Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): 8-Session Limit for Personal Counseling

To address our campus’ increasing need of mental health services, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will be implementing an 8 session limit per academic calendar year in personal counseling for all matriculated students of San José State University.  Implementation will begin August 19, 2019, with the initial year ending June 30, 2020. Subsequent years will commence on July 1st and end on June 30th. Counseling and Psychological Services provides brief therapy in empirically supported treatment modalities that is culturally appropriate to our student population.  Therefore, when a student visits CAPS for the first session, they may be referred to the most appropriate type of service which can include services provided within nearby communities. Even if students are referred out, all students shall have access to mental health resources and services, such as psychological crisis intervention sessions, educational counseling, workshops, and self-help educational modules.  Students who reach the session limit and/or need long-term, comprehensive mental health services shall receive assistance in obtaining services within nearby communities.


Why is CAPS implementing the 8 session limit per calendar year procedure?  

In order to meet the increasing need of mental health services, the 8 session limit is projected to provide more access to students receiving treatment from CAPS. 


Do students have to use all of their 8 sessions in the year?

No.  Students and their counselor will determine what is the appropriate amount of treatment to receive.  At times, that discussion can occur during the first session. The amount of sessions students receive can also be less than 8 sessions, based on their progress and treatment.  


If students don’t use all of their 8 sessions in a year, will they carry over to the next year?

No.  We want to ensure that we can provide as much mental health access to the students at SJSU.  Getting more than 8 sessions in a calendar year may impact other students who may need the service and would not be helpful to the greater campus community. Also, if students need more than 8 sessions, it may be more clinically appropriate to receive those services consistently from an agency that can provide longer-term treatment.


Can students receive all of their 8 sessions in one semester?

Yes, if a counselor determines that it would be clinically appropriate and beneficial for a student to receive 8 sessions in the semester.


If a student does not use all 8 sessions in a semester, can they return the following semester?

Yes.  Students can return to continue receiving services between sessions or to work on a new mental health concern, provided that they did not use all of their 8 sessions for the year.    


What happens if students need more than 8 sessions?

Prior to receiving the eighth session, the counselor will discuss with the student the option of receiving more appropriate mental health services from providers in nearby communities.  It is important for the student to follow-through with their counselor’s recommendations and referral, as the counselor is taking into consideration the most appropriate care for the student. 


Is it possible students will not be able to receive any services from CAPS?

No.  All matriculated students who have paid the Student Health fee shall have access to some of CAPS’ services.  Students can always use psychological crisis intervention services, attend workshops, utilize educational counseling services, and group therapy services.  


Can students return the following year to obtain more sessions?

Yes.  However, it is important for students to discuss with a counselor the need for their return.  It may be clinically appropriate and beneficial to obtain continuous care from a provider in nearby communities rather than to return and receive intermittent sessions from CAPS.  


What happens if students don’t show to their scheduled appointment?

It’s important that students do show up for their scheduled sessions or cancel early.  Sessions that are scheduled and not attended could have been utilized by another student.  If students do not show up for their session, CAPS may count that unused appointment as one of the student's 8 sessions for the year.  Additionally, not showing up for their session may make it harder for them to schedule another session with their counselor, given the high clinical demand at CAPS.

Should you or any student have any questions or concerns, please feel free to direct them to me at  Thank you.