Counseling Services Provided

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is available for regularly enrolled (matriculated) undergraduate and graduate students.

Counseling provides an opportunity for students to explore personal problems or concerns in a brief treatment model. Students often come to CAPS for issues such as relationship problems, emotional or social difficulties, symptoms of anxiety and depression, sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, substance use, and concerns about academic progress or direction.

For parents and/or family members of incoming students, please click here to read a letter with tips and recommendations.

Individual Counseling & Psychotherapy

Counselors offer help to individual students with personal concerns.

Group Counseling & Psychotherapy

Personal development groups are available for students which focus on specific problem areas such as shyness, procrastination, assertiveness, and family concerns. Other groups discuss broader life issues such as interpersonal relationships.

Marital & Couples Counseling

Counselors work with couples to help them with problems arising from the relationship.

Consultation & Outreach Services

The Counseling & Psychological Services provides programming on a wide range of mental health issues for the University community. Projects in the past have included workshops on stress, coping with depression and relationships. It also offers consultation to individuals and groups. The consultations may relate to concerns about others rather than self.

Referral Services for Students

The Counseling & Psychological Services provides referral assistance to students who may be in need of mental health services unavailable on campus.

Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Counseling

A program of Counseling & Psychological Services, AOD Counseling program provides substance abuse assessment and referral counseling.

The SAFE Place

A program of Counseling & Psychological Services, The SAFE Place provides crisis intervention, advocacy, and confidential Title IX support for Survivors dealing with past or recent incidents of sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, sexual harassment and/or stalking.

The Peggy H. Smith Counseling Clinic

The Peggy H. Smith Counseling Clinic provides individual, couples, and group counseling to San Francisco State registered students and is a sponsored graduate training program of the Counseling & Psychological Services and the Department of Counseling. There are no fees for services.


CPS strictly protects the confidentiality of information shared during sessions.  Per the policy of Counseling & Psychological Services, we do not communicate with our clients via email.

Limits of Confidentiality
There are exceptions to confidentiality of therapist-patient information set by California law:

  • If you tell your counselor you were abused as a child, and you are under 18 years of age at the time you tell the counselor, the counselor must report the abuse to Child Protective Services. If you are over 18 when you tell the counselor, but there is a child at risk by the same abuser, then the counselor may be required to make a report.
  • If you tell your counselor about being sexually assaulted, the counselor is not required to make a report unless you are under 18 at the time you tell the counselor.
  • If you tell your counselor about elder abuse, the counselor may be required to make a report.
  • If you tell your counselor that you actually intend to cause imminent, life-threatening harm to yourself, the counselor is legally obligated to take whatever actions seem necessary to protect you from harm.
  • If you tell your counselor that you actually intend to do imminent bodily harm to a specific person(s), the law calls for your counselor to inform the authorities and intended victim(s), and to take additional action if necessary.

Limitation of Services

We offer brief treatment and we encourage students to access mental health services if they are covered by insurance for longer term counseling. We have provided guidelines on accessing insurance or you can make an appointment to meet with a counselor to help you with the process.