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FAQs

Committed to promoting psychological wellness for all students served by The Claremont University Consortium.

What is an intake appointment?

Your first visit to the center is an intake appointment. The purpose is to evaluate your needs and to decide together on the best treatment. You are an important part of this process, so any information or feedback you provide is very important. Your therapist will discuss the most appropriate mode of treatment, which may include group therapy, individual brief therapy or a referral to a therapist in the Claremont area. To ensure that your therapist has ample time to complete the intake process, please arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to complete the necessary paperwork. After the initial intake appointment, all other appointments are scheduled between the client and the therapist. These appointments are generally 50 minutes.

If I had to wait a few weeks for my intake appointment, how long will I have to wait for my follow-up appointment?

Once you have had your initial intake appointment, you and your therapist will decide together what length of time would be best before your next appointment.  Often, the interval between appointments is one week, but this varies depending on the student’s schedule and needs.

What is brief therapy?

Brief therapy is short-term and focused on helping a person to resolve or effectively manage a specific problem or challenge, or to make a desired change. The sessions are more geared towards here-and-now aspects of the problem than on exploration of historical material. Goal setting is the hallmark of this approach and the therapist is more active in sessions than is typically the case in traditional psychotherapy.

Do the brief therapy session limits apply to my psychiatry (medication) appointments?

No. There is no session limit for psychiatry appointments and they do not count toward session limits for therapy appointments.

How do I handle my psychiatric medications over winter or summer break?

Be sure to talk with your treating psychiatrist well in advance about these issues. In some cases, your psychiatrist may be able to provide you with sufficient refills for the time you will be away. In other cases, it may be best to see a psychiatrist that is located close to where you will be over the break.  MCAPS can assist you in finding psychiatric care over the winter or summer break.

What is confidentiality?

At MCAPS, we adhere to the American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics Code, all relevant California state laws and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Whenever there is any discrepancy between these guidelines, we follow the highest or most stringent ethical standard, as advised by the APA Ethics Code. Specifically, this means that no information will be revealed to anyone outside of MCAPS without written permission from the client, except where disclosure is required by law (i.e., where the client is likely to harm himself/herself; where the client presents a serious danger of violence to another; where there is reasonable suspicion of abuse of children, dependent or elderly persons; or when records are subpoenaed through a valid court order). Anonymous information for statistical analysis, research and aggregate purposes may be used (i.e., Clery Act reporting, Center for Collegiate Mental Health data). In the latter case, information is de-identified and only our aggregate numbers are reported. For example, under the Clery Act we may report that an incident of sexual assault took place on campus and the genders of those involved, but no further identifying information will be disclosed unless the client allows it. We do believe it is important to report these numbers, for purposes of transparency and advocacy. For instance, if the numbers of incidents are more visible, this may provide incentive to colleges to provide funding for prevention efforts and support for survivors.  These limitations to confidentiality are also explained in our consent form, for any student seeking services at MCAPS. 

What do I do if I cannot make my appointment?

With busy schedules, new commitments or illness, it is understandable that some students are unable to attend their appointment. Please let us know if you are unable to attend your scheduled appointment, this allows us to free the hour for use by other students. You can call MCAPS and cancel your appointment at any time, even the day of the appointment. You can reschedule your appointment, leave a message for your therapist or cancel all together. For no-show or late cancellations (less than two hours) a fee of $15 may be applied.

Are walk-in hours available?

Most appointments are made through the intake process. We make every attempt to schedule an intake appointment within 1-2 weeks. We have an on-call therapist available for emergency consultations at all times. The on-call therapist may perform a brief telephone consultation to determine the most appropriate course of action. The on-call therapist can be reached after hours by calling (909) 621-8202 and dialing “1” when prompted.

Does MCAPS offer on-call services over winter break, spring break or summer?

Yes. Although MCAPS is closed during winter break and over the summer, on-call services are available 24/7 during all campus breaks. To access this system, call (909) 621-8202 and dial “1” to be connected to an on-call therapist.

What is group therapy?

Group therapy is intended to assist people who would like to gain support from others, increase their self-awareness and learn new behaviors to cope with personal and interpersonal challenges. In group therapy, five to 10 people meet face-to-face with one or more trained group therapists. Groups typically involve some combination of members sharing thoughts and feelings, giving and receiving feedback and trying out new behaviors in a safe, confidential environment. Some groups are designed as workshops, or general process and support groups to help students with a range of concerns. Others are targeted for more specific needs, such as grief and loss, or sexual assault survivors. For more information, view this informational video.

Who can benefit from group therapy?

Students who want to improve their relationships are excellent candidates for group therapy. Group therapy is also helpful for those who feel alone and isolated or don’t think anyone else is experiencing the same feelings. Meeting other people who share your feelings and concerns can reduce your isolation and give a sense of renewed hope that things can get better.

How much should I share in group therapy?

First and foremost, you control what, how much and when you share information with the group. Many people are anxious about talking in group, especially at first. This anxiety has the potential to stop members from talking, which in turn can prevent members from experiencing the benefits of group. Within a few sessions people typically find that they are able to talk and receive support from other members. As trust develops, we become more comfortable with taking risks and are better able to accept warmth and to present our self and our needs to others.

What percentage of students from The Claremont Colleges use MCAPS services each year?

Each year, approximately 14 to 17 percent of students from The Claremont Colleges are seen at MCAPS. Students seek counseling or medication services for a wide range of issues, including mild or short-term adjustment difficulties, stress, relationship concerns, depression, anxiety, eating concerns, traumatic experiences and more. Although many students do enjoy their time at TCC, it is important to remember that if you are not feeling happy at this point in your life, you are not alone. We are here to help.

How does MCAPs make decisions about hospitalizations?

In the case of voluntary hospitalization, the decision about whether a student should go to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation is made collaboratively between the student and their treating MCAPS therapist. Involuntary hospitalization (in which the student is required to be evaluated at a psychiatric hospital, regardless of their own wishes) is rarely initiated and only in cases where the student presents a danger to self or to others, or is gravely disabled, defined in this context as being, as a result of mental disorder, unable to provide for one’s own basic personal needs for food, clothing or shelter. An example would be someone experiencing severe psychosis.  

More information is available at:

APA Ethics Code:

California laws pertaining to psychologists:

FERPA:

Clery Act:

California disability rights pertaining to involuntary hospitalization:

If you have any questions or concerns about any of these issues, please feel free to contact Dr. Gary DeGroot, director of MCAPS, or Dr. Fiona Vajk, assistant director of MCAPS, at (909) 621-8202. We are happy to help students clarify these important issues, as well as hear concerns and comments from all members of the 7C community.