by Alicia Gonzalez
You never really know what sort of problems a person may be facing. There’s always something and everyone has a story. But sometimes people just don’t know who they can talk to. College students are among the many people who fall prey to every day anxiety. In some cases, even depression. Whether it’s triggered by our family life, school workload, or everything in between these issues can definitely affect our overall well-being.
The University of Central Florida has given its students a way to cope with those everyday pressures. The issues can be school related problems to relationship problems and everything in between. UCF’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is completely free. But not everyone may be aware of this service or may feel uncomfortable talking to someone they don’t know. However, according to UCF’s Counseling and Psychological Services:
“The fact that a counselor is not a friend or family member actually makes it easier for them to help you. Unlike friends or family members whose advice is often colored by biases and preconceptions, counselors work to be non-judgmental and objective helpers.”
If you’re like me, you may become hesitant in talking to someone you don’t know about your personal problems. But like that old saying, don’t knock it until you try it. According to one UCF student, it took several sessions for her to trust her counselor and open up to him, but after that she felt comfortable confiding in him. Her therapy sessions lasted approximately five months to help her let go of her past, and she’s a much happier person now.
Another UCF student, K.T., admitted that she didn’t expect much from the counseling service simply because it was free, but afterwards she felt like she got something out of it—and preferred CAPS services because it seemed to be the more “natural route” to take opposed to taking medications.
K.T. also stated it was “1-2-3, pretty easy” to register for the service: To register for your first visit all you have to do is either send CAPS an email or phone in your appointment request at (407)823-2811. Student should expect visits to last anywhere from 45-50 minutes and may be seen once or twice a week. Since goals will be set during the first initial visit it will be more extensive. K.T. stated that after the initial visit, the student’s progress is monitored in the beginning of each visit by completing a simple computer based survey.
The CAPS staff is “licensed or license-eligible psychologists and mental health counselors.” The staff welcomes all UCF students who are in need. “Even if you don’t feel you need to go there, try it one time and see if it helps,” K.T. advises fellow UCF students, “because everyone needs someone to talk to.” The UCF’s Counseling and Psychological Services can be found online at www.caps.sdes.ucf.edu.