviors).
  4. Losing touch with reality or having otherwise disturbing experiences or behaviors (such as hearing or seeing things that others do not).

On-going Counseling Sessions 

If it has been determined that on-going services at CAPS is the right course of action, you will arrange the specifics of this plan with the intake therapist. CAPS provides on-going couseling services through a number of modalities: individual, couples, and group formats. If indiviual or couples therapy at CAPS is recommended, there may be a short wait for these ongoing appointments (depending on the time of year and the level of demand on CAPS services).

Group Therapy

Group themes and times vary, please see the listing of Groups and Workshops for information. To get further information about a group, please contact the group leader(s). To sign up for some of our groups you will need to schedule an assessment appointment with the leader of the therapy group of interest. Our receptionist can help to get this scheduled.

Unfortunately, Counseling Services Are NOT Available To:

  • Extension Students 
  • Over 60 Program Students
  • College of the Redwoods Students
  • Veterans Upward Bound Students

If you belong to one of the above groups and would like assistance in determining the resources that would best meet your needs, we would be happy to help. Call us for information.

Our Location

The main office of Counseling & Psychological Services is located on the second floor of the Student Health & Counseling (SHC) building. This is just northeast of "Library Circle" (at 1 Plaza Avenue). To arrange an appointment, come to our reception office located in room 205 or call us at (707) 826-3236.  We also have a second site across campus at Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSS) 208 and can be reached there at (707) 826-3921.  Counseling appointments are scheduled at both sites.  For emergency care, please use the SHC location.

The CAPS Team


Prac Team at BSS

Humboldt County Mental Health Resources

Humboldt County is a rural area and mental health resources are limited, particularly when specialized or more intensive care is needed (such as in the case of eating disorders or significant substance use disorders).  Our county does not have a local Kaiser facility, which is a hardship for those with Kaiser insurance.  To see a listing of local providers and insurance plans that are routinely accepted here in Humboldt, please go to the NCAMHP website.  Know that there are times that the specific mental health services required for an individual are simply not available in our local community. At such times, a student may be best served by taking a break from school and seeking such services elsewhere.  CAPS will always do our best to help with referrals whether local or outside the area.   If you do not have health insurance and could use some help establishing this, please contact Ravin Craig and the Oh Sure program at 826-5228.

Mailing Address & Contact Information:

Counseling & Psychological Services

Humboldt State University

1 Harpst Street

Arcata, CA 95521

Phone: (707) 826-3236 (SHC; Main office) and (707) 826-3921 (BSS)

Fax: (707) 826-5735

Email: hsucaps@humboldt.edu

Email messages are managed by the CAPS office manager & may not be responded to immediately. For acute or confidential concerns please call us rather than using email.