Counseling and Psychological Services, formerly known as the Counseling Center, had an Open House for the UCF community. The staff toured visitors through their warm and inviting space as they showcased their professional, creative and diverse services.

CAPS three core service areas including clinical, outreach and prevention as well as training were highlighted. Visitors began by viewing the “Field of Memories: Be Aware, Show You Care” suicide prevention exhibit.  Outreach services allow CAPS to reach out to students in a preventative way and to reach populations that might not typically seek services due to cultural influences.

Visitors were then able to learn more about the training services, which are accredited by American Psychological Association and Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers, and saw a live demonstration of the video technology used with clients. The training program consists of a doctoral level internship in psychology, a master’s internship for mental health counseling, social work, and clinical psychology students, and a doctoral level practicum.

CAPS clinical services provided a brief, mock group therapy experience as well as an affirmation table. Clinical services are free and confidential and include initial assessments, short term individual, couples and group counseling, consultation, referrals and crisis intervention. In passing through the “Equity and Inclusion” station, individuals were able to see how diversity is threaded into all facets of CAPS.

Visitors were able to see the new, creative and innovative services used to better assist students succeed at UCF. These therapies include animal-assisted therapy, expressive arts and the use of a sandtray, as well as the therapeutic use of yoga. Visitors met Bodhi, the CAPS therapy dog, and learned that AAT is the incorporation of animals as therapeutic agents into the counseling process. Positive human-animal interactions can be motivational as well as help relieve stress, anxiety and depression. Expressive arts therapy is the practice of using music, movement/dance, visual arts, poetry, meditation, and storytelling together in an integrated way to foster self-discovery, personal empowerment, and healing. Sandtray is an expressive and dynamic play process that is used in therapy to help tell a story. Yoga has many healing benefits including improved mindfulness, the sense of being present, centered and grounded, reduced stress and anxiety, and increasing physical and psychological strength and resiliency for your body and mind.

The event provided the opportunity to see the many different facets of the work the clinicians at CAPS provides the UCF community. Approximately 135 people visited the open house.

CAPS is a department in the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Services.