CAPS offers assessment, short-term individual counseling, and group therapy services to all full-time, degree-seeking students on the Fredericksburg campus. All students, as well as other UMW community members, may also use our consultation, outreach, crisis intervention, and community referral services.
CAPS uses a brief therapy model for individual counseling. Initially, the student and his/her counselor work together to define concerns, set goals, and develop a plan for counseling that the student will receive. The counselor may also recommend group therapy which is especially helpful for students seeking support, information, feedback, and new interpersonal and coping skills. In situations where the student’s concerns require longer-term intervention, we offer referrals to mental health providers and agencies within the Fredericksburg community.
Our general groups are intended for full-time UMW students who wish to have a space to talk about any issues that are on their minds. Often these concerns are related to personal or family stress that has been placed upon the student. General groups allow people to grow, learn about their interpersonal style, and try new skills in a safe space before taking them into our everyday world.
CAPS is also committed to offering theme-specific groups based on identified student needs. We value our students’ opinions and encourage you to let us know what kind of groups you would like offered through or in collaboration with CAPS. Please contact our Group Therapy Coordinator, Dr. Larissa Ruuskanen , to share your thoughts about our group therapy program.
To join or inquire about one of our groups, please call us at (540) 654-1053 and ask to speak with one of our counselors. View Current Groups
Consultation is useful for UMW community members who wish to gatherinformation about mental health issues, our services, and/or obtain referrals to services in the community. Students often consult with our staff members if they are concerned about the well-being of a friend or roommate, if they want to learn how to help support friends in distress, or when they want information about psychological health and wellness. Faculty, staff, and parents typically consult when they have concerns about a student, when they want to assist the student in seeking help, and when they want to learn more about how to appropriately provide support to an individual.
Educational programs allow our staff to provide wellness information to the entire university community. We offer programs throughout the year on topics such as stress management, relationship and communication skills, depression and anxiety disorders, conflict management, assertion, and sexual assault. We are glad to discuss programming needs and interests with any member of the university community and can develop wellness programs on a wide variety of topics. We also offer a resource library of print and audiovisual materials relating to issues such as social anxiety, shyness, grief and loss, substance abuse, family relationships, sexual orientation, eating disorders and body image, mood disorders, time management and more. Simply contact our administrative assistant if you wish to use these materials.
Crisis appointments are available daily at CAPS during regular office hours. After hours and on weekends, our staff works with Residence Life, the University Police, and community health service providers to address psychological emergencies.
Each year we survey mental health providers in the Fredericksburg community so that we can provide accurate and up-to-date referral information to both the students and CAPS staff. If you are interested in pursuing longer term therapy and/or psychiatric care and would like help in locating local providers, please contact us. Your request, as with all consultations, is completely confidential. We have a hard-copy directory that you may consult simply by asking our administrative assistant. If you would like to speak with a staff member, simply set up a consultation appointment. Our database includes information on mental health providers’ locations, FRED and disability access, approaches to treatment, insurance plans accepted and more.
UMW has recently contracted with a local psychiatrist, Dr. Sudhir Nagaraja, board-certified psychiatrist. Dr. Nagaraja is currently at CAPS every Wednesday during normal hours of operation. If you would like to meet with Dr. Nagaraja, please make an initial appointment with one of our therapists. Psychiatry is only available to students who are actively participating in individual or group therapy at CAPS.